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English Muffins From Scratch

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 English muffins from scratch

Breakfast has been seriously lacking around here since we gave store bought bread products the ole heave ho.  This weekend I had decided that my usual breakfast of yogurt, fruit and granola wasn’t going to cut it.  I was about to set out on a 9 mile run and I wanted to return to a greasy bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin.  Although my run would literally take me right past Dunkin Donuts, that is no way to live an only from scratch lifestyle. 

Prior to starting our quest to reduce store bought items I had never given much thought to the process of how one would create English muffins.  Using my stand mixer, the dough was very easy to prepare and used ingredients that we typically have on hand.  The original recipe states that you can use either milk or buttermilk.  I had some nearly gross buttermilk in the fridge so I decided to use that up before it spoiled.  And since I threw this together on a whim, I did not have room temperature butter or milk.  So, I softened the butter and took the chill off of the milk using the trusty microwave. 

 I left the dough to rise and set out on my run, leaving the next step to my husband.  Since I’m a pretty slow runner, I expected these to be ready to pop into the oven by the time I got back from my run.  Cool temperatures slowed the whole process down and from start to finish these took four hours. 

Sadly, I did not have a breakfast sandwich that day.  However, the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich that I had with these muffins was well worth the wait.  These English muffins are no comparison to something found in the store.  Overall these muffins required very little effort but were time consuming.  Next time I will make at least a double batch because these disappeared FAST (way faster than any package of Thomas’ ever did)!

English Muffins From Scratch
Yields 6
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Ingredients
  1. 2¼ cups unbleached bread flour
  2. ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  3. ¾ teaspoon salt
  4. 1¼ teaspoons yeast
  5. 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  6. ¾ to 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  7. Cornmeal for dusting
Instructions
  1. In the mixing bowl for your electric mixer, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
  2. Add the shortening and ¾ cup milk and combine on low speed using the paddle attachment on your mixer until the ingredients form a ball. If there is still loose flour in the bowl, add a small amount of milk until the dough forms a ball. The dough should be soft and pliable, not stiff.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on medium speed for approximately 8 minutes. Add more flour if necessary until the dough is tacky, but not too stiff.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces of 3 ounces each. Shape the pieces into round rolls.
  6. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment, mist the parchment lightly with spray oil, and dust with cornmeal.
  7. Transfer the balls of dough to the sheet pan, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Mist them lightly with spray oil, sprinkle them loosely with cornmeal, and cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap.
  8. Allow to rise at room temperature for 60 minutes, or until the pieces double in size.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
  10. Next, heat a skillet or flat griddle to medium (350°F).
  11. Brush the pan or griddle with vegetable oil or mist with spray oil. Transfer rolls to the pan leaving at least 1 inch of space. Cook them for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bottom of the dough cannot cook any longer without burning. The bottoms should be a rich golden brown. Carefully flip the pieces over with the metal spatula and cook on the other side for 5 to 8 minutes in the same manner.
  12. Immediately transfer the pieces to a sheet pan and place the pan in the oven. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes on the middle shelf in the oven to complete the cooking process. Add any remaining rolls to the skillet and repeat the process.
  13. Transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing or serving.
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