I was never a big fan of english muffins when growing up. To me they were dry, scratchy, bland and, well, not bagels. (I love bagels. Proper bagels are like heaven.) As it turns out, I was just eating the wrong english muffins. Eating english muffins for breakfast is an entirely different experience when they are homemade. While they have a nice crunch from the toaster, they are also tender and flavorful, with none of that sharp scratchiness I used to associate with them.
Given my prior dislike of english muffins, you may wonder why I bothered to make them at all. Well, I needed to make something yeast-based to test out my new proofer from Brød & Taylor, and a recipe for english muffins just caught my eye as I was flipping through the Culinary Institute of America’s Breakfasts and Brunches book. I guess it was fate, because now I’m a little obsessed…and I totally take back every nasty thing I’ve ever said about english muffins. Well, as long as we’re talking about the homemade variety.
- 1½ tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 C Water, warmed to between 110 and 115 degrees F
- 2 C All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- Cornmeal as needed
- Vegetable Oil as needed
- Combine the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until the yeast starts to produce some bubbles.
- While the yeast and water sit, sift together the flour, salt and sugar.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and the butter to the mixer bowl and mix on low until the ingredients are just barely incorporated, scraping the sides as needed.
- Turn the mixer speed up to medium-high and let the dough mix for about 5 minutes.
- Turn the dough out into a well-oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- After the dough has risen, liberally coat a baking sheet with cornmeal.
- Then grasp the two edges of the dough and fold the dough in on itself like a trifold wallet. Give the dough a quarter turn so you now have the two other edges and fold the two sides in again. Repeat this several times and then turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
- Roll the dough into a cylinder and cut it into 10 equal pieces. Roll the portioned-out dough into smooth spheres and set them on the cornmeal. Press down gently on the spheres to flatten slightly. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and very lightly brush it with oil. Place several portions of dough on the griddle and cook for about 5 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Repeat until all of the english muffins have been cooked.
- To eat, use a fork to split the english muffins in half and toast before buttering your muffins and eating them with jam. They are also pretty excellent when made into egg and cheese sandwiches.