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May 27, 2019

Sourdough Tomato and Basil Muffins

These sourdough tomato and basil mini muffins are wonderful as an appetizer or savory tea time treat. They are also flavored with Parmesan cheese and garlic. These muffins are a great way to use your sourdough discard.

Sourdough Tomato and Basil Muffins

These muffins remind me of the flavors of pane bianco, which is an Italian white bread filled with sun dried tomatoes, basil, cheese, and garlic.

I love the Italian flavors in these muffins.

Sourdough Tomato and Basil Muffins with Parmesan and garlic

How to make sourdough tomato and basil muffins:

  1. It wouldn't be muffins if you didn't use the "muffin method." In one bowl, you mix the dry ingredients, and in another bowl you mix the wet ingredients. 
  2. The sourdough starter goes into the bowl with the wet ingredients. 
  3. You then add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in thirds, mixing in each addition. 
  4. Finally, you add the tomatoes and their juices, the cheese, basil, and garlic. 
  5. Bake the muffins in greased mini muffin pans. I don't recommend paper liners when there is cheese in the batter, as the cheese will stick to the liners and you'll miss out on some of the muffin goodness. 

What can I substitute for a sourdough starter? 

I realize that not everyone maintains a sourdough starter. Don't despair. You can still make these muffins. 

The night before you make these muffins, mix together 100 grams of all purpose flour with 100 grams of water, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and let it rest. If you are pressed for time, just add 100 grams of flour to the dry ingredients, and 100 grams of water to the wet ingredients. 

This recipe also calls for whole wheat pastry flour. Both Bob's Red Mill and King Arthur Flour carry the flour (which I had because I'm a serious ingredient geek), but I'm sure that you could use standard whole wheat flour in this recipe. 

Sourdough Tomato and Basil Muffins with Parmesan and garlic - Pane bianco muffins

Note: For the basil, I cheated and used Gourmet Garden lightly dried chopped basil. Chopped fresh basil is also perfect for this recipe.

The recipe for these sourdough tomato and basil muffins calls for 16 small cherry tomatoes. You can also use 8 to 10 large plum tomatoes.

These savory muffins were so delicious. They are pretty wonderful warm, split, and spread with butter. I bet adding some cooked pancetta to the batter would also be pretty tasty.

While I've provided both metric and volume measurements in the recipe, I am a huge advocate for using a scale when baking. Measuring flour and other dry goods, as well as sourdough starter, is so much more reliable.

In addition, you don't have to wash measuring cups and spoons! I just place the bowl on the scale, slowly add the specified ingredient until the scale registers the correct weight, tare it, and add more ingredients.

More recipes to use sourdough discard:

Muffin Monday Recipes for May:

Pane bianco muffins

Sourdough Tomato and Basil Muffins

Yield: 32 muffins


  • 100 grams (a scant cup) whole wheat pastry flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 110 grams (scant cup) all purpose flour
  • 70 grams (scant 1/2 cup) cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200 grams (7/8 cup) whole milk
  • 200 grams (scant cup) 100 percent hydration starter
  • 15 grams (2 heaping teaspoons) honey
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 16 small cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (see note)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced, or 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic


How to cook Sourdough Tomato and Basil Muffins

  1. Heat your oven to 375 degrees F and grease mini muffin pans (enough for 32 muffins). 
  2. Whisk together the pastry flour, all purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, and milk. Add the starter and honey and mix with a dough whisk or rubber spatula. 
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in thirds and fold with a rubber spatula until each addition is incorporated. Don't over mix. 
  5. Stir in the cheese, tomatoes, basil, and garlic. 
  6. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins. I used a tablespoon cookie scoop (which is the equivalent to 4 teaspoons) to portion the dough. 
  7. Bake the muffins for 12 to 15 minutes. 
  8. Turn the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool. 
  9. These muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days. 
muffins, breakfast, tea party, savory
Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from the amazing and James Beard award winning book Sourdough: Recipes for Rustic Fermented Breads, Sweets, Savories, and More by Sarah Owens
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Would you like to comment?

  1. I need to get another sourdough starter started. Mine had been sorely neglected then I had to dump it when we moved. These wonderful muffins are the inspiration I need! Love the flavors, Karen!

    1. I bet TSA would have questioned it for sure!! Thanks!

  2. These sound amazing. I just ordered a sourdough starter from King Arthur. I hope it's good. I've never worked with sourdough before.

    1. That's the one I first started with! Still alive 10 years later!

  3. I came across your recipe whilst looking for savoury muffins inspiration. Works an absolute treat & so handy for summer picnics. Just finished baking my second batch. Thank you!

  4. Absolutely DELICIOUS, even with dried basil and needing to add a Tbl of dried tomato bits to make up for being short 6 cherry tomatoes! I can't wait to make them with fresh basil! Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

    1. I'm so excited you loved these!! Thank you for letting me know!

  5. I'm getting ready to bake these this week, but don't have any parmesan. Could nutritional yeast be used as a substitute?

    1. I don't know about the nutritional yeast but any other cheese would work.


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