When I posted about making English muffins on Facebook, a lot of English friends were intrigued, since it’s logical to assume that they wouldn’t call them English muffins in England. Apparently, our muffins (think blueberry or lemon poppyseed) have now taken over across the pond, so to distinguish, these are now known as “original muffins” in supermarkets in the UK.
Now you know!
Moving on. Why am I making English muffins?, you might ask. But I’d ask, “WHY NOT?!”
Baked goods are always better fresh, so it’s reasonable to expect that homemade English muffins would kick the arse (hehe) of a store bought one. They do.
And second, the “fancier” baked goods are really kind of expensive – and by fancy I mean anything other than that sliced squishy stuff they call “bread”, which bears no resemblance to the fresh baked variety, and thus isn’t really comparable. So we’re getting gourmet baked goods at a fraction of the cost of store bought? SIGN ME UP.
(In case you’re wondering, the GOOD store bought English muffin go for about $3 for SIX. Holy mother of rip-offs! It might have cost me $3 in ingredients to make THIRTY EIGHT homemade muffins. Booyah!)
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 package OR 2 1/4 tsp of active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
- 6 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
Notes: What kind of milk? Any kind you’d like. I’d normally use Vit D from a cow, but I only had soy on hand, so in it went!
If you want to use an alternate fat source, knock yourself out. The original recipe I adapted this from called for shortening, but I don’t go for that stuff because it’s full of freaky trans fats. No sir, I don’t like it!
And then the flour: feel free to mix in some whole wheat. I substituted 2 cups of white whole wheat flour in mine.
Variations: Throw in 1 cup of raisins and 3 tsp of cinnamon for cinnamon raisin muffins! If you’ve got some sourdough starter, you can use that to make sourdough muffins!
- Throw all the ingredients in your bread machine (per the instructions for your particular machine). Mix on the manual cycle and then skip to step 7. If you don’t have a bread machine, go to step 2.
- Go buy a bread machine. Okay, I’m only kidding, sort of.*
- Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. The water should be WARM, not hot, approximately 110 degrees. If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeasty beasties. Let stand for 10 minutes until it’s kind of frothy looking.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture, milk, butter (or oil of your choice) and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth with a mixer.
- Add the salt and gradually add the rest of flour until you have a soft dough.
- Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.
- Punch down. Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass. You’ll probably find it easiest to do this step in batches, versus rolling the whole wad of dough out at once.
- Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and set the rounds on it to rise. Cover and let rise about 30 minutes.
- Heat a griddle or skillet on medium heat. Cook muffins about 5 minutes on each side on medium heat (or until golden brown).
- Let muffins to cool and place in plastic bags for storage. I put about a week’s worth in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. To defrost, put them in the microwave for 10-30 seconds before splitting and toasting.
- To serve- split and toast. Top with butter, jam, peanut butter and jelly, cream cheese, eggs, etc. I love to use them to make mini pizzas!
Servings: The number of muffins you get out of this recipe will depend on how large you make them. I got 38 smaller muffins (3″ wide). If you made them closer to store bought size (3.5″ wide), you’d probably get about 28. If you made jumbo size muffins (4″ wide), probably 18.
*If you don’t have a bread machine, I highly recommend buying one. I’d rate it in my top 3 for my favorite and most useful specialty kitchen appliances, along with my food processor and my stick blender.
Find one at a garage sale or a thrift shop or even buy one new- you can find them for less than $100, like this one. If you like kneading bread, hey- that’s great. I don’t mind it that much, but not having to knead it means I can be doing other things- like making other tasty food. I noticed I’m much more likely to make my own bread stuffs if I have the bread machine in handy reach.
As you can see from this recipe, it’s not just for bread- pizza dough, hot dog and hamburger buns (no one that has one of your homemade hamburger or hot dog buns will ever want a store bought one every again, so beware).
It’s as easy and putting the ingredients in and pressing a button for most loaves. Though the machine will actually bake the bread for you, I prefer to do the baking myself, so I almost always use the manual cycle.