Homemade English Muffins

English Muffins
adapted from King Arthur Flour
yield: 12-16 muffins

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) milk, warm
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) butter
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 to 4 1/4 cups (17 to 18 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour {I needed a lot more flour- around 1-1 1/2 cups more!}
2 teaspoons instant yeast

Directions:
Place the ingredients in the pan of your bread machine following the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the “dough” or “manual” setting. After the cycle is complete, transfer the dough to a cornmeal-sprinkled surface and roll it out until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out circles with a floured 3-inch cutter. Re-roll and cut out the leftover dough. Cover the muffins with a damp cloth and let rest for about 20 minutes.

*I don’t have a bread machine, so I used a stand mixer. Combine warm milk, ¬†butter, salt, sugar and egg together. In a different bowl, mix flour and yeast. With the stand mixer on low, slowly incorporate dry mixture into the wet until everything is mixed equally. Look and feel dough- if it looks and feels very sticky and the dough sticks to your hands, then add more flour. You want the dough to be slightly sticky–so it will stick to your hand but hardly leave any trace of dough when you pull away quickly. Knead dough for 7-8 minutes. Cover bowl that dough is in tightly with plastic wrap and let sit 1 hour or until dough puffs up to be twice the size it was originally. Remove dough from bowl onto a cornmeal covered workspace. No need to punch dough down. Roll out to be 1/2-3/4 inch thick ¬†and cut into circles. Place dough circles onto cormeal dusted baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let sit for 15-30 minutes.

Heat a frying pan or griddle to very low heat. Do not grease, but sprinkle with cornmeal. Cook four muffins at a time, cornmeal side down first, for about 7 minutes a side.

Check after about 3 to 4 minutes to see that the muffins are browning gently and are neither too dark nor too light; if they seem to be cooking either too fast or too slowly, adjust the temperature of your pan or griddle.

*I put my hot pan on low-medium heat and once it was hot, I cooked my english muffins 3 at a time in a dry pan, cooking cormeal side down first for about 5 minutes or until a medium brown color. Flip english muffins and cook other side until just as dark as the first side, 4-5 minutes. If your pan is too hot, the edges will burn and the inside will stay raw, so it’s important to find that ‘golden temperature’ that works for you.

When the muffins are brown on both sides, transfer them to a wire rack to cool, and proceed with the rest. If you have two frying pans (or a large griddle), you’ll be better able to keep up with your rising muffins.