Oh gosh, so much to say about these. I’ll try to be quick because I’m sure all you care about is the recipe. But can I just say, while I have the podium for a minute, what the @#$% is going on with food prices? I can’t even bear to do a full grocery shop anymore, I have to do it in little mini runs like I do with the gas, just so I don’t freak out about how much I’m spending. Limes are almost a dollar each, don’t even get me started on toilet paper, and English muffins? I glanced at the price the other day while I was picking up our weekly 2 packages. Big mistake. When I did the math, we might as well be going out for fancy coffees every day. HUGE motivation to make these myself. With a few cups of flour, a tablespoon of cinnamon, and some raisins, I’ll be saving a lot, and getting bigger, better muffins.
If you’ve made my original ENGLISH MUFFINS you’ll know the drill. It’s a fairly sticky dough that gets mixed up in a stand mixer, and then rises a bit, then gets shaped into rounds, rests briefly, and then cooks right on the stove top. The process is easy, like my FOCACCIA, and that’s probably why I like them both so much. Less challenge, more eating.
It’s fun to watch the transformation from nondescript blobs of dough into the familiar English muffin…it happens as you flip the muffins on the griddle and see the flat browned surface dusted with corn meal, and the characteristic soft spot around the middle for fork splitting.
One of the best things about making them myself is that I can make them bigger and puffier than the store bought ones, stuff in as many raisins as I want, and I can make them heartier and healthier by adding some oat flour.
- 1 3/4 cups lukewarm buttermilk, or milk (about 110 degrees)
- 3 Tbsp softened butter
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten (room temperature)
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 cup raisins
- semolina or farina, for sprinkling on the griddle or pan (you can also use cornmeal)
- Put everything except the semolina and the raisins into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (not the bread hook) Alternatively, if you have a bread machine you can set it to the dough cycle.
- Mix the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes, The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl and be smooth and quite elastic. I had to scrape the sides of my bowl a couple of times.
- While the mixer is going, add in the raisins and let them get incorporated. If the dough seems excessively wet, add in a little bit more flour.
- Scrape the dough down into a rough ball and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours until risen and puffy.
- After the rise, gently deflate the dough. This dough will be softer and wetter than traditional bread doughs. Turn it out onto a surface that has been dusted with the semolina, or corn meal, and form it into 12 pieces. (First cut the dough in half, then cut each half into three pieces, and cut each of those pieces in half)
- Form the pieces into rounds, and then flatten them into disks about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Make sure they are dusted on both sides with the semolina. Cover loosely with plastic and let rest for about 20 minutes. They will puff gently.
- Spray your griddle or large cast iron pan with a little cooking spray, and sprinkle with a little semolina or corn meal. Cook the muffins on a low to medium low low heat for about 15 minutes on each side, until they are golden browned and done. You can test for doneness with an instant read thermometer inserted into the side of one of the muffins…the inside should register 180 to 200 degrees F.
- Be sure to use a fork to split the muffins to bring out that famous English muffin texture.
If you have an electric griddle, set it to 300F. Otherwise, use low to moderate heat on the stove. A heavy bottomed pan, like cast iron, works well to modulate the heat. The muffins will need time to cook through, so you don’t want them to get too brown too quickly. These muffins freeze beautifully, just wrap them well.