I had been anxiously awaiting the chance to bake these English Muffins since I watched Dorie bake them in a Food52 video. She made them look so fun to bake. And they were, but challenges ensued.
The dough came together very easily with the stand mixer doing the heavy lifting. One thing to note before you start: this recipe calls for instant yeast. I usually only have regular active yeast on hand, not instant. I had to run to the store before I could get going on this recipe. The dough gets kneaded by the stand mixture for about 7 or 8 minutes until looks like this:
After an hour under a towel in a buttered bowl, it will look like this:
It is a lovely, soft dough. It gets turned on itself to deflate, then covered and put in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
After it has doubled in bulk, the dough it deflated again and devided into 12 pieces. Each piece is rolled under your cupped hand to form a ball and placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. After rising under a towel for 40 minutes, here are the muffins-to-be:
Yep. I should have taken the time to weigh the dough and get equal sizes. And I should have left more room between the dough balls. Next time.
English muffins are cooked on a griddle, not the oven. I have a large electric griddle that I hauled out for the job. The dough balls get spanked down to flatten them after they go on the griddle. Mine deserved to be spanked because a number of them stuck to the parchment paper as I tried to lift them off. This caused them to become misshapen and partially deflate. Another note to self for next time: be liberal with the cornmeal to avoid sticking! (Darth Vader leant a hand in the muffin spanking; the spatula was a gift from my niece.)
The final “bake” takes place in the toaster. I served mine with butter and homemade raspberry jam leftover from another baking project. These muffins were crisp and the outside and chewy on the inside. Truly delicious and infinitely superior to store bought.