i’ll be honest, i’m not much of a morning person. i’m much more likely to be up until 3 or 4 in the morning and then sleep until lunchtime – except for weekdays, in which case I go to bed around 3 or 4 and drag myself out of bed for work at 8:30. it doesn’t sound too healthy, but it works for me. on days when i actually wake up early enough for breakfast, i’m still not very hungry for it. but one of the few things that can interest me in the morning is an english muffin.
there’s something about melted butter flooding over the crispy toasted peaks of warm nooks and crannies that is completely irresistible. even commercials for thomas’ english muffins have me salivating. luckily, this recipe was even easier to tackle than i thought, and i probably won’t ever buy them from the store again.
it’s so rewarding to see a recipe come out to look and taste like the real thing. there was a moment when i was cooking them on the skillet and i got giddy seeing the perfectly toasted cornmeal crusted english muffins really take shape. it’s a moment that makes you think “why isn’t everyone making their own bread?” please, please, please try these out this weekend.
is there anything better than smothering an english muffin (or three) with butter? maybe adding delicious grape jelly is your thing. or topping with a fried egg. or maybe you want an open face ham and cheese sandwich? i forgot how little self control i have around these little fluffy muffins. i’m going to have to make more before the week is out.
you won’t ever buy thomas’ again. recipe from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 Tbsp shortening or butter (at room temperature)
3/4 – 1 cup milk (at room temperature)
cornmeal for sprinkling
1. in a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. mix in the shortening and 3/4 cup of the milk. add the remaining milk if the dough is too dry.
2. transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. place in a lightly oiled bowl and roll to coat. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour. divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and shape into balls. lay parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray or lightly coat with oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. move the dough balls to the baking sheet evenly spaced apart (giving them room to rise more). cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow them to rise for another hour.
3. heat the oven to 350 F and heat up a skillet on medium heat on the stovetop. brush the skillet with oil and gently transfer the dough balls to the skillet a few at a time. allow them to cook on the skillet for 5-8 minutes, until the bottoms are nicely browned. carefully flip and cook the other side for about 5-8 minutes more. they should flatten as they cook.
4. when the muffins look as if they are about to burn, remove them from the skillet with a spatula and transfer quickly to a baking sheet. bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes. do not wait until all of the muffins have been cooked on the skillet before moving them to the oven – as the first batch is baking, move the second batch of muffins to the skillet.
5. transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing or serving. serve with lots of butter and jelly. store them as you would muffins you buy in the store – in a sealed ziploc bag in the fridge or freezer.