I am going to preface this recipe by saying; yes, it is easier to buy a sleeve of english muffins from the grocery store. Homemade english muffins are a little different then the store's muffins and don't last as long. That said, they are fun to make, taste delicious hot off the griddle and would make a great addition to any morning routine.
I first made these on a Sunday night, when I realized I had nothing to eat for breakfast on Monday morning. The trouble with teaching and our early, early mornings, is breakfast must be fast and filling. I go from 7:30 - 11:00am without a break to snack (or take care of any other sort of business). An english muffin, peanut butter and an apple (and a mug of coffee) keeps me going until lunch.
This is a simple dough, which is easily whipped up in the stand mixer. It needs to sit for an hour or so to raise so plan a little bit ahead. I start the dough before dinner. By the time we have eaten and cleaned up the dough is ready to roll. Hot english muffins smeared with homemade caramel apple butter is a terrific dessert!
I cut these out with a large juice glass and cooked them on a cast iron griddle. You could use a large frying pan too, and or my favorite old standby the calphalon pan. Store any leftover muffins in the freezer, take one or two out the night before you want to eat it. Toast, top with something yummy, and enjoy!
(This looks like a lot of work, but I am just trying to articulate the steps clearly.)
Homemade English Muffins (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)
1 1/2 cup warm water
4 teaspoons sugar
3 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast or 1 packet yeast
4 cups of flour, divided
3 tablespoons butter, cut into very small pieces.
2-3 tablespoons cornmeal (optional)
butter, oil, or cooking spray to grease the griddle
1. In a stand mixer combine warm water, sugar, salt and yeast. Let sit 5 minutes or until yeast begins to bubble.
2. Using the dough hook attachment for the mixer, add 2 cups of flour. Combine slowly.
3. Let dough sit in a warm location for an hour to hour and a half. I put it on the back of the stove while I am cooking dinner or warming the oven. The dough should double in size.
4. Return the mixer bowl to the mixer. Mix in 3 tablespoons of butter and then the additional 2 cups of flour.
5. Beat in the bowl until smooth and the dough begins to climb the dough hook.
6. Sprinkle flour onto a clean countertop. Turn the dough onto the counter. Lightly knead a few times. The dough should be silky and smooth and feel wonderful!
7. Pat the dough until it is about 1 inch thick. Using a large juice glass cut out as many muffins as you can.
8. Sprinkle a baking sheet with corn meal. Put the cut out muffins on the corn meal and let rest 20-30 minutes.
9. Heat a large griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Grease with butter or cooking spray. Cook muffins about 15 minutes. 7-8 minutes on each side or until the top and bottom are browned.