Yesterday I posted my very ambitious Baking Bucket List and today, I wasted no time in getting busy crossing things off!
I was thumbing through a little book titled Scones, Muffins & Tea Cakes where I happened upon a recipe for Classic English Muffins (pg. 41). I had never even thought about people actually MAKING English Muffins! Sure I buy them from the grocery store, toast them, and slather them in cream cheese or jam, but I never even considered that these little gems could possibly be made at home! Of course they could! Why the heck not?
I did need to purchase English Muffin Rings in order to complete this recipe, but at only $4.99 for 4 rings, it was worth the experience of actually making English Muffins from scratch! I was able to find them at a kitchen specialty store in town, but you can find them easily on Amazon.com for a comparable price if your stores do not carry them. And they are versatile… you can use them for…. English Muffins… Crumpets (basically the same as English Muffins)… an Egg Ring… Biscuit Cutters… the list goes on and on (but not really).
Now, the recipe calls for “1 package (scant 1 tablespoon) active dry yeast, dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water” and I wasn’t quite sure what ‘scant 1 tablespoon’ meant so I looked it up online. It simply means “just barely”, so use almost a full tablespoon, but not a jam-packed full tablespoon.
Also, whenever a yeast recipe calls for a liquid to be ‘warm’ I use my candy thermometer to make sure the temperature is between 105 and 115 degrees F.
I have also learned that during the rise phase, the dough should be in a warm spot. I learned a trick from a previous recipe where you preheat your oven to 200 degrees F, maintain that temperature for 10 minutes, then turn off. When your dough is ready, cover and pop in the warm oven for the duration of the rise!
This is the stickiest dough I have ever worked with! So elastic!
As for the final product…
OH. MY. GAWD.
These things are scrumptious. I amazed myself with this one. Golden brown and firm on the outside, soft and incredibly delicious inside.
I WILL DEFINITELY MAKE THESE AGAIN, AND I WISH I HAD MORE.
Classic English Muffins
Prep: 20 minutes Inactive: 1 1/2 hours Bake: 20 minutes Yield: 8 muffins
- 1 package (scant 1 tablespoon) active dry yeast, dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water (110-115 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, sugar, water, milk, and salt and stir until well blended. Add in 2 cups of flour and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the batter is well mixed, stretchy, and sticky. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
- Add the dissolved baking soda, butter, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour to the batter and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 8 buttered 3 1/2 inch nonstick muffin rings on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spoon the batter into the rings, filling them half full. Let stand until the dough has doubled and fill the muffin rings, approximately 30 minutes.
- Place the baking sheet with the muffins in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then, with a spatula, lift the filled rings and flip them over. Continue to bake for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Using a spatula, transfer the muffins, still in their rings, to a cooling rack. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- Remove the rings and slice each muffin in half with a bread knife. If desired, toast them before spreading with your favorite topping.