Sunday, January 29, 2012

English Muffins

I admit, I made these because there's corn meal on them.  I had hoped the corn tortillas used corn meal, and was rather disappointed that I ended up buying a new pantry ingredient instead.

I've made this recipe from the Bible before, and I remember it striking me that this seemed like an awful lot of work for something you could pick up at the market that was about the same quality.  But English muffins have become rather expensive, unless the store brand is on sale.  One batch of these in the freezer will cost you about a dollar and last for quite a while.  They're also great for an easy snack, and make wonderful  PB&J.

My oven has a proofer setting!  See what happens when you read the manual?  It's also the dehydration setting, and I found the muffins came out a touch dry.  Next time, I'll experiment with leaving a pan of water in there with the dough.  I found a bunch of other features I didn't know about.  What I was really looking for was whether or not I could use oven cleaner on the door of a self-cleaning oven.  Nope.  Gotta clean it the hard way.

2 Tb sugar
*1 Tb yeast (1 package)
1-1/2 C milk
1/4 C butter
5 C flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg
*corn meal
oil for greasing bowl and pan

1.  Warm sugar, milk, and butter to 100º.  Butter does not need to melt.  Stir in yeast and allow to proof, about 5 minutes.

2.  In mixer, stir together 2 C flour and salt.  Add milk mixture and beat into a batter for about 2 minutes. Add egg and 2 C flour and beat into a soft dough.

3.  Turn mixture out onto floured board and knead until almost smooth, about 5 minutes.  Turn into a lightly oiled bowl and allow to rise until doubled, at least 1 hour.

4.  Punch down dough and turn out onto a board.  Let rest for 10 minutes.  Place several tablespoons of corn meal in a pie plate and set out two cookie sheets.

5.  Roll dough 1/2" thick.  Using a 3" round cookie cutter, cut circles out of dough.  Unlike with cookies or pie crust, re-rolling the scraps will not make the dough tougher, but you should let it rest for a few minutes before trying each roll-out.  Coat each circle very well with corn meal, or it will stick to the cookie sheet.  Add more corn meal to pie pan if necessary.  Arrange muffins on cookie sheets about 1" apart and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

6.  Lightly brush a large skillet with oil and pre-heat over medium.  Transfer circles to skillet so they fit comfortably (I got 6 at a time on mine).  Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, flip, and cook 6 minutes more on the other side.  Both sides should be medium-brown.  Brush pan with more oil and repeat until all muffins are cooked.  Cool muffins on wire rack, and split with a fork or knife before toasting.

Makes 18

Difficulty rating  :-0

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