English Muffins have always been one of my favorite go-to breakfast items, but homemade English Muffins have recently won me over. The secret to their dense, buttery texture is that they’re cooked on a skillet or a griddle rather than in an oven like most biscuits and breads. This means that both sides get a chewy, golden brown crust while the insides remain soft. And the thing I like best about making these at home is that I can watch them rise right in front of me as the heat reacts to the yeast. It’s a very rustic and satisfying process.
Lately I’ve been trying to make sure my family eats breakfast every morning. It is, after all, the most important meal of the day. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to make breakfast every morning, so I try to make things as easy on myself as possible. That’s why I gravitate toward meals that I can prepare in a big batch over the weekend that can be individually packaged and eaten throughout the week. These English Muffins keep well in the refrigerator or the freezer, so all you need to do is pop them in the toaster for a few minutes, and serve with a little butter and jam. Or, if you’re feeling really indulgent, you can make your own breakfast muffin with sausage, egg and cheese.
• 1 ¾ cups lukewarm milk
• 3 tablespoons softened butter
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
• 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
• Cornmeal, for dusting
Pour all of the ingredients minus the cornmeal into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Turn mixer on low, and allow mixture to knead until smooth and elastic (about ten minutes). Turn power off, remove hook, and gather dough into a ball. Place ball of dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Set aside to rise until doubled in size (1 or 2 hours).
Once the dough has risen, lightly grease your skillet or griddle, and preheat to medium-low. While your cooking surface is preheating, sprinkle some cornmeal onto a cookie sheet until evenly coated, and set aside.
Punch down the dough to deflate, and gather into a ball. Sprinkle your flat working surface with flour, and roll the dough out until it’s about an inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or an inverted wide-mouth jar, punch out biscuits and place on cookie sheet. Flip to coat both sides with the cornmeal, and repeat this process with the rest of the dough.
Place dough rounds on your skillet or griddle, leaving at least an inch of space between them. Flip every five minutes or so until both sides are a nice golden brown, and the center is no longer soft and doughy (this usually takes 15-20 minutes per batch). Remove from heat and place on a wire rack to cool for five minutes before serving.
A Few Tips:
• If your skillet/griddle is too hot, the sides will brown too quickly while the inside remains uncooked. If you encounter this problem, simply cook those biscuits in a 350◦F oven for 10 minutes with a sheet of foil draped over the top to prevent further browning. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
• Cut your English muffins with a fork instead of a knife to create nooks and crannies similar to those found in store bought English muffins.
• If you have leftovers, perforate the edges with a fork (so they will tear easily in half), and store them in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. Re-heat in the toaster until the edges start to brown.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.
More homemade gift ideas from Lindsay Jewell:
Granola Bars Handheld Apple Pies Baked Donuts Orange Creamsicle Jelly