This recipe for English muffins is flat out fantastic. The muffins come out light and chewy on the inside, ready to soak up butter, honey and fresh berry jam. It comes from the Culinary School of the Rockies. The ingredients are shown in weight, as the amount of flour you use depends on its moisture content. However, you can convert it to volume measures and it will still be delicious.
- 4 oz water, finger warm
- 1/3 oz active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 8 oz milk, room temperature
- 16 oz AP flour
- 1 1/2 oz butter, melted and cooled
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and the water. Let sit until foamy. Add the sugar, milk and butter, stirring. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough is smooth. Inside the bowl, knead the ball of dough once or twice until it is smooth and soft. It will still be sticky. Cover with plastic and let rise until double in size.
On a floured surface, turn out the dough and knead with flour until it is no longer sticky. Roll out the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Cut out circles with a ring cookie cutter, and place them on a baking sheet strewn with cornmeal to prevent the bottoms sticking. Cover well, and let rise until they are almost double again. Alternatively, you can put the sheet pan in the fridge and let the dough slowly rise overnight. When you take them out to bake, let them sit in the warm air for about 15 minutes before cooking.
Heat a cast iron frying pan to medium hot, and melt a liberal amount of clarified butter or bacon fat. Pour off (but do not discard) the excess so the bottom is layered with the grease. Lay in several muffins, with about an inch between them. Cook one side until the tops of the muffins start puffing up into smooth tight mounds. Then flip them and cook the other side until the interior temperature is 200 degrees. Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before serving, or freeze for future use.