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Turkey (or Chicken) Enchilada Soup

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Spiced Molasses Pumpkin Bread

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       Apple Ginger Pudding Cake

      Bean and Barley Veggie Soup

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         Creamy Artichoke Soup

   
             Brown Sugar Pie

       Pumpkin Apple Stresel Muffins

Apple Molasses Gingerbread Cake

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Saturday
Nov272010

English Muffins

So why on earth would you want to go to the trouble to make English muffins, when you can buy perfectly good ones without the hassle?  I’m not really sure I can answer that question for you until you’ve tasted one that’s homemade, just off the griddle.  The answer is in the crunchy, chewy texture and the almost-sourdough flavor that you just can’t find in one off the shelf.

I was pretty sure that a homemade English muffin was going to outshine a store-bought one, but that wasn’t actually the case in the early goings here.  I was initially inspired to make these by a recipe in my copy of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice, but after trying that twice and being disappointed in the outcome exactly twice, I began to look elsewhere.

I finally landed on this recipe that was published in the Washington Post a while back, and, boy howdy, it’s a winner!  I’ve made them 3 times, and each time I get consistent, delicious results.  And they’re really not hard to make at all.  The dough is really moist, which can be challenging to work with, but certainly not hard.  The second time I made these, I resisted the temptation to flour the counter and my hands while kneading and was rewarded with an awesome chewiness and the cute little holes that you want in an English muffin.  Less flour, wet dough = perfect English muffin.

I must say that we have been surprised by how these little muffins have enriched our lives and enlivened our mornings here in the Circle B Kitchen.  There’s no going back to store-bought around here.  Just thought I’d share.  Here’s the recipe…

Homemade English Muffins

For a printable recipe, click here

Adapted from a recipe in The Washington Post

Ingredients
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees)
1/2 cup warm milk (same temperature range as the water)
2 1/3 cups bread flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Method

In a small bowl, place yeast, sugar and half the water. With a fork, whisk until yeast is dissolved and cover with a towel for at least five minutes. Mixture should start to foam. Add remaining water and milk and cover for another five minutes.

In a large bowl, combine flours and salt. Add in yeast mixture. With a rubber spatula or your hands (or with a dough hook in the bowl of a standing mixer), gently mix ingredients, until just combined. Pour onto lightly floured work surface and knead (press, fold and turn) for up to 8 minutes. Dough will be very soft, which is a good thing.

Place dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic and a tea towel. Allow to double in size, at least 90 minutes, or alternatively, overnight.

Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.   Roll each piece into a ball and roll in cornmeal. Place on a baking sheet and top with a second baking sheet for a second rise, about 20 minutes (I let mine go 30).

When ready to cook, heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease with a little oil spray.

Allow to cook on first side for about 10 minutes (I set a baking sheet on top of the muffins to keep them from puffing up instead of out). The bottom should be dark golden brown. With tongs, turn onto second side and cook for about the same amount of time. Place cooked muffins in a tea towel to keep warm.

Open with a fork or serrated knife, and eat as is or toasted.

Freeze in an airtight zip-style bag for later use.

Reader Comments (21)

Sometimes it's just more fun to make things from scratch than to buy them already made in the store, even if it is a little work. I had no idea English Muffins were cooked on a griddle and not in the oven.

November 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn@eatcakefordinner

I agree, Jenn! The first recipe I was using had you bake them in the oven after you browned them on the griddle, but I think these ones came out way better. No need to bake!

November 28, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I just made my first batch of english muffins using your recipe, and they came out wonderfully! I used a form for some of them, to help them rise up and not out (I think my dough was a wee bit too wet, next time I'll adjust the flour) as they cook on the griddle pan. I like my muffins to have some definite height to them, so I didn't cover them. The ones that I didn't use a form with were still a good 1/2inch high, but the rest were about 3/4.

They taste amazing, and I had oodles of nooks and crannies, which made me so happy! And I can't believe how moist they are - they toasted up perfectly.

These will definitely be a new staple in my house, and I can't wait to make up several more batches to hand out for the holidays! I might try adding some dried fruit in one batch - some finely chopped cranberries would be fantastic, I'll bet.

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertaradiane

So glad you made these, Taradiane! We love em too! I like that you used a form to shape them... maybe I'll let mine go a little higher next time. Thanks so much for letting us know!

November 29, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

What a beautiful job you've done. THis is going right into my bookmarks. I need fresh english muffins too now!
*kisses* HH

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeavenly HOusewife

The only thing I dont have immediate access to is bread flour. otherwise I m totally game for homemade english muffins!

November 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKulsum at Journey Kitchen

Go ahead and try them with regular all-purpose flour, Kulsum. How bad could they be? Let me know!

November 29, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

What a treat!! It's too bad I don't have a cast iron pan. Do you think they would turn out at all in a regular pan? I might try it anyways.. I love English Muffins!

November 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichaela

Michaela, any skillet or griddle would work. You don't need a cast iron one. I hope you give it a try!

November 30, 2010 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

This is so simple and easy to make... I love muffins, especially english muffins but I didn't know how to make it until I came across this site..thanks for sharing...^^ Im gonna make this as my breakfast.

December 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEunice

I tried the muffins (my first attempt at English muffins) and we absolutely loved them! My problem was, the dough was initially so wet that when I poured it onto the board to knead, it was like kneading soup - not gonna happen. I had to add at least 3/4 c. of flour to get it to even hold together. Have you ever had that happen? With the extra flour, they still turned out delicious and my family is begging me to make them again.

May 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

Well, no, I haven't had that happen. But it sounds like you managed it very well. That's the thing with bread doughs, they can vary so much due to flour types and weather conditions. So glad you tried them, Rebekah. And thanks for letting us know!

May 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I can't have dairy right now. Could i substitute rice milk or almond milk for the milk do you think? I would love to make these as a lot of foods have been cut out of my diet right now and i'm looking for things i can make at home so I know what the ingredients are. Thanks so much!

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersacha

I don't see why you couldn't substitute either rice or almond milk for the dairy, Sacha. It should work fine. Let us know how it comes out if try it. I'm sure there are others who would be interested in that too.

March 1, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I have to try this recipe as the one I use doesn't give us all the holes in the muffins that my husband prefers, probably because it is a much drier dough

October 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen

I love English Muffins, unfortunately I am gluten free so I will try & convert these with my gluten free flour mix! I have tried other gluten free recipes without any success - theywere as hard & dense as rocks lol! Wish me luck!

December 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCathy V.

Good luck! Let us know how they turn out, Cathy!

December 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

I am an American living in Ireland and the muffins here are not nearly as good as the remembered Thomas'. I have been searching for a good muffin. Now, I cannot thank you enough for all of your research and trial and error to come up with such a close resemblance to Thomas'.

August 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEleanor M

You're so welcome, Eleanor!

August 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

Awesome to hear how to make them! I always liked the whole wheat ones, can I substitute THAT flour for just the regular flour??

April 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAine

You certainly can substitute whole wheat flour for the white flour, Aine. I would just be careful not to let the dough get too stiff. Whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid, so I would either add a little less flour, a little more liquid, or only subsitute whole wheat for half of the flour. Let us know how they come out!

April 7, 2014 | Registered CommenterPatrice Berry

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