Few things are as comforting as a toasted english muffin. They are crunchy on the outside, chewy under the crust, perfect with butter and soup. I have never met anyone who dislikes english muffins. They're like kittens or pink Starburst candy: everyone is a fan.
English muffins aren't baked in an oven, as I previously thought. They are cooked on a griddle, flipped once to give both sides their flat, golden crust. They are simple to make and well worth the wait.
I used this recipe:
* 1 cup milk
* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 6 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast mixture, butter and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. RUTHIE'S NOTE: do not use a hand-held mixer with two removable egg beaters. My first go of things I did, and the dough just wound itself up the beaters and became difficult. Second time, I used a spoon and my hands, and it worked fine. Better, if you have one: a countertop Kitchenaid Mixer with a dough hook. Then Add salt and rest of flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise.
3. Punch down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter or drinking glass. Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal (or plain bread crumbs) and set the rounds on this to rise. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal/crumbs also. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.
4. Heat greased griddle. Cook about 10 minutes on each side on medium heat. Let cool before storing.
recipe from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/english-muffins/detail.aspx
The only change I made was I substituted one cup of whole wheat flour with the regular flour. Also, this recipe calls for a cornmeal dusting, which I didn't have. Instead, bread crumbs worked just fine.
Once you cut them with a cookie cutter or upside down water glass, let them rise and then just throw them on a greased griddle. Flip after ten minutes, watching the muffins that are closest to the heat source. My muffins in the center of the griddle browned much faster than the ones towards the edge, and I sacrificed a couple in my first batch because I didn't rotate their positions.
Here they are mid-griddle session:
The finished product is different than a Thomas' English Muffin from the grocery store; it doesn't have quite the spongy nooks and crannies of commercial muffins.
However, homemade english muffins toast better and their heartier texture is better suited to savory and sweet toppings. We enjoyed them with eggs and La Victoria Hot Salsa for breakfast, as well as spread with butter and topped with cinnamon and sugar sprinkles for dessert.
The recipe can be time-consuming; it is about 40 minutes of hands-on time plus the rising time in the middle (which is perfect time to clean up, get in a quick walk, or just watch Jeopardy!). Don't be deterred, though; the recipe is straight-forward and these babies are worth the time.
I have suggested a few toppings, namely the eggs and salsa and the cinnamon and sugar dessert toast. Now I'll end this post with a poll- what is your best english muffin topping? Mini pizzas? Cream cheese AND cheddar? I want to hear everyone's variation!