You don’t have to be British to enjoy hand-made English muffins, which is good because we’re fans of fun, easy menu additions for Sunday morning brunch or a special breakfast. English muffins are a snap to prepare, require only 1 hour to rise, cook quickly on a griddle or frying pan (no heating the oven!) and taste great, either plain or with butter, jam, or your favorite topping.
An added bonus is the delicious, yeasty scent of fresh bread that fills the kitchen.
Perfect English Muffins
- 1 pkg. yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
- ¾ cup shortening
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. salt
Dissolve yeast in warm water 5 minutes. While yeast is dissolving, sprinkle cookie sheet with a light coating of cornmeal.
Stir flour, shortening, honey, and salt into yeast-and-water-mixture to form dough. Coat dough with flour and then knead until elastic. Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Use a hamburger patty mold or the flat end of a glass dipped in flour or sprayed with cooking spray to flatten each ball into a 3-inch circle. Put the muffins on the cookie sheet as you form them. Cover the cookie sheet and let the muffins rise 1 hour.
Heat griddle or frying pan to 375° F. No oil necessary.
Cook the muffins, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.
Split with a fork, toast, and enjoy with your favorite topping.
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Here are tips to help you make perfect muffins:
- While the yeast is dissolving, fill a 9 x 13-inch pan with hot water and place it in your unheated oven. Muffins rise best in a warm, humid environment.
- If your recipe calls for honey, spritz your measuring spoon with cooking spray. The honey will slide right off the spoon.
- Instead of using a rolling pin and cookie cutter to form your muffins, divide the dough into even parts. Then press out the dough pieces in your hamburger patty mold. You’ll get just-the-right-size, perfectly round muffins.
- Once the muffins have risen, hand-transfer them to the heated griddle. They’ll keep their shape better than if you try to slip a spatula beneath them.
(Bonus tip: Prefer using a spatula? Dip the edge in cornmeal so it slides easily under the muffins.)
- To test for doneness, lightly tap the top of the muffins with your fingertip. A hollow sound means the muffins are cooked.
- When you’re ready to toast, split the muffins with a fork instead of a knife. Your toppings will fill the resulting nooks and crannies.
Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.
Visit their http://www.hlcarpenter.com/ to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.
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