Saturday, September 7, 2013

English Muffins 2.0

I have tried making English muffins before, and it was in January of 2010 according to this trusty blog.  I just reread that entry and saw that I had planned to make them a few more times before I made my final decision about them.  I never made them again, til now.  And using a different recipe.  My sister in law did send me an English muffin recipe, but I lost it.  When I saw this one in the Southern Living cookbook, I decided to try it again.  This one is a bit different, because it does have cornmeal on the bottoms, like Thomas English muffins do.  Still no nooks or crannies, though...

English Muffins
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tbsp shortening
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
6-7 cups all-purpose flour (I hate ranges like that...I used 6 cups)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cornmeal

Combine yeast and warm water in a 1 cup liquid measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Combine milk, shortening, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan; heat until shortening melts, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let cool to 105-115 degrees.

Combine yeast mixture, milk mixture, and 3 cups flour in a large mixing bowl; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended.  Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.

Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes)(I never knead that long, maybe 1 or 2...).  Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

Punch dough down; turn out onto lightly floured surface, and knead 4 or 5 times.  Divide dough in half.  Place half of dough on a smooth surface that has been sprinkled with 1/4 cup cornmeal.  Pat dough into a circle 3/4" thick; cut dough into rounds with 3 1/2" biscuit cutter (cut carefully, as leftover dough should not be reused).  Repeat procedure with remaining dough.

Sprinkle 2 baking sheets (I only did one big one) with remaining cornmeal.  Place rounds, cornmeal side down, 2 inches apart on baking sheets (1 side should remain free of cornmeal).  Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Using a wide spatula, transfer rounds to preheated, lightly greased electric skillet (350 degrees)(I used just over medium heat in a regular skillet), cornmeal side down.  Cook 5-7 minutes on each side or until golden (that was too long for almost all of them...).  Cool on wire rack.  Yield: 8 muffins

Yep, all that work for 8 English muffins.  I actually got 9 out of this batch, but still.  They only cost like $1.49 at the bread store.  They tasted good, toasted with some of my homemade (but quite runny) freezer jam that I posted a few weeks ago.  But this was a lot of work for this amount of muffins.  Also, weirdly, while they were in the skillet, it smelled like I was making popcorn, because of the cornmeal. 

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