I don’t know why I got a wild hair the other day to make English muffins, but I did. I was surfing around looking at recipes and found this one-bowl recipe that didn’t require kneading, plus I had all of the ingredients already, and suddenly I just HAD to have English muffins.
And you know what? Now that I’ve had homemade English muffins I will never EVER buy another cardboard textured store bought muffin again. Even the best brand name muffins are nothing compared to how good these homemade ones were. They were light and fluffy, full of the “nooks and crannies”, and so delicious. And? Super easy to make. I never knew!
The recipe really couldn’t be easier. There’s no proofing the yeast, no slowly adding this or that ingredient. You just throw everything into the bowl of your mixer and mix until you have a slightly sticky dough – about 5-6 mins.
You let the dough rise for about an hour, then divide it out into 16 pieces, roll those into balls, and flatten them slightly, then let them rise again for about 30 mins.
Then you dust a griddle or a cast iron skillet with some cornmeal or semolina flour, and cook them slowly over a medium low heat until they’re browned on each side. I cooked mine in my large cast iron skillet but next time I’ll most likely use the electric griddle for two reasons:
- They have a crisper brown crust and a lighter interior if you start them on a cold surface and let them cook as they come to temp (which is what I did with the first batch in the skillet).
- I can fit all 16 at once on my griddle, instead of having to cook 4 or 5 at a time in batches. If you have to move them once they’ve risen the second time, they deflate slightly and you have fewer “nooks and crannies”.
My first batch of 5 that I started cold were definitely the best ones in terms of texture.
You can see that I had a bit of a hot spot where the one got a little browner. Also, I “free formed” these muffins and so none of them were perfect circles. If you want them perfectly round, I’ve read recipes that say to put the dough round into a small (obviously well washed and dried) tuna can ring on the griddle. As the muffins rise and puff, they’ll shape to the can for that nice, even round shape. They’ll probably also rise a little higher as they’ll be forced up instead of allowed to sprawl out. I’m cool with lopsided muffins, but if you’re making them for a special occasion or a party and want them to be perfect and pretty, you might try the tuna can ring (or pineapple can, or whatever little round, flat can you can find).
And that’s it. Super simple – one bowl, a little rising time, and a hot griddle. Then, of course, split with a fork (NEVER a knife), toast, and add butter!
English Muffins(via King Arthur Flour)
- 1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
- 3 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix for 5-7 mins. This is a fairly sticky, stretchy dough, so don’t think you need to add more flour. If you need to use a scraper or a spatula to pull it away from the sides of the bowl for the first rise, do so.
Scrape the dough into a rough ball, cover, and let rise about an hour or so. Then gently deflate the dough (don’t knead or punch, just press) and divide it into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball, gently flatten them, and let them rise another 20-30 mins
It’s best if you let the second rise take place on the griddle or pan that your’e going to cook them on. If you have to cook them in batches, put the rounds on a piece of parchment or wax paper so that you can easily lift and transfer them to the pan for cooking.
Use a heavy griddle or frying pan to for cooking and try to start all of them at once on the cold pan. You can pack these fairly close together since they don’t spread or rise much during the cooking process.
Cook them over low heat for anywhere from 7-15 mins per side (depending on whether you started with a cold surface or a hot one), until the crust is golden brown.
Nutrition Information per muffin:
Cals: 160 | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Carbs: 28g | Fiber: 1g | Sodium 200mg