Homemade English Muffins

Recently I purchased a bag of English Muffins at the grocery store and was really disappointed when I got home and saw how dried out they were. I remembered I had a recipe for homemade ones in my book, so I decided to make my own. I had to wait a few days until my arrived from Amazon but I used the time to thoroughly read the recipe and prepare. They were worth waiting for. Extremely moist, they are nothing like the ones you buy in the store. You do them on the stove top, so it is something you can “bake” during the summer when it is hotter than blazes (100° here today!).

You cook them for 12 minutes on each side and then cool on their sides so they don’t get soggy. They seem to defy gravity! You use yeast too. Of course I hardly like any bread that doesn’t contain yeast. . .

Remember to keep the temperature low. Notice the flame size in this picture. That seemed about right. A “2” on my stove. One last note- I did not “do ahead” and make the dough the day before and refrigerate. I simply mixed the dough at 11am, let it rise on my counter for 2 hours and then “baked” them.

English Muffins

From Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Bread Every Day

2 tsp (0.5oz/14g)  honey
1 tbsp (0.5oz/14g)  vegetable oil or olive oil * I used olive oil
1.5 cups ( 12oz /340 g ) lukewarm whole or non fat milk ( 95º F or 35º C )
2 2/3 cups (12oz/340 g ) unbleached bread flour
3/4 tsp ( 0.19 oz/ 5.5 g) salt, or 1 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
2 tsps (0.22 oz/ 6g ) instant yeast
1/4 tsp ( 1.5 oz /43 g ) warm water
Cornmeal, for dusting – for english muffins authentic look
Add the honey and oil to the milk and stir to dissolve the honey. In a mixing bowl. whisk the flour, salt and yeast together, then pour in the milk mixture. Whisk for 1 minute, until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is hydrated. You should see gluten strands forming as the wet sponge develops. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, then mix the batter for a few more seconds.  Scrape down the bowl again. then cover tightly with plastic wrap and immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. The batter will bubble and rise as it cools down.
On Baking Day
Remove the dough from the refrigerator abour 2 hours before you plan to bake the English muffins. The dough will be much stiffer but still sticky and it will bubble as it comes to room temperature.
When ready to bake, dissolve the baking soda in the warm water and gently fold it into the dough, just like folding egg whites into cake batter, until it is fully absorbed. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes, until it starts bubbling again. Heat a flat griddle pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, or to
300º F or 149º C if using an electric griddle.

Mist the griddle and the inside of the crumpet rings with spray oil, then dust the inside of the rings with cornmeal. Cover the surface of the pan with as many rings as it will hold, then dust the pan inside the rings with more cornmeal. Lower the heat to medium-low, actually closer to low than to medium : you will have to use trial and error on this at first until you find the setting that works with your stove or griddle.

To bake  
Mist a 1/3 cup measuring cup with spray oil , fill it with dough, and pour the dough into a ring, filling about 2/3 full : depending on the size of the ring, you may not need all of the batter in the scoop to fill each ring, but for standard crumpet rings 1/3 cup of batter is about right. Fill all of the rings, then sprinkle cornmeal over each muffin.
The dough will not spread immediately to fill the ring but will begin to slowly rise and soon will fill and reach the top of the ring ; it may or may not bubble. Cook the muffins for at least 12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and crisp and the tops lose their wet look.  Then, flip the muffins over, rings and all, and cook for 12 minutes more. If it takes less than 12 minutes per side, your griddle setting is probably too high and youill end up with undercooked muffins.
When both sides are golden brown and the dough is springy to the touch, remove the muffins from the pan. Cool them in their rings for about 2 minutes, then pop them out.
Turn the muffins on their edge to cool.  this will help prevent sinking and shrinking.  Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. After they cool, you can split them  with a fork to accentuate the interior nooks.