Baked From Scratch: English Muffins

English Muffins || A Less Processed Life

"There's just one thing that I love most, and that's toast. Yeeeeeeaaaah, toast."

English Muffins || A Less Processed Life

For the most part, I am an equal-opportunity bread lover. Wheat bread, pita bread, naan, sweet bread, savory bread. Bring it on. Well, maybe except for white bread, unless we're talking grilled cheese or French toast. And even then, I'd rather use brioche or challah. No Wonder Bread for me, thankyouverymuch.

English Muffins || A Less Processed Life

I am also a huge fan of the English muffin. I'll pretty much always choose an English muffin as my "toast" option when breakfasting at a restaurant (unless, of course cinnamon raisin bread is also on offer). Depending on my hunger level, at home I'll just eat one toasted and then slathered with plenty of butter and jam, or I'll make a whole meal of it with the addition of a scrambled egg, cheese, and some greens. 

English Muffins || A Less Processed Life

Making English muffins is fairly easy, but to get a more sophisticated flavor, you'll need to allot plenty of time to make the dough and let it rise. I made my English muffins over a period of three days (one day for the dough starter, a second day for the rise, and a third day to cook the muffins.) However, the extra effort is totally worth it: the resulting English muffins rival any of the store-bought variety. And there's just something a little extra special when you bake them from scratch.

English Muffins (printer-friendly version)
makes 12 muffins

For the dough starter:
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

For the English muffin dough:
1 cup organic 1% milk
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
cornmeal for dusting
unsalted butter for the skillet

1. Make the starter: Mix the flour, water, and yeast for the starter in a small mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the batter is smooth. Cover the starter and let it sit for 1-12 hours at room temperature.
2. Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and yeast. Add the starter into the bowl and whisk to dissolve and incorporate it into the milk-yeast mixture.
3. Add the sugar, melted butter, and salt to the bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in 3 cups of flour and stir until a shaggy dough forms.
4. Lightly flour a work surface. Knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Add flour as necessary, but do not add too much. The dough will feel slightly tacky to the touch, but not overly sticky.
5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight, or for up to three days.
6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth, round ball.
7. Scatter cornmeal over top a rimmed baking sheet and then place the dough balls on top. Sprinkle the tops of the dough balls with additional cornmeal. Let the dough balls rise for
1 ½ to 2 hours.
8. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt about 1 teaspoon of butter in the skillet to evenly coat the bottom of the pan and prevent sticking.
9. Place 3-4 dough balls on the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes. Press the tops gently with a spatula to flatten the muffins out slightly. Then carefully flip the muffins and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes on the other side. Place the cooked English muffins on a wire rack to cool.
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 with the remaining balls of dough until all of the English muffins are cooked.
11. To serve, split the English muffin in half with a fork and toast. Any leftover English muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a freezer bag and kept frozen for up to
three months.

(adapted from this recipe from The Kitchn)


English Muffins || A Less Processed Life

Comments

  1. I'm very particular about my bread - only homemade for me. But I have yet to try English Muffins. I'm afraid I'll mess them up! I'll have to conquer my fears and try these :)

    ReplyDelete

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