I don’t bake nearly as frequently nor with as much passion as Caroline or finesse as my husband, but I do go on baking sprees, and this holiday vacation was no exception. Inspired by discovering my family’s love of English Muffins, and a few great blog posts, I decided to bake my own.
For one thing, I buy English muffins about once a year. I think they’re delicious but expensive, and it just doesn’t make sense to me to keep them in the house with any regularity. But the kids decided they loved them a week ago, so….
I rounded up several recipes, made two batches, by which process I landed on the one below. Don’t be fooled. It is very, very, very simple. And fast. And, to my very great surprise, forgiving. I had neither bread flour, nor a kitchen scale with which to weigh the dry ingredients, and the results were amazing. I basically eyeballed the flour, and ended up adding enough to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Other than that rather egregious digression, I followed the recipe from Winos and Foodies exactly (which I found linked on Becks & Posh).
You can mix the dough on a Friday or Saturday evening, let it rise on the counter overnight, and finish it in the morning. It takes a short second rise (don’t leave out the part where you cover the muffins with another tray; it keeps them from overrising) and a slow cooking on a low griddle, so it’s probably not ideal for a weekday. But it’s very amenable to weekend morning and much less mess than pancakes or waffles….
The recipe produces a very soft, but dense, nook-and-cranny filled delight. You can make a double batche on the weekend, fork split them, and keep them in your freezer (if they last that long).
from Winos and Foodies
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast granules (I used a full packet)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 250ml warm water
- 125ml warm milk
- 350g high grade flour (or bread flour)
- 100g standard flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- fine cornmeal
- Put the yeast and sugar in a small bowl with half the warm water. Stir and set aside for a few minutes, then add the remaining water and the milk.
- Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and use your hand to mix in the yeast, water and milk mixture. Knead the mixture which will be sticky, thoroughly in the bowl (or use the dough hook of an electric mixer).
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise until more than doubled in bulk. Although this may take only a couple of hours, the dough can be allowed to rise overnight.
- Deflate the dough by pulling it away from the sides of the bowl. Lift it out of the bowl and divide into 8 pieces.
- Drop each piece on to a tray liberally dusted with rice flour or fine cornmeal and roll them over until well coated.
- Form each piece into a thick disc.
- Place the disks on a baking tray and place another tray on top.
- Leave to rest and rise 20 minutes, then remove top tray.
- Place a cast iron griddle or large frying pan over low heat.
- When only moderately hot place four of the muffins on it and cook for about ten minutes until light beige on the bottom.
- Turn the muffins over and cook the second side for a similar length of time.
- Wrap the cooked muffins in a dry tea towel while you cook the remaining four.
- Pull apart or fork split and eat while still warm.
- For toasting pull the muffins apart and toast on both sides.