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Friday, February 11, 2011

DIY English Muffins

Make our English muffins on Sunday and enjoy them all week long. They are a great breakfast treat, lunch box sandwich, or a quick and easy mini-pizza dinner! Making your own English muffins avoids using preservatives, and other industrial ingredients, found in most store bought varieties. Use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make a special Valentine's Day breakfast.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbl sugar + 1 pinch
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 cup water, about 110 degrees
  • 2 Tbl melted butter (substitute with vegetable oil)
  • 4 to 6 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • corn meal for dusting, about 1/4 cup
  • cooking spray
Warm milk in saucepan and remove from heat when milk just starts to bubble. Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, add the 110 degree water and stir a pinch of sugar. Then add yeast, stir gently, and let start for at least 10 minutes. Mix in the milk, butter (or oil), 1 teaspoon salt and 2-3 cups of flour. The mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 4 hours at room temperature or let rest in the fridge overnight for flavor development (optional).
Add remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon sugar and mix well. Add flour until a moderately sticky dough is formed. Knead dough at least 5 minutes, using minimal flour so that it doesn't stick too badly, but is still tacky to the touch. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in volume, about 1 to 1.5 hours.
Dust two baking sheets lightly with cornmeal and set aside. Roll dough out to about 1-1.5" thick lightly and cut into peices for muffins, about 2 inch squares (makes about 24 muffins). Place on dusted baking sheets and top muffins with a sprinkle of cornmeal. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. One batch at a time, spray hot pan lightly with cooking spray and add muffins. Flip when golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining muffins. Enjoy! Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 405 days or freeze for up to a month.

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