Happy Tuesday! I have been waiting to share this recipe with you and couldn’t wait any longer. Do not take the title of this post lightly. These are seriously the BEST english muffins I have ever had. They are so good in fact that I highly recommend you make a batch as soon as you are done reading this post. I realize I already have an english muffin recipe on the site, and while I still love that recipe, this version is at a whole nother level. The previous recipe uses half whole wheat flour, so it is a tad on the healthier side. These however are made with bread flour, slightly indulgent and totally worth it.
Homemade bread might be one of my favorite things to bake, but it can also be the most difficult. I have had experiences where the dough doesn’t rise properly or the bread comes out dense and who wants to eat dense bread? This recipe from King Arthur Flour yields a perfectly soft and fluffy dough that rises without a glitch. As the english muffins bake on a stovetop skillet, they puff up and rise even further, creating an airy interior that definitely rivals that of most store bought brands.
I recently learned that you must split an english muffin apart with a fork in order to maintain those perfect nooks and crannies, the most important part of an english muffin. This method works like a charm, so you definitely don’t want to use a knife. Simply place the tongs of the fork into the side of the muffin and maneuver the fork in and out as you move around the outside of the muffin to slowly split the muffin in half.
I have been training for a half marathon and these english muffins were the perfect carb-loaded treat after a recent long run. They are best hot right off the skillet, but I also froze most of them and they are still good thawed and toasted. If you are looking for something special to make for brunch this Mother’s Day, these are sure to impress. They take a bit of time to rise, but if you plan ahead (and maybe wake up a tad early) it wouldn’t be difficult to have them ready just in time for brunch!
The Best English Muffins
Yield: About 16 muffins
1 3/4 cup lukewarm milk (I used skim)
3 Tbsp. softened unsalted butter
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
4 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
cornmeal for the griddle
Combine all of the ingredients, except for the cornmeal, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the dough at medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until the dough comes away from the side of the bowl. The dough will be very soft and stretchy.
Scrape the dough into a ball and leave it in the bowl, covered, for 1 1/2-2 hours, until it has risen and is puffy.
Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball and then flatten so that they are 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle your griddle or frying pan with cornmeal and line the muffins up on the cold surface of the pan. Cover the muffins with a dish towel and let them sit for 20 minutes. (Note: It is best to use a large pancake griddle so that you can cook all of the muffins at once. If you don’t have one, just allow your muffins to rest on a baking sheet covered in cornmeal and then cook them a few at a time in your frying pan. Just make sure to also line your pan with cornmeal.)
After the muffins have rested for 20 minutes, turn your burners to low and heat the muffins for 7-15 minutes per side, until golden brown and the interior is cooked through. If your muffins brown before they seem to be cooked through, just put them on a baking sheet and bake them in an oven set to 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. If you have an instant read thermometer, the inside of the english muffin should read 200 degrees F when it is ready. I don’t have one and just used my best guess to determine if they were done. Remove the muffins from the griddle or baking sheet and allow to cool slightly before splitting with a fork. REMEMBER NOT TO USE A KNIFE! Enjoy and store the extras in an airtight container or freeze.