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English Muffins from Scratch


0:20 prep
3:00 total

Time

prep 0:20       total 3:00

Yield

Ingredients

Ingredients

2-1/2 cup white bread flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp. kosher or
flaked sea salt
1 cake compressed yeast, or
1 env. dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup lukewarm water (95-105° F)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk (95-105°F)
Cornmeal, rice flour or
cornflour for dusting

Instructions

Mix flours with salt in a large bowl and warm the bowl of flour by putting it in the oven at 250°F for 5-8 minutes, or in the microwave on high for 1/2 to 1-1/2 minutes. This step is to help the yeast start working, and gives the muffins their light texture.

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl. Mix the sugar and 1/2 cup of the water until smooth. IF using DRY yeast, mix it with the sugar and 1/2 cup water and let stand 5-10 minutes, until foamy.

Make a well in the warmed flour. Add yeast mixture, the remaining water, and the milk and mix with your hands to make a very soft, slightly sticky dough. Turn out dough onto lightly floured work surface and knead with floured hands for 10 minutes until dough is soft, elastic, smooth and no longer sticky. Shape the dough into a ball.

Clean and dry the bowl and oil it. Return dough to bowl and turn the dough over so the top is oiled. Cover with a damp dish towel and let rise in a warm spot, away from drafts, until doubled in size--this should take about one hour.

Punch down the dough and turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes, return it to the bowl and cover again, let rest for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 8 pieces. The usual method is to squeeze the dough through the ring made by the thumb and forefinger of one floured hand. Squeeze the ball of dough and drop onto a baking sheet well dusted with the cornmeal or flour. Cover the tray of muffins with another tray, then a damp towel. Let rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Heat griddle or fry pan for about 2 minutes over moderate heat. With a metal spatula, invert the muffins, 3 at a time (or more if you can fit them) onto the hot griddle. Cook about 12 minutes until the undersides are golden brown. Turn over and cook 10-12 minutes longer, until second side is browned and the sides of the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Transfer to a warm serving platter and cover with a dry dish towel. Wipe out the griddle or pan and continue cooking the rest of the muffins.

Author's Comments

These are NOTHING like the chewy, dry english muffins you get in the store. They're tender and soft, and the aroma when you tear one open is OMG, so heavenly. The "proper" way to eat these is to open them slightly with a fork in the middle, toast them, and tear them open with the fork and put on lots of butter. Store them wrapped at room temp, or they freeze beautifully. And since they freeze so well, you should double this recipe. You'll be so glad you did! BTW, it looks like a lot of work, but the most time consuming part of this recipe is letting the dough rise.

You can use a heavy griddle, or 10-inch cast iron pan (we use an electric skillet).

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