For I do like my afternoon tea. My Dad who adopted me is English, though second generation U.S. born, and my biological mother was a Woodworth (descendant of Walter Woodworth, one of the original colonists in America) so there's more than a small amount of English blood in these veins.
I made this with my Azure Standard wild yeast sourdough starter but if you just wish to make it without, use the ingredients amounts in the (parenthesis). Adapted from a recipe on the King Arthur flour website, I simply modified it to compensate for the flour and liquid that occurs naturally in the starter.
You will need 2 bowls and a hand or stand mixer. There's no kneading involved and just a short rise time.
No Knead Sourdough English Muffin Bread
2 and 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (3 cups if no sourdough starter)
1 cup sourdough starter (optional)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup milk (1 cup if no sourdough starter)
1/4 cup water (add up to 3 Tablespoons more if needed while mixing if it is dry)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and beat with the mixer on HIGH for 1 minute, scraping down the sides with a spatula. You will see little threads of gluten forming at the end of a minute. That is good! The dough will be very soft, thicker than cupcake batter and thinner than traditional muffin batter.
I ended up adding 3 tablespoons more of water as my batter was fairly dry - that's dependent on the liquid in your sourdough starter. You don't want a runny batter but the mixer should be able to mix it on high without it bogging down.
Lightly grease an 8 and 1/2" x 4 and 1/2" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal, shaking it around to coat bottom and sides.
Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
Cover the pan, and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it's just barely crowned the rim of the pan (no more than 1/4 inch over). For my loaf it was about an hour and a half rise time.