English Muffins

Homemade English Muffin

I’m going to start off with a confession here. Technically, I didn’t make these; Angela did. But I assisted so I think I can claim the right to post it on here (she declined the invitation to write it up).

To me, English muffins are best represented by the Thomas’s commercial and the recitation about “nooks and crannies.” They’re not about the flavor, merely the texture. And, really, the only time people eat them is in Egg McMuffins or (much more rarely) in Eggs Benedict.

So why make them at home as opposed to buying them at the store? At the time, it actually seemed significantly easier to make them at home because it didn’t require a trip to the store. My laziness can be quite odd at times.

And, you know what, these are pretty easy to make as long as you have the time to do so. The electric mixer does all the work and all you have to do is measure.

So, the real question, are these better than store bought? By far. Where the store bought English muffins are all about the texture, these are all about the flavor. Letting the yeast raise over an appropriate time via the starter allows real flavor to develop. They made me actually like English muffins.

I did turn the first batch into Eggs Benedict (actually my first time poaching an egg or making hollandaise sauce) but we ate it too quickly to take any photographs. The next day, I did find out the true purpose of these English Muffins: spread some strawberry jelly onto them and they become almost heavenly. The flavor of the muffin perfectly compliments the jelly. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

These are probably the most misshapen English muffins you’ve ever seen. Apparently, there’s a device called an English muffin ring that can be used to make them round. Like many similar specialized equipment, I don’t have any so I ended up with oblong English muffins. The truth is, they taste just as good without being round and I have proof they didn’t come off an assembly line.

English Muffins
Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook

Starter:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp yeast

Dough:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup milk, warm

1 to 2 tbsp corn meal, for sprinkling on top of the muffins

  1. Mix together the starter ingredients in a bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
  2. In an electric mixer, combine the starter and the dough ingredients. Beat well for 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Drop the batter by 1/4 cup full onto a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with corn meal. Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  6. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, until lightly browned.
  7. Allow to cool and then cut in half. Toast if desired.

Makes 10 to 12 muffins.

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7 Responses to “English Muffins”


  1. 1 The District Domestic May 27, 2008 at 6:08 am

    I made these with a different recipe last week and they were excellent. Here is a link to my post on them.

    http://sarahmeyerwalsh.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/how-to-homemade-english-muffins/

    You could use a cookie cutter to make them whatever shape you want. I found it worked really well!

  2. 2 illusivefreddy May 27, 2008 at 6:12 am

    Drooooool… I love English Muffins but can’t get them on Malta. You’ve just given me my Sunday afternoon project.

    Freddy

  3. 3 dawn May 27, 2008 at 6:24 am

    Amazing. I would so put peanut butter about a half inch thick on that bad boy. YUM!

  4. 4 Matt May 27, 2008 at 7:23 am

    The District Domestic: If you look at the comment on your post by Matt, that was me back when you first posted that link. I would’ve used a cookie cutter but I was afraid of compressing the dough too much. They’re just as good irregularly shaped.

    illusivefreddy: I hope you enjoy them but realize it takes a little more than a day to make them (you need to allow the starter to proof overnight).

    dawn: I tried them as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and they worked pretty well. I prefer it simply with strawberry jelly, however.

  5. 5 AmyH May 27, 2008 at 8:18 am

    A biscuit cutter or a tuna can with both ends removed works great! I like your recipe – it’s simpler than the ones I have seen before. Think I’ll try it out this weekend. Thanks! 🙂

    P.S. – As far as shape, who cares? As long as they taste good. I like drop biscuits myself.

  6. 6 keepingnote May 27, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    I can not wait to try this! I love English muffins with strawberry jam. hopefully I can pull this off. :]

  7. 7 Matt May 27, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    AmyH: I have a biscuit cutter but the shape of the dough didn’t lend itself to cutting that well. To make them round, I really needed (multiple) rings to let them rise into. But, as you said, who cares about the shape.

    keepingnote: These are one of the simplest yeast doughs I’ve ever made. The mixer did literally all of the work. The hardest thing I had to do was place the dough onto the baking sheet (it gets to be a bit sticky).


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