Monday, October 09, 2006

English Muffins

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 C water, warmed to 110 degrees
2 C all-purpose flour
1 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 C cornmeal, or as needed
Oil or solid vegetable shortening, as needed

Place the yeast and warm water in a bowl of a mixer and stir to completely dissolve. Let the yeast proof until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix the ingredients together on low speed using the dough hook until well blended, about 2 minutes.
Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is smooth, another 5 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Fold the dough gently over on itself in three or four places and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into rounds and place on sheet pans that have been heavily dusted with cornmeal. Turn each muffin over to coat both sides with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until slightly risen, about 30 minutes.
Preheat a griddle over medium heat and brush lightly with oil or shortening. Cook the English muffins until lightly brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn the muffins over and cook until golden brown, another 5 minutes.
Split the English muffins by pulling them apart with a table fork. Toast them just before serving. Serve very hot.

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