Homemade English Muffins

After a six month hiatus, Saturday Morning Breakfast is back! I wasn’t necessarily planning on bring the series back today but last night I saw a picture on Bonnie’s Instagram of her homemade English Muffins and my mind was blown. For some reason, I considered English Muffins one of those things that you had to have some specials skills to make. How do they get them flat but puffy? Where do all the nooks and crannies come from? I was sure that it would be one of those things that didn’t turn out nearly as good at home.

Despite not even being sure that I had all the ingredients, I decided to give them a go when I got up this morning. On the off-chance that they turned out well, I started documenting. In the middle of documenting, I switched to using my camera in manual mode for the first time because why try doing one new thing at a time when you can do two, right?

So without further ado, on to the muffins!

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Homemade English Muffins
recipe taken from here

1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk

3 tablespoons softened butter

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste

2 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 1/2 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons yeast

semolina or farina, for sprinkling the griddle or pan

Yield: 16 large (3″ to 3 1/2″) English muffins.

I halved the recipe to make 8 and used white flour instead of the bread flour that they call for.

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Playing around with the camera resulted in the ghost beater.

1) Combine all of the ingredients (except the semolina or farina) in a mixing bowl, or the bucket of your bread machine.

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2) This is a very soft dough, so you’ll need to treat it a bit differently than most yeast doughs. If you have a stand mixer, beat the dough using the flat beater paddle until it starts coming away from the sides of the bowl, and is satin-smooth and shiny; this will take about 5 minutes at medium-high speed. When you lift up the beater, the dough will be very stretchy. If you have a bread machine, simply use the dough cycle.

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My dough rose sufficiently in an hour. 

3) Scrape the dough into a rough ball, and cover the bowl. Let the dough rise until it’s nice and puffy; this will take 1 to 2 hours or so.

4) Prepare your griddle(s). Using two griddles allows you to cook all the muffins at once; but since you probably don’t have two griddles, you’ll need to cook the muffins in shifts. Whatever you use — an electric griddle, stovetop griddle, frying pan, electric frying pan — sprinkle it heavily with semolina or farina. If you’re using a griddle or frying pan that’s not well-seasoned (or non-stick), spray it with non-stick vegetable oil spray first, before adding the semolina or farina.

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5) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, then flatten the balls until they’re about 3″ to 3 1/2″ in diameter.

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When I began the recipe I didn’t think we had Semolina flour so I was just planning to use the Almond flour in the ingredients picture but then when it was time to put it on the griddle I looked in the fridge to see if we had any open bags on Almond flour and there it was, Semolina flour left over from when Andy made homemade Lasagna noodles. Like manna from heaven
I think Andy would say.
 

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I probably used too much Semolina flour on the griddle surface, but I was afraid of messing that part up for some reason.

6) The easiest way to handle and cook these muffins is to lay them right onto the cold surface you’ll be frying them on. That way, you don’t have to move them once they’re risen; and they won’t mind cooking very slowly as you fire the griddle up to its desired heat. If you don’t have enough griddle space to do this, sprinkle a baking sheet heavily with semolina or farina, and place the muffins on the sheet; they can be fairly close together. Either way, sprinkle the tops of the muffins with additional semolina or farina.

7) Cover the muffins (a piece of parchment works well), and let them rest for 20 minutes. They won’t rise like crazy, but will puff a bit.

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Cooking on side one.

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After flipping them the first time. Already looking legit! I cooked mine on our Griddler at 300* for 30 minutes or so.

8) Cook the muffins over low heat for 7 to 15 minutes per side, until their crust is golden brown, and their interior is cooked through. When done, the center of a muffin should register about 200°F on an instant-read thermometer. If you find the muffins have browned before they’re cooked all the way through, no worries; simply pop them into a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes or so, or until they’re thoroughly cooked.

9) Remove the muffins from the griddle (or oven), and let them cool thoroughly before enjoying. Remember: use a fork to split, not a knife to cut. Fork-split muffins will have wonderful nooks and crannies; knife-cut ones won’t.

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The finished product! Less nooks and crannies than store bought, but still really tasty. I considered them a huge success. I think they look like you just pulled them out of the Thomas’ bag.

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Andy enjoyed his as a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and with just butter. I don’t like eggs, so I had a bacon and cheese sandwich.

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Look out Thomas’, I’m going to be cutting into your market share soon. 😛

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