Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
We’re on an English muffin kick. I’d call it a rut, except that I don’t want it to end (ever). I don’t even know when I started to like English muffins, but here I am buying one of those little sleeves of six every week (sometimes twice a week!) without fail. One night I sent Ryan to the store for something and he came home with a giant sleeve of TWELVE English muffins. Did you know they make such a thing? Glorious. Clearly we are not afraid of carbs.
I made these little beauties on Sunday afternoon and I’ll be honest — they took awhile! But for a day when I had lots of chores to do around the house and could stop sporadically, they worked out perfectly. And I couldn’t believe how well they turned out! Oh man.
We ate several immediately, hot off the pan and alongside my favorite tomato basil soup. My favorite way to eat them is with a smidge of butter and raspberry preserves, but the possibilities are endless.
Like I said before, this recipe is time-consuming but it’s really very easy. I generally hate rolling out dough, but this one pressed out so easily that I actually ended up getting it thinner than I wanted. If you’re going for normal-English-muffin-thickness, pressing it out literally only takes a few seconds. Or you can overdo it like me and end up with skinny muffins. No big deal! Also, the directions below are for a stand mixer, but you can definitely mix this by hand (just knead a bit longer).
Makes 12-14 muffins
1 cup fat-free milk
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 (.25 oz) packages active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup very warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
about 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (plus a bit more if needed)
lots of cornmeal for sprinkling
Combine milk and butter and microwave for 40 seconds on high. Stir until butter is melted, microwaving for another 10 seconds or so if necessary. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together yeast and sugar. Pour warm water over the mixture and stir quickly. Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until foamy (if your yeast doesn’t foam, throw it out and repeat this step — it happens).
Meanwhile, combine salt, all-purpose flour, and 1 cup whole wheat flour in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the mixer set on low and using the paddle attachment, add the milk mixture to the flours, and then add in the yeast mixture. Add the rest of the whole wheat flour one cup at a time, mixing until well combined. Once the dough comes together (you might need another tablespoon or so of flour), switch to the dough hook and knead on low for about 6 minutes, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth but still a bit sticky.
Oil the inside of a large bowl with cooking spray and turn the dough once around the bowl to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a tea towel and let rise 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
Sprinkle a clean surface generously with cornmeal, and punch down the dough. Pat the dough out onto the cornmeal until it’s about 3/4″ thick. Sprinkle more cornmeal on top of the dough and pat it into the surface. Using a 3-4″ round biscuit cutter, cut out muffins. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap and a tea towel, and let rise for another 30 minutes.
Heat a large, oiled skillet over medium and cook muffins in batches, about 10 minutes (or until golden brown) on each side. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and enjoy!