One the forth day of Breadmas my Baker gave to me, a dozen English Muffins! English Muffins are the ultimate breakfast food in most people’s minds. Full of nooks and crannies to perfectly fill with butter, jam, and the runny yolks of an eggs benedict. Weirdly not from England and super simple to make, these little beauties could not be skipped in our 12 Days of Breadmas.Jump to Recipe
English Muffins always felt like a bit of treat in my house growing up. When I finally tried making them when I was older, I realized they’re quite easy, and didn’t need to be a “special occasion only” bread.
Only Sort of English, English Muffins
Created in New York by an English immigrant in the late 1800s. The English Muffin is essentially a cross between a crumpet and a bagel. Crumpets are much more common in the UK. And look very similar to the now well known English Muffin, but are slightly different. Crumpets are more like a dense pancake. They use baking soda instead of yeast to rise, and are meant to be eaten whole, not torn in half. And bagels used a yeast dough, with milk and usually honey or sugar. So the creator Samuel Bath Thomas made his own bready treat, in the form of the pan fried, yeast leavened, English muffin.
Muffins as we know them were around at the time as well. But they were baked and were (as they are now) more similar to cakes or quick breads.
Frying English Muffins in a dry pan over low heat is what allows them to be torn open. The sides of the dough don’t sear and are baked through indirect heat. This leaves them delicate enough to get a fork into to tear the muffin in half. You can cut them if you like, but you’ll lose the texture that makes them so great for absorbing toppings.
Pre tear the muffins before putting them into the freezer. That way you can pull them out one at a time. Perfect for emergency eggs benedict!
Stick around for the next 8 days of Breadmas. And don’t forget to check out the recipes from the first three days:
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
- 1 1/2 cups Milk warm
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 3 Tbsp Melted Butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Dry Active Yeast
- 3 1/2 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- Combine the milk, butter, and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast, stir, and let rest and bloom for about 10 minutes.
- Once the yeast is foamy, Add the flour and salt. Using the dough hook, knead on medium speed for about 5-6 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
- Cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper beside the stove, and sprinkle it generously with cornmeal.
- Transfer the risen dough to a floured counter. Cut the dough into 12 pieces, each weighing ~75g (some of mine were 76-77g). Gently shape the pieces into flattened discs, and set them on the parchment paper.
- Heat a dry cast iron skillet over low heat. (I set mine at 2.5 out of 10) Sprinkle the skillet with cornmeal, and working in batches of 2-4 (depending on the size of your skillet) cook the muffins for about 5-6 minutes per side. The temperature needs to be low enough that the outside doesn't burn faster than the inside cooks. You're better to have the heat too low, than too high.
- Let the muffins cool on a wire rack, and split with a fork when ready to eat. Store in a sealed bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.