Make your own English muffins

Last year I wrote about my mom’s English muffin bread, a hearty and delicious loaf that’s not for the carb-conscious. At a yard sale recently, we stumbled on a bread book, cleverly titled Bread (well, really Breads of the World and How to Bake them at Home) that I thought looked OK, unlike most cookbooks at yard sales that people are tossing (101 Soups! Chicken 7,868 Ways!). But then one recipe jumped out at us: English muffins. Don’t they come from the Thomas’ English Muffin factory?

The picture of the doughy little muffins browning in a cast iron skillet made the book a must-buy and the recipe a must-try. My mom whipped up a batch first and reported they were like Wolferman’s English muffins: thick and dense, in a good way. I’m more of a Thomas’ girl, so I rolled out the dough a little more to make them less puffy before they stole away for a nap in a warm spot to rise.

A quick peek to see if they're rising

Then they go into a skillet until they’re golden, emerging warm and nook-filled. After the toaster and a melty slab of butter, you embrace a carb-rich diet and down another one. You know you want to make them.

English Muffins

Makes 9 muffins

4 cups bread flour

1 ½ t salt

1 ½- 1 2/3 cup lukewarm milk

½ t sugar

½ oz yeast (2 packages)

1 T melted butter or olive oil

semolina flour for dusting

Generously flour cookie sheet. Lightly grease griddle.

Sift flour and salt in large bowl and make well in center. Blend in separate bowl 2/3 cup lukewarm milk with sugar and yeast. Stir in remaining milk and butter.

Add yeast mixture into center of flour well and beat for 4-5 minutes. Dough will be soft and hold its shape. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for 45-60 minutes until double in bulk.

Turn out dough onto well-floured surface (or wax paper) and punch down. Roll out to ½ inch thick. Using a floured 3-inch cutter or glass, cut out 9 rounds. Dust each round with semolina on top and place on floured baking sheet. Cover with paper towel and dish towel and let rise 20-30 minutes. Heat pan over medium heat and carefully transfer muffins to lightly greased pan. Cook slowly for 7 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

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