February 12, 2013
The first time I tried to make homemade English Muffins, the whole process was a complete disaster. My pan was too hot, so the sides of my muffins were scorched black while the insides remained raw and doughy. At the time, I was new to cooking at home, and I didn't have the patience to figure out where I'd gone wrong, so I labeled English Muffins as too difficult for me, and put them out of my mind. It's a shame, too, because they're really very fun and easy to make at home. I especially like to watch them puff up from the yeast the minute they hit the griddle.
If you're like me, and you've had trouble with homemade English Muffins in the past, I've written out a few tips at the bottom of this recipe that I hope you'll find helpful. Enjoy!
1 ¾ cups lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons softened butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
Cornmeal, for dusting
Pour all of the ingredients minus the cornmeal into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Turn mixer on low, and allow mixture to knead until smooth and elastic (about ten minutes). Turn power off, remove hook, and gather dough into a ball. Place ball of dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Set aside to rise until doubled in size (1 or 2 hours).
Once the dough has risen, lightly grease your skillet or griddle, and preheat to medium-low. While your cooking surface is preheating, sprinkle some cornmeal onto a cookie sheet until evenly coated, and set aside.
Punch down the dough to deflate, and gather into a ball. Sprinkle your flat working surface with flour, and roll the dough out until it’s about an inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or an inverted wide-mouth jar, punch out biscuits and place on cookie sheet. Flip to coat both sides with the cornmeal, and repeat this process with the rest of the dough.
Place dough rounds on your skillet or griddle, leaving at least an inch of space between them. Flip every five minutes or so until both sides are a nice golden brown, and the center is no longer soft and doughy (this usually takes 15-20 minutes per batch). Remove from heat and place on a wire rack to cool for five minutes before serving.
A few tips:
-If your skillet/griddle is too hot, the sides will brown too quickly while the inside remains uncooked. If you encounter this problem, simply cook those biscuits in a 350◦F oven for 10 minutes with a sheet of foil draped over the top to prevent further browning. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
-Cut your English muffins with a fork instead of a knife to create nooks and crannies similar to those found in store bought English muffins.
-If you have leftovers, perforate the edges with a fork (so they will tear easily in half), and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. Re-heat in the toaster until the edges start to brown.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.