Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Muffin Madness

One of the things that makes me really happy is figuring out how to do something myself. Although I don't do it often, I can make my own yogurt, ricotta cheese, or play doh. I love that moment of discovery, when I figure out that I don't have to run to the store for something.

For years I've purchased English muffins at the grocery store, 6 of them snuggled up together in their plastic sleeve. I always assumed that it took some sort of special commercial machinery to produce them, with that divot around the middle that says, "cut here." A few weeks ago my daughter asked for help with English muffins. I started searching cookbooks and the internet for recipes and was amazed at the number of variations there were. Some said you had to have 8 individual rings to cook the muffins in. Some called for lots of baking powder. Some called for none.

On a couple of blogs I found tasty looking muffins that were made using the King Arthur flour recipe, so I tried that. Oh, my! The grocery store muffins are but a pale imitation of the beautiful, light, fluffy English muffins I got with this recipe. I've become so enamored with it that I've made 3 batches of them. They are heavenly fresh off the griddle and very possibly even better when cooled and toasted.



And that little "cut me" divot? It happens all on it's own when you flip the muffins on the griddle. I felt so proud when I saw them. I'd made real English muffins! (Pats self on the back and reaches for the butter.)

Note: I have a nonstick griddle and it was only after the second batch that I figured out the cornmeal was scratching up the griddle surface. If your pan or griddle is non-stick, I don't recommend sprinkling it with cornmeal.

Heavenly English Muffins
- adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) milk, warm
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 to 4 1/4 cups (17 to 18 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast

Place the ingredients in the pan of your bread machine following the manufacturer's instructions. Use the "dough" or "manual" setting. After the cycle is complete, transfer the dough to a cornmeal-sprinkled surface and roll it out until it's about 1/2-inch thick. The dough will be very soft and a bit sticky. Sprinkle the surface with a bit of flour, if needed, to roll out the dough. Cut out circles with a floured 3-inch cutter. Re-roll and cut out the leftover dough. Cover the muffins with a damp cloth and let rest for about 20 minutes.

Heat a frying pan or griddle to low heat. Do not grease, but sprinkle with cornmeal. Cook four muffins at a time, cornmeal side down first, for about 7 minutes a side.

Check after about 3 to 4 minutes to see that the muffins are browning gently and are neither too dark nor too light; if they seem to be cooking either too fast or too slowly, adjust the temperature of your pan or griddle.

When the muffins are brown on both sides, transfer them to a wire rack to cool, and proceed with the rest. If you have two frying pans (or a large griddle), you'll be better able to keep up with your rising muffins. Yield: 16 muffins.

34 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

OOOOOOH lovely. Can't beat homemade!!

Heather said...

homemade english muffins?! yum! i want some right now :)

bakers said...

Glad we were able to provide a little inspiration. Frank from KAF, baker/blogger.

CookiePie said...

You completely rock!! I've always wanted to try English muffins from scratch -- you're inspiring me to get to it!

Mama JJ said...

Is it really that simple? I'm pleasantly surprised! I thought I had to have the little tins for baking/cooking and was thinking of substituting with tunafish cans, but we haven't been eating much tuna... I might try a variation of this recipe using my sourdough starter. This post of your's has definitely simplified my life! Cheers!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Mama JJ - King Arthur has a sourdough English muffin recipe on their site that looks terrific.

Jillian said...

I am so impressed! They look yummy.

Marjoke said...

They look so nice, I'd like to make them at once. If they taste is as good as they look!

Peabody said...

I have only ever made them once, but I am thinking that I need to make them more often, these scream slather me with butter and jam.

Melinda said...

Well, they look proper enough and delicious too!

Sarah said...

They are so amazing. These are all inspired by my husband who deeply loves english muffins. So we give sam the props for pushing us on to make them. Avoid recipes with baking soda in them!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Wowee these look amazing! Definitely going to have to make these for my dad when I go home for Easter break(he's a die-hard E-muffin fan)! Thanks so much for sharing. =)

CaSaundraLeigh said...

Wowee these look amazing! Definitely going to have to make these for my dad when I go home for Easter break(he's a die-hard E-muffin fan)! Thanks so much for sharing. =)

Aimée said...

Guess what? You'll never be happy buying English Muffins again.
These would be amazing for Easter Brunch with a poached egg on top.

You should be proud,Lynn,they are lovely!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Lynn, I've been trying to skip making these because I know I'll get into trouble when I start making them.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Beautiful, by the way.

Arundathi said...

wow - that does look like the best homemade muffins i've seen! running off to the kitchen now to make these! thanks!

natalia said...

Ciao Lynn ! I would eat and love these when I was living in california 20 years ago bur never since .... Thank you !!!

Elyse said...

Wow! I'm totally impressed. I always thought making English muffins was kind of tricky, but you make me want to get into the kitchen to try this recipe out. I love that they're made on the griddle and that they get the "cut me" divot all by themselves. They look delicious!! Great post.

Maria said...

I have got to try these! I have never made them myself. Yours look perfect!! Thanks for a great recipe!

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Wow! They certainly LOOK heavenly! My boyfriend and I love english muffins, so I might have to give this a try! :D

eatme_delicious said...

How exciting!! I love English muffins toasted and spread with lots of butter. Thanks for sharing your successful recipe - I'll be saving it!

Natashya said...

I have always wanted to make these! Thanks for blazing the trail, they look perfect.

Katrina said...

Awesome.
I haven't been by for a few weeks, but what yummy cakes, Lynn and homemade English muffins! Yummy!

Sara said...

Homemade english muffins are so fantastic. I love making them, and I'll have to give your recipe a try.

RecipeGirl said...

You made these?? How cool. I love finding that I can create these sorts of things that you normally buy too. Great job. They look yummy!

Amanda from Faith, Food and Family said...

These look awesome! I'm going to have to try these! I bet they would be very yummy! Thanks!
God bless,
Amanda

Rose&Thorn said...

I love the big air bubbles which soak up all that lovely butter!

LyB said...

I've seen so many recipes for English muffins, it's tough to know which one to try. But not anymore! These look fantastic, Lynn.

Bellini Valli said...

My dad always made these when we were kids and they were always delicious spread with whatever we fancied.

Irene said...

so I cant used other brand's flour, right? sorry but I cant find that brand in my location

Cookie baker Lynn said...

If you can't find King Arthur, just use regular unbleached bread flour.

Irene said...

TQ! it really taste very GOOD! tks for sharing so many great recipes!

elizabeth said...

I have been wanting to make English Muffins too! They are so good after you heat them up a little in the microwave so right out of the oven?! That would be incredible. Really love your blog!