Did you know there is absolutely no comparison between store-bought English muffins and homemade? They are completely two different entities in the foodie world. Of course one only costs you a couple of bucks and zero time and effort. The other one is a bit of an odyssey but hey, I am always up for a little foodie adventure.
I picked up the book Beautiful Breads and Fabulous Fillings by Margaux Sky from the library because I love sandwiches. I agree with Joey from Friends, in my world they are a food group. I wanted to see if her sandwiches really were the best. There are a lot of complex and fascinating loaves of bread in this book but I wanted to start off simply by making the English muffins.
Every time I get out my container of yeast I get excited and when I saw that we were working with a whole tablespoon, I realized that this was going to be a bit of a monster of a recipe. I thought I could make it all by hand but quickly changed to my mixer, there is no way I can incorporate eight cups of flour by hand!
So, in a large bowl add 1 tbsp of yeast.
Melt 1/2 cup of butter which is one stick. Warm up 1/2 cup of water and 2 cups of milk. Not too hot though! Just remove the chill and get it to body temperature. In the large bowl with the yeast, add the warm water and milk and let sit for around 5 minutes. Yeast should dissolve and get foamy. Add the butter, 2 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup of icing sugar and mix well. In a very large bowl, whisk together 8 cups of flour and 1 1/2 tsp of salt.
This is where I changed things up a little since I was using my mixer. I decided to add the flour and salt slowly to the yeast mixture, not the other way around. I did this on my mixer slowly but did not add all the flour. I did not want the flour to get too dry and tough:
It was still very moist and lovely at this point and I was ready to knead.
Yes! I kneaded the dough for four minutes, so proud of myself.
Using a 3″ round cutter (mine might have been a 4″ cutter, hmm…) I cut the dough into rounds, put them on baking sheets, covered them and let them rise for an hour. I greased up a griddle and warmed it up on medium low heat. Last year I made a whole wheat version and had the heat too high and burned them. I was determined to not let that happen again! You have to cook these 7 minutes per side so you better not have the griddle too hot.
The only problem is along the side I could see the dough was still raw. They were perfectly golden on the top but raw in the middle. I put them in a 325F oven for ten minutes which finished them off perfectly.
I could not wait to cut them up, slather then with apricot jam and a little butter. So delicious! Using icing sugar was genius, the subtle sweetness in the bread is breathtaking. Light as a cloud, these are the perfect English muffin.
The recipe says it make 8 muffins but I had at least 12 when I was done. I actually let the dough rise and then put one of the baking sheets in the freezer. I took them out when they were frozen and put them in a Zip-loc bag separated by parchment paper. Now whenever I want fresh English muffins I will thaw and grill them when I want them.
If you try making this in the breadmaker I suggest making half a batch. If you let it make this dough I can promise you with eight cups of flour it will try and break out of the machine!
Yes, it is a lot more work to make them yourself but I am telling you if you are going to eat carbs, eat delicious the most delicious carbs you can make yourself.
Sarah @ Mum In Bloom says
Great job Suzie. Isn’t it exciting when you learn to knead with your hands. It seems like a lost art or something but it’s really so easy & you just have to go for it. I like how you froze them to use later 🙂
Sandy aka Doris the Great says
Okay! You’ve convinced me that I have to make homemade English mufins. And although I do have a dough attachment for my Kitchenaid (& have never used it yet), I must tell you that you CAN knead in 8 cups of flour by hand. It’s a darn good work-out!!
Debra She Who Seeks says
Love English muffins with butter and honey!
They look so golden and perfect. Never would have thought to bake your own at home, the recipe looks amazing.
Suzanne Rhodes McKelvie says
This looks so yummy. My Mom loves English muffins. I’ll have to try this and then surprise her at breakfast. Thank you. I would have never thought to try making these.
yay! so glad they turned out so fantastic. great idea, freezing the dough. now I will have to try them! thanks suzie!
Another neat bread cookbook is ‘the Tassahara Bread Book’ – from the community in California!
Lots of different kinds of bread, quick breads, yeasted; – a fav. is the sourdough raisin rolls. I have yet to try doing sourdough GF – but keep thinking it will be fun!
They look fabulous. Somehow I never thought about English muffins being grilled. I thought they were baked but of course the flat sides come from the grilling. Good idea to freeze some, fresh muffins any time you want.
I’m so glad you liked my English Muffin recipe. I’m truly very flattered. One way to remedy the doughy middle (if they come out that way again for you) is to pry the muffin opened with a fork and lie the two halves on the grill and let them cook that way in the middle, too. That will give you the crispy crunchy tops that are so famously related to English Muffins. Regardless of doughy or perfectly done, the ripping open with the fork will always give you that wonderful crunchy top whether toasted or grilled. At least, that’s how I like it!
Again, I’m so glad you like the recipe and I sure hope you enjoy the rest of the book, too. Many of the recipes are formatted for larger portions as I had my cafe when I put the book out and made bread in large quantities. You can scale them down and they should work fine.
Best to you,
Suzie Ridler says
Well I am flattered Margaux! Thank you so much for commenting and helping me with my English muffins woes. That is amazing. Thank you so much!
Thank you! I’ve just joined gourmandia.com as one of the blog writers there. My personal blog is http://blog.gourmandia.com/author/margauxsky
You and your fans may want to check out gourmandia.com, Suzie, if you haven’t done so already. There are some fabulous, fabulous chefs, recipes and videos, too, that are very cool.
Also, I’ve gone into one of my other loves – writing murder mysteries – please check out http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/margauxsky.
I’d love your opinion of my this story. There are recipes at the end of the book, too. For you and your fans, I’d like to give you the opportunity to download the book for free, so when you go to check out put in the coupon code LY34E and the book will be yours for free.
It’s called Beautiful Dead Bella – A Lana Cloud Murder Mystery. there are several formats in which to download the book.
Thanks, Suzie! My next cookbook will be out on smashwords.com, too, so I’ll let you know when that’s ready.
Thanks again, because I truly appreciate feedback, good or bad. It’s the best way to learn.
Also, if you and your fans want to visit my blog it’s http://margauxskyfood.blogspot.com.
Love hearing from you, Suzie! Thanks! and lease keep in touch. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.