English Muffins

Move over Thomas, there’s a new English muffin in town – the homemade version with lots of nooks and crannies! This recipe comes from Alton Brown, who Tim refers to as my “gateway drug” because he was the first person to get me hooked. On cooking, that is!

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English Muffins

from Alton Brown on Good Eats: The Muffin Man episode

makes about 10 muffins

  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water (100-110°F)
  • 2 cups (9 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • cornmeal, for sprinkling
  • Non-stick vegetable spray

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Special equipment: 3-inch metal rings (AB suggests using tuna cans with the tops and bottoms removed. However, they’re now made so that you can’t remove the bottoms. I use small pineapple cans instead. Yes, they’re taller, but they work just fine. You can also buy actual English muffin rings, but that’s not AB’s style.)

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In a bowl combine the dry milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, shortening, and hot water. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool. In a separate bowl combine the yeast and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar in 1/3 cup of warm water and set aside until yeast has dissolved, about 10 minutes. Add this to the dry milk mixture. Add the sifted flour and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

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Preheat the griddle to 300°F. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the mixture and beat thoroughly. Place the metal rings onto the griddle and coat lightly with vegetable spray. Sprinkle a little cornmeal in each ring. Using a #20 ice cream scoop (or a scant 1/4 cup), place a scoop into each ring, sprinkle tops with cornmeal, and cover with a pot lid or cookie sheet. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until browned. (AB adds 2 scoops to each ring but I like thinner English muffins. Add 2 if you like ‘em thicker. Also, the lid or cookie sheet keeps the tops of the muffins flat and prevents them from doming as they cook.)

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Remove the lid and flip the rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. (I had to cook them longer for the insides to cook through.) Place on a cooling rack, remove rings, and cool.

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Toast and split with a fork. Serve with butter and strawberry preserves. Or how about a fried egg sandwich, with the egg cooked one of these rings like an Egg McMuffin? (AB would be so proud – the rings are no longer unitaskers!) Or perhaps Eggs Benedict or its lesser known but even more delicious cousin, Eggs Blackstone?

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Variations:

  • Add cinnamon and raisins to the batter.
  • Substitute up to 1/3 of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.

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