We've got a pretty strong weekend breakfast tradition of pancakes or waffles on Saturday and egg sandwiches on Sunday. The egg sandwiches might have sausage or bacon or not, or avocado or not, but they're always on homemade English muffins. I found this recipe on King Arthur Flour a few years back, after I started sourdough. I grew up on Thomas English muffins, but those now seem like dried out, flavorless cardboard to me. These are tall, soft, substantial without being heavy, and with a phenomenal flavor. I usually make a double batch and keep them in the freezer to pull out for later use. And they're really not hard! If you can make any bread, you can make these. The stove-top cooking process is a little more involved than just popping a loaf in the oven but not by much. Plus, it's just WORTH IT.
(If you don't do sourdough, it's still worth it! Check out this recipe here. It's a good one.)
Sourdough English Muffins
makes 12 English muffins (can be doubled if your mixer can handle it!)
1/2 cup (120g) sourdough starter, unfed from fridge
1 cup warm water (no warmer than 115)
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp softened butter
1/2 Tbsp salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (actual amounts may vary!)
Measure out starter into the bowl of your mixer. Pour warm water over, then add sugar and yeast. Swirl around or mix to let yeast dissolve.
Add the remaining ingredients, starting with just three cups of flour. Mix with dough hook on medium speed, adding flour a tablespoon at a time as necessary, until a smooth, elastic dough forms. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl, with maybe just a tiny bit sticking at the bottom. It will be smooth and tacky but not sticky or gluey. This should take about 8 minutes.
Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, 1-2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen. Alternatively, for maximum flavor and a more flexible time frame, let rise at room temperature for just 30 minutes then stick in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
When dough has risen, gently punch down and divide into 12 equal pieces. Coat a large baking sheet with flour and cornmeal. Shape each piece into a ball and place on the baking sheet with enough space in between that they won’t touch as they rise. Let the balls relax for a few minutes then gently press to flatten into discs about 3 inches wide. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.
To cook, you can use either an electric griddle preheated to 350 or a cast iron or non stick griddle or pan heated on medium low. Cook the muffins for about 7 minutes a side, or until the inside registers 180.
Let cool on a wire rack. These keep for a few days wrapped tightly and they freeze really well too.
I often use a small percentage of a different flour - either rye, whole wheat, or einkorn - for added flavor.
The first time I had to do a little trial and error with heat level and timing. 7 minutes is a long time - if your heat is too high they'll burn before they cook through! Just keep an eye on them, adjust as necessary, and make mental notes for the next time.
If you don't have milk powder, you can omit or just use 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk .
Source: King Arthur Flour