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English Muffins

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From Beautiful Breads and Fabulous Fillings: The Best Sandwiches in America by Margaux Sky.

1 Tablespoon yeast

1/2 cup warm water

2 cups warm milk (or half and half for richer tasting muffins

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup powdered sugar

8 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water and milk. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast is foamy.
  • Add the butter, eggs, and powdered sugar to the yeast mixture, and mix well.
  • In another large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  • Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix with your hands. Place the dough on a floured countertop or board and knead for 4 to 6 minutes. (This is very messy. Try not to do this step when you are home alone, in case you need another set of hands to flour the countertop or turn on the water or something.)
  • Spread the dough with your hands until about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Using a 3-inch round cutter of some wort (e.g. the top of a large mustard jar) cut the dough into muffin-sized rounds. Make as many rounds as you can. Allow them to rise for 60 minutes. (We didn’t have a 3-inch round cutter, or at least not one that wasn’t in storage. I just divided the dough up, rolled it slightly in my hands and pressed it a little flat. That’s why mine look a little misshapen, but they were still delicious.)
  • On a greased griddle or skillet over medium-low heat, cook the muffins about 7 minutes per side, or until just golden. (Don’t turn the heat up any higher, or they’ll be cooked on the outside and still doughy inside.)

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  • Slice the muffins and toast in the toaster or grill on the griddle.

Yield: 8 muffins (if you do my method instead of the cutter method, you’ll get more like 12 because there won’t be as much wasted dough)

These are good for a few days stored in a plastic bag, but after that you should slice them all and freeze. The book says “to get that ‘holey’ texture for which English muffins are famous, split them with a fork rather than slicing with a knife.” I had no better luck splitting with a fork versus a knife, and the knife was so much easier that I just did that. They didn’t have “amazing texture,” but they were still quite tasty and had enough texture for butter to seep into.

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