I’m one of those people who needs to eat breakfast before heading out to work each morning. One of my favorite things to eat is an english muffin or portuguese roll (a denser, doughier cousin to the english muffin) with a little butter and jam or honey. I came across a recipe for homemade english muffins over at Annie’s Eats and I just had to make it.
I’ve seen recipes in the past that require a starter and that just seems a little too complex for me, so I always passed them by. This recipe is much more simple and just requires good old yeast with a little flour, sugar, milk and salt. Once everything is mixed together it all has to rise for a while. You then divide the dough into rolls and let it rise once more. Then the good stuff starts to happen.
You simply brown each side in a frying pan, then pop them in the oven to completely bake them. That’s it. Besides dirtying a handful of bowls and pans, they’re pretty darn easy to make. But looks aren’t everything, they have to taste delicious too. I was curious as to whether they were going to be filled with nooks and crannies because they were quite dense feeling, which led me to believe they may be a little different than the store-bought variety.
They were in fact a bit different than english muffins and actually had more in common with portuguese rolls, something I embraced. The dough was indeed dense, but super delicious, really allowing your teeth to sink into the body of the muffin. They have a nice mellow flavor and are a great vehicle for any jam. I can’t wait to start each morning off right this week!
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
3/4-1 cup milk, at room temperature
Cornmeal, for sprinkling
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix in the butter and 3/4 cup of milk. Add just enough of the remaining milk to form a dough and incorporate the dry ingredients.
Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed, about 7-8 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and roll to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and shape into balls. Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray or coat lightly with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal.
Move the dough balls to the baking sheet, spacing them evenly with room to rise. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise another hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a skillet on medium heat on the stovetop. Brush the skillet lightly with oil and gently transfer the dough balls to the skillet a few at a time. Allow them to cook for 5-8 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Carefully flip and cook the other side for 5-8 minutes more. They should flatten as they cook.
Remove the muffins from the skillet and transfer them to a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 5-8 minutes. Do not wait until all the muffins have been browned in the skillet before moving them to the oven. As the first batch is baking, move the second batch to the skillet.
Transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack and let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing or serving. Store in an airtight container.