I love English muffins, especially the sourdough variety. I cannot remember eating English muffins while I was in London though scones with clotted cream and home made jam were always on the menu on the weekends. I do think clotted cream from Devon was my favorite.
I looked up Wikipedia to find out the origins of the ‘English’ muffin and of course they are just called muffins in England. I will have to check with my cousins as to their take on them.
When Janak’s sister came back from California she raved about the muffins made by Bhanva. So I got Bhavana to send me her English muffin recipe. This is a recipe that has passed on from person to person and it is just like when my mum used to first give me recipes. The first time I tried it I left my batter fairly wet and sticky but I think that was a little too wet. The problems I had were when I rolled out the dough I could not cut it with a muffin cutter. I then sliced them up into squares. However, they all expanded on the second rise and merged. Then I pulled them apart so I got different heights and sizes for the muffins.
My second try was highly successful. I also changed the recipe a little bit leaving out the egg white and kneading in all the flour that I needed in the first go. One thing that helped a fairly quick rise was putting my batter in the trunk of the car. The batter doubled in size in 30 minutes. I was able to roll out the dough and cut the rings very well and they were almost of similar sizes. Alton Browns suggestion is to use old tuna tins, so the muffins all have the same size. I, however, love my slightly off shaped muffins.
Makes 36 muffins
- 1 1/3 cup water
- ‘1 tablespoon sugar
- 7g yeast (1 sachet)
- 4 3/4 cups bread flour
- 5 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk, warmed
Use tap hot water or heat the water in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. You should be able to dip your finger in and it should be just warm. Dissolve the sugar in the water. Then add the yeast and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. You know it is done when there is a nice frothy rising about the water.
Put the flour, salt, butter and milk into a bowl. Add the yeast mixture to it and knead with your hand or a dough hook for about 3-5 minutes.The batter will be a tad bit sticky. Oil a clean bowl and put your batter in it. Cover it with a towel and put it in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size (winter the dough rise would probably be longer).
Flour your work surface very liberally. Dump your batter on to the work surface. Dust the top of the batter generously with flour. Roll out your batter to about a 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut rounds and put those rounds on a floured tray. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let the little cut outs sit for about a half hour covered with a kitchen towel. They will rise again (This sounds like a terminator statement).
Heat your griddle to 300F. Spray the surface, lightly, with cooking oil. Bake for about 12 -15 minutes on each side or until you get a nice brown color as in the picture.