Friday, January 29, 2010

English Muffins

I recently found this recipe on Family Fun and they turned out so yummy. I can't wait to make them again. You cook/bake them on the stove top and it took me the first couple of batches to find the right temperature for my stove. That is why the ones in the back of the picture are a darker, they were my first attempt. As you will see in the second picture, my boys and I made a couple of heart shaped ones for my husband. They have been great plain, with butter and jam and they even made great breakfast sandwiches.

1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup warm water
1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
5 1/2 to 6 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Combine the milk, butter and honey in a medium-sized saucepan. Warm the mixture over medium-low heat until the butter starts to melt, then whisk briefly. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. While the milk cools, pour the water into a medium-sized mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir gently with a fork. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, until all of the yeast has dissolved.

Line two baking sheets with waxed paper and sprinkle on a generous amount of cornmeal. (This is where you'll set the muffins to rise.)

Pour the cooled milk into the dissolved yeast and gently stir the mixture until well blended. Add 3 cups of flour and the salt to the liquid and beat the mixture vigoursly with a wooden spoon until smooth. Beat in enough of the remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, so that the dough is firm enough to knead and no longer sticky. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface, dust the top and your hands with flour and kneed the dough for 3 - 4 minutes. Let dough rest for a few minutes.

Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about a half inch thick. Cut dough into circles with a 3 1/2 inch biscuit cutter. (My biggest circle cookie cutter is only about 2 1/2 inches wide so I used a cup to cut out my circles.) Place the circles onto your prepared baking sheets. Continue to gather, roll and cut out your dough until the dough is gone. Sprinkle cornmeal over the tops of the muffins, cover with a dry towel and let rise until almost doubled in height (about 35 - 45 minutes).

When the muffins have risen, heat a large, heavy, ungreased skillet over medium heat, If you have two skillets, heat them both up. Or you can use an electric griddle heated to 300 degrees. Carefully place the muffins onto the heated skillets spacing them about 1 inch apart. Cook the muffins for about 10 minutes on each side, using a spatula to flip them. Adjust your heat if your muffins are browning too quickly or slowly. Transfer cooked muffins to a wire rack to cool. When I was cooking my muffins, I noticed that my first batch was starting to look more like rolls than english muffins, so for the next batches, I used my spatula to flatten them down just a little after they cooked for about 5 minutes on the first side or after I turned them over.

This will make about 18-24 muffins.

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