English Muffins

So I wanted to put up a recipe for a while, (for you Paul!) but I had to figure out a recipe myself for copyright reasons..

I just tested this recipe last night. It’s not my best, but everything needs more testing! It tastes good, but not as holey and crumbly as I would have liked.


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English Muffins à la Dar

Yeast mix

1 cup milk (95°F-105°F)

2 tsp honey

2 tsp yeast

Dough

2 – 2 1/2 cups of flour (I used unbleached breadflour, but all-purpose is good too)

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

cornmeal

butter for pan

Stir honey into milk (which should be between 95°F -105°F) then stir in yeast to proof. Let hydrate.


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Mix dry ingredients together, flour, salt and baking soda. Use 2 cups of flour for now.


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Pour in yeast mixture into dry mix. Mix until flour is hydrated.  It should be sticky dough, but if too sticky use a little more flour. If it scares you, you can add more flour so it won’t be so sticky. Let the dough rest for at least 30min. This rest lets the water be absorbed by the flour.


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Dip your hand in water and knead the sticky dough. The water will help your hand not stick to the dough. Now, it’s going to be hard to knead, so what you really want to do is just pull it up, and fold it back over the dough. I discovered this technique from Tartine Bread. Love their book. It’s called giving the dough “turns” because it’s a little too wet to knead. I find wet dough to be more airy and fluffy. If you used more flour in the beginning, just knead it like normal dough, cover and let rise until double.


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Back to “turns”; give the dough a couple of pulls and fold back over’s, then cover and let rise, repeating the turns every 30min until double.

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Get a parchment lined cookie sheet ready with sprinkled cornmeal.

Have a decent space of counter/wooden board floured, and once doubled, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick. I used a canning lid to cut the circles out, you can use a cookie cutter or even a clean tuna can. Cut them out of the dough, try not to waste any of it because I don’t think it’s very reusable (you might be able to roll the excess out again in about an hour).


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Place the dough circles on the parchment paper, cover and let rest for 45min.


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Heat a skillet on medium, melt about 1/2 tbsp butter in the pan and then lower the temperature to low-med. It’s hard to tell how high the temperature should be, you might have to test it out with the first muffin.


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Carefully place the dough circle in the pan and it’ll start to puff up pretty fast. When the underside is golden brown, flip over carefully with a spatula and cook until golden brown again. If it smells like burning, it’s probably just the cornmeal. Cornmeal burns easily.


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Let cool on rack. Open up with a fork, and eat with butter and jam!


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You can use these for 2-3 days (toasted) or freeze them right away and thaw them out before eating!

All in all, these are OK. I’ll do some more testing to achieve the perfect english muffin taste. There’s actually 3 different techniques that I’ve found, the cutting out circles in dough; Making dough balls; and using a really wet dough, pouring it into metal circles directly on the pan. I’ve done the dough ball technique, and it just takes twice as long to bake, though it is slightly crumblier. The rolling out technique seems to be the easiest. In the future, I’ll try the really wet dough. So you might see more english muffins in the future!

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