A few years back I tried to make some english muffins. That didn’t go so great. They were too dense, and the dough was hard to shape. So I decided to leave english muffins up to the pros. That is until a few weeks ago when I checked out a book from the library: Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Every Day. The same author who wrote The Bread Baker’s Apprentice if you are familiar with that one. Peter is a master bread baker and it shows in his books. The Artisan Breads Every Day is along the same lines as Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day which I own and highly recommend. The dough is to be made ahead of time and sits in the fridge until you need that bread fix. This recipe falls under the same idea, make the dough then make the muffins when you want them. After they are baked open them with a fork to expose all the nooks and crannies then slather them with lots of butter and jam.
Needless to say my kids loved them. They have asked for them a lot since I made them. Keeping that in mind this recipe is easily doubled or tripled if you want to put some in the freezer for another day.
Easy English Muffins
- 2 t. Honey
- 1 T. Vegetable Oil
- 1 1/2 C. (12 oz/340g) Lukewarm whole or nonfat milk (about 95 degrees F or 35 degrees C)
- 2 2/3 C. (12 oz/340g) unbleached bread flour
- 3/4 t. Salt or 1 1/4 Coarse Kosher Salt
- 2 t. Instant Yeast
- 1/4 t. Baking Soda
- 3 T. Warm Water
- Cornmeal for dusting
- The Day before or 4 hours before making the muffins:
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, and yeast.
- In another smaller bowl mix honey, oil and milk until honey is dissolved.
- Pour milk mixture into flour mixture and whisk until most of the flour is dissolved and let it sit for 2 minutes. Then mix again until you don’t see anymore dry flour, 30 sec. It is going to be super sticky.
- Put it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight and up to 4 days. The batter will bubble and rise as it cools down.
- On the day you are going to make the muffins
- Take out dough and let it sit on the counter for at least 2 hours
- When you are nearly ready to bake, in a small cup or container mix the warm water and the baking soda until it is dissolved.
- Gently fold the water mixture into the dough kind of like you were folding egg whites into cake batter. Let it sit for another 10-12 minutes or until it starts to bubble again.
- In the meantime heat a flat griddle or cast iron skillet on medium heat, or to 300°F (149°C) if using an electric griddle.
- If you have crumpet rings or if you don’t you can use the ring part of the lid on a large mason jar, and spray them lightly with oil and dust the inside of the rings with cornmeal. Cover the pan with as many rings as it will hold then dust the the pan inside the rings with more cornmeal.
- To bake, mist a 1/4 cup measuring cup with oil, fill it with dough, and pour the down into the ring. It should be about 2/3 full. I found that for the mason jar lids a little more than a 1/4 cup worked perfectly. Fill all the rings then sprinkle with cornmeal over each muffin. The dough will spread out as it cooks so don’t fret.
- Cook for 12 minutes on both sides. After they are done remove them from the griddle or pan and let them sit in the rings for 2 minutes then pop them out.