Monday, November 17, 2014

Homemade English Muffins #NationalHomemadeBreadDay #MuffinMonday

English muffins are a traditional British bread made with yeast but cooked on the once-upon-a-time ubiquitous griddle. According to my current baking idol Paul Hollywood, even if you didn’t have an oven, back in the day, you surely had a griddle to make muffins, crumpets, Welsh cakes and the like. In fact, in the days before most homes had ovens, the griddle was the most efficient way of producing homemade bread. I'd like to suggest that it still is. 

Today I am celebrating Muffin Monday by making a different kind of muffin because it is also National Homemade Bread Day! And while normal muffins are still considered bread, I felt like getting my hands in some yeasty dough for the occasion. This special edition of Bread Bakers was instigated by Lauren, at From Gate to Plate so she is hosting today’s celebration! Hey, raise your hand and I’ll put you in charge. Thanks, Lauren!

Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of my post to see the link list of all the wonderful homemade breads we have today. We hope to inspire you to bake some bread and have a wonderful National Homemade Bread Day!

The following is adapted from these two recipes by King Arthur Flour and Paul Hollywood.

Ingredients for 16 English muffins
For the muffin dough:
1 3/4 cups or 415ml milk
3 tablespoons butter
4 1/2 cups or 570g strong white bread flour, plus more for cutting the dough into pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large egg

For final proofing and cooking:
Semolina or fine cornmeal, for sprinkling the griddle or pan

Measure your milk into a microwave proof vessel and then add the butter. Gently warm the milk until it is lukewarm. If you are a thermometer using type, you want it somewhere between 120-130° F or 49°–55°C. This should also soften the butter but it doesn't have to be completely melted.

Add the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and egg to the mixing bowl of your stand mixer. (I imagine you can do this by hand but it’s going to be hard work and, honestly, I don’t recommend it unless you are looking for a strenuous workout.)

Pour in the warm milk/butter mixture.

Beat the ingredients together until they form a soft sticky dough.

Just  coming together
Scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl, then keep beating on medium high for at least five minutes.

Getting stretchier
You are looking for smooth shiny stretchy dough that has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.

Pulling right away from the sides of the bowl

Scrape the sides of your bowl again to form the dough into a ball. Cover and allow to rise at least one hour.

Here’s where you can be getting your griddle pans ready for the next step. If you only have one griddle, coat it with semolina or cornmeal and do the same with a baking sheet. If you have two griddles, coat them both liberally.

When the dough has finished the first rise, punch it down down gently and tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a sharp knife dipped in flour to cut the dough into 16 pieces.

Form the pieces into balls and place them on your prepared griddles or griddle and baking sheet. Press them out gently into circles about 3-3 1/2 in or 7 1/2-9cm.

Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with more semolina or cornmeal. Cover them with sheets of parchment paper and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Cook the muffins over a very low flame for seven to 15 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 200°F or 94°C.

If they rise and start to stick together, sprinkle a little more cornmeal where they are joining and use the point of a sharp knife to separate the muffins. Otherwise they are going to be a challenge to turn over.

I turned mine after seven minutes and, after a minute or two, I started to shift them around the griddle, scooting the ones in the middle to the outside and vice versa. Since my flame is in the middle, I figured those were getting cooked faster than the outside muffins.

After seven minutes on the second side, I checked the internal temperature and it registered 190°F or 88°C so I turned them over again and left them for three minutes. Then I turned them over one last time, turned the fire off and left them on the hot griddle for three more minutes.

So to recap: 1. On my lowest flame I cooked them seven minutes on one side. 2. Then seven minutes on the other side. 3. Checked my internal temperature. 4. Three minutes on the first side again and 5. three more minutes on the other side with the fire off. Ten minutes in all on the griddle on each side.

The King Arthur recipe says that you can put them for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 350°F or 180°C if they are getting too brown on the outside before they finish cooking inside but that wasn’t necessary for me.

Place your finished English muffins on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving. Split the muffins with a fork poked in all around the sides to get the nice knobbly texture we like inside.


Check out all the other celebratory breads we’ve been baking for you today!
Bread Bakers
What is Bread Bakers?
It is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Bread Bakers Pinterest Board. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page.

How is the monthly theme determined?
We take turns hosting each month and the host gets to choose the theme/ingredient.

Would you like to join in the fun?
If you are a food blogger, send an email with your blog name and url to


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