I’m not sure what causes these urges. Whether it’s cold wintry cabin fever infested days or a complete lack of sun and warmth, but these urges usually involve my experimenting with new recipes.
This urge – as it does on most ‘we’re snowed in’ day – involved English Muffins from scratch. No eye rolling, please. I know I can buy them in the supermarket, but I just couldn’t help myself!
For all things unknown, I turn to the Joy of Cooking. Not sure why, but Mrs. Joy (to steal a line from Julie & Julia) has never let me down.
I had tried this once before. Another snow storm, unable to really leave the house, I just HAD to. Sadly this experiment ended with the dog eating the english muffins during their second rising, my having a complete melt down and everything going into the bin.
I WILL NOT BE DETERRED – so off we go!
- 1 C water
- 1/2 C scalded milk
- 2 t sugar
- 1 t salt
- 2 T 105-115 degree water
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 C all purpose flour
- 3 T softened butter
NOTE: Sift the flour before measuring.
In a mixing bowl, combine the 1 cup of water, milk, sugar and salt. Dissolve yeast in the 2 T of 105-115 degree water for 3 – 5 minutes. After the yeast dissolves, combine the 2 bowls into one.
Beat 2 cups of the flour into the milk mixture. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until it collapses back into the bowl.
NOTE: The dough is very shaggy and gooey. I just let it rise a little over 1 1/2 hours. I really wasn’t sure what collapsing back in the bowl meant!
Beat the softened butter into the dough. Beat in or knead in the remaining 2 cups of flour.
NOTE: At this point there are 2 different methods for the last rise. You can either cut the dough into rounds or fill 3″ rings with the dough to rise. I chose to cut them out – seriously, who has 20 3″ rings or empty tuna cans in their homes! – but I’ll include the ring method at the end.
Place the dough on a lightly floured board – or sprinkle with cornmeal. Pat or press the dough to a thickness of 1/2″. Cut the dough into 3″ circles and let rise on a lightly greased cookie sheet until they almost double in size.
NOTE: I used the cover to a peanut butter jar. It was 3 ” in diameter inside the cover. I think they were a little small. I would find a different kitchen object for the next go round.
Once they have double, transfer them to a fairly hot, well buttered griddle. Cook until light brown on each side.
NOTE: No griddle – sigh. I used my incredible 15″ Lodge cast iron skillet. I love this skillet to pieces. I just wish it wasn’t so freakin’ heavy!
Cool slightly on a rack. Once cool, fork split to toast. You know, poke around the sides with the fork and split them open so you have all those wonderful nooks and crannies!
NOTE: INCREDIBLE! YUMMMMMY! So good. Not as difficult as I first thought it would be. Much better than store bought. I forked the ones left over and put them in the freezer.
For the ring method: Grease the rings and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Fill the rings to no more than 1/2″. Let raise until doubled. Slip a spatula under the rings and dough and place on griddle. Remove the rings. Continue as above.