I’ve had an English muffin bread recipe sitting around for a while now that I’ve never been motivated to try, and I’ve realized that it’s because I really want to make English muffins. Most of the recipes I found showed English muffins that looked like they came from the market, fully of nooks and crannies. Since I’ve had success in the past with bagels and soft pretzels, I was really looking forward to this.
I debated for a while on whether or not to use the recipes that called for butter or shortening, or milk or buttermilk. I went with butter and buttermilk. The dough was very easy and quick to put together. You’re supposed to roll the dough out to ¾ inch thick and then let it sit to rise. This seemed kinda thick to me, so I rolled it out to about ¼ inch thick.
My eyes widened with excitement as they browned in the pan. They were starting to look like real English muffins. I was surprised at how high there were. I bet they would’ve been huge if I rolled them out to ¾ inch thick!
I moved the first batch from the pan to the baking sheet and put them in the oven. When they came out there were golden brown instead of pale, but not overcooked. I took one and pulled it apart, and it pulled apart like bread and looked dense like a hearty loaf of bread instead of being light with nooks and crannies. I decided to cook the 2nd batch on the stove for a couple of minutes longer and then only bake them for about 5 minutes. It didn’t seem to make a difference to how well they cooked on the inside (they were still done), but they weren’t as golden on the outside. I think the markets have me conditioned to wanted pale English muffins. I cut one open this time and put it in the toaster and slathered it with butter. It was good. It tasted like a real English muffin! And now I have leftovers for breakfast during the week.
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast one packet
- 1 ¾ cups buttermilk room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- corn meal for dusting
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and yeast. Add the room temperature buttermilk, butter and egg. Add kneading attachment and mix on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes until dough begins to pull from the sides and is smooth and shiny.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Dough will be quite soft and a bit damp. Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness and cut rounds using a 3 ¾ inch biscuit or circle cutter, re-rolling scraps as needed.
Dust a baking sheet generously with cornmeal. Move dough rounds to baking sheet then flip rounds over so that both sides are dusted with cornmeal. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a light towel. Allow dough to rise at warm room temperature until puffed up but not doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a nonstick pan over low heat. Cook each muffin round 4-6 minutes per side in the skillet, until crisp and browned. Transfer muffins back to baking sheet and finish cooking in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly.