I wonâ€™t hide it. Iâ€™m so proud of myself for making english muffins! They have been on my list of must-bakes for a while now and I finally mustered the guts to try last night. I had all the ingredients, not that itâ€™s a long list, and I was mentally prepared for a two day process with several risings. Now that Iâ€™m done, they really werenâ€™t that hard to make. Thatâ€™s a good thing, since I hope to be making them on a regular basis from now on!
There are english muffin people and there are toast people. I have always been an english muffin person. I love how spreads liquify and trickle into the little orifices on hot, split muffins. I love their crusty exterior and spongy core. I love splitting them with forks and covering them with peanut butter. My mom is an english muffin person too. She has a very precise method for perfectly toasting them in her toaster oven. She is going to have to try making her own, since I now know they really are infinitely better than the store bought kind.
Something gives these muffins an unusual tangy flavor. Maybe itâ€™s the overnight rise and the yogurt as the recipe suggests. Whatever it is, they donâ€™t just taste like bread shaped like an english muffin. They taste very homemade and wholesome!
From Laurelâ€™s Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Bronwen Godfrey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup yogurt (I used plain kefir)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
3 or more cups whole wheat flour (I used about 3 1/2 total with flour for kneading)
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Mix yogurt and boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, then 2 cups of flour.
Cover the bowl with a towel and it this sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in bulk, or leave it overnight (I left mine on the counter overnight). The dough is spongy and will get more sour the longer it sits.
After the dough has doubled in bulk (40-60 min. or overnight), mix in the remaining flour along with the salt and soda. Knead vigorously, adding more flour as needed until you have pliable but slightly sticky dough. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it, and let it rise for a second time (30 min. or more).
Punch the dough down and turn it onto a floured surface. Roll it out to half-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Cut it into circles with a four-inch cookie cutter of the end of a one-pound coffee can (my dough made 12 muffins).
Dust both side of the muffins with cornmeal and set on cookie sheets to rise until doubled in bulk (45 min. to an hour or more if the dough is cold).
*Cook on a griddle or skillet at medium-high heat for 10 minutes on each side.
Split with a fork, the traditional way, and spread on something yummy!
*I used a cast iron skillet and cooked 4 muffins at a time. I ended up using rather low heat after burning the first batch. It didnâ€™t take a full 10 minutes for each side so watch them carefully. The cornmeal and seasoned skillet made oil unnecessary. The muffins puff up as they cook so theyâ€™re kinda fun to watch.
After cooking all 12 muffins, I whipped up a couple of egg sandwiches for Lee for lunch. Thatâ€™s what happens when you spend all morning baking! Breakfast foods end up as lunch. Lee loved the homemade muffin sandwiches and gave them the â€œspecial treatâ€ designation reserved for his favorite foods. I nibbled the unburned halves of the burned batch all afternoon.