English Muffins are my FAVORITE!

Hi everyone!  It’s holiday and vacation time here in Russia Jan. 1-10 so I am thankful to have some extra time to bake some longer projects.  I tackled bagels during Easter holidays a couple years ago and those turned out stupendously, so I decided this time to try making English muffins.  These were definitely not hard to do, just a little time consuming.  I made 3 batches in about 6 hours!  But there was a lot of inactive rising time in there! 🙂

I’m not sure why I haven’t done this up until now.  English muffins are truly one of my favorite things!  When I’m in the states I’ll eat half an english muffin with a scrambled egg almost every morning.  Or if we make turkey burgers or something at home, I always want to use an english muffin for my bun!  I’m kinda crazy like that sometimes, but I can’t help it if I’m just lovin the muffin! 🙂

I actually tried out 3 different recipes for my english muffin baking adventure, but I’m only going to share one (the best one!) of them with you here and just give you some variations for how you can make different kinds.  The three recipes I tried out were all very similar, but the recipe from Annie’s Eats was the best so I think from now on I’m just going to use that one and adjust some of the ingredients for different kinds. 🙂

I made so many English muffins I was able to package some up in some Ziplocks and share them with other friends in Moscow.  And we still have a whole bag to use ourselves in our own freezer!  I put them in the freezer so that we could just eat them a little at a time rather than having to worry about them going bad.  Real english muffins won’t last nearly as long as the one’s in the package from the grocery store (preservatives, preservatives!)  So if you make some too, after they cool completely, you can put them in a zip-top bag, store them in the freezer, then just defrost in the microwave for 20 seconds or so, slice and toast!

Here’s the recipe! You are going to love it!

English Muffins (+ some adaptations) from Annie’s Eats

(Makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:
4 1/2 C. flour
3 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
2 TBS. butter, at room temperature
1 & 1/2 – 2 C. low fat milk, at room temperature (it is important to use low fat…if you use a high fat milk content, it will definitely affect the texture of the muffins)
Cornmeal, for sprinkling

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.  Use a mixer to mix in the butter and 1 & 1/2 C. of milk.  Add just enough of the remaining milk to form a dough and incorporate the dry ingredients.  Flour your hands and knead the dough for about 8 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and roll to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let the dough rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.  (Alternately you can mix the ingredients with a stand mixer and then switch to the dough hook to knead the dough for 8 minutes.  Sadly I do not have this option!) 😉

3 batches rising of dough rising... (You can probably tell which one I started and ended with!) 🙂

After the dough has risen and doubled in size, gently pour the dough out onto a cutting board.  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls.  Lay parchment paper on a few baking sheets and spray or coat lightly with oil.  Sprinkle the parchment with cornmeal.  Move the dough balls to the baking sheet, spacing them evenly with room to rise.  Cover the pans loosely with plastic wrap or a dish towel and allow to rise another hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  After the dough balls have risen again, sprinkle the tops with cornmeal as well.

Risen balls of dough

Heat a skillet on medium heat on the stovetop.  Brush the skillet lightly with oil (or use cooking spray) and gently transfer the dough balls to the skillet a few at a time.  Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.  Carefully flip and cook the other side for 5 minutes more.  They should flatten slightly as they cook.

Browning the muffins on the skillet!

Remove the muffins from the skillet and transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes.  Do not wait until all the muffins have been browned in the skillet before moving them to the oven.  As the first batch is baking, move the second batch to the skillet.

Transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack and let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing or serving.  Store in an airtight container or in zip-top bags in the freezer.

Aren't they purrty?

 

Variations:

For wheat English muffins: Use 3 C. whole wheat flour and 1.5 C. AP flour.  Add in 1 TBS. of honey to the mixture as well.  You can use all wheat flour if you want, but it will turn out a much denser muffin.  You could even add in a Tablespoon or so of ground flax if you’re really feeling wild!

For Cinnamon Raisin English muffins:  Use 1/2 C. whole wheat flour and 4 C. AP flour to give  it a bit of a wheaty flavor.  Or use more or less based on your tastes.  Add 3/4 tsp. cinnamon and 3/4 C. raisins in with the dry ingredients.  Also add in 1.5 TBS. honey to the milk before adding it in to the dough.

The finished product!

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