Every once in a while I get a hankering for something dough-y. A magazine seen on the display rack at Tractor Supply once inspired me to start making the easiest and tastiest homemade bread I’ve ever made so far. It was from a Grit publication called Grit Country Skills Series - Guide to Homemade Bread. It was the No-Knead Artisan Bread on page 17. I’ve now made it dozens of times and it’s never failed. So with that success under my belt I ventured into the uncharted territory of other easy bread stuffs. I’ve always loved English muffins but our grocery store is not close so it's not easy to pop down for a package whenever I feel like it. Fortunately we’re stocked up on supplies so I can usually concoct something with my trusty Joy of Cooking or a quick internet search.
Last November I put English muffin rings on my Christmas list and Santa was so kind to oblige. Inside the box of rings I found a recipe which turned out to be quite tasty. They don’t taste like store-bought but they taste very, very good. It's hard to imagine how anything warm from the oven can taste bad with butter slathered on? You can make them without the rings if you don’t mind that they look rather amoeba-like. Or maybe you are much handier at making things round than I. If you’re more like me, get some rings for the authentic look. They can be purchased on Amazon, for example, and aren’t very costly.
Recipe for English Muffins
Combine in a mixing bowl:
1 cup water
½ cup scalded milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Dissolve 1 package of active dry yeast in 2 tablespoons of warm water for 3 to 5 minutes. Combine the two mixtures. Sift before measuring 4 cups of all purpose flour. Beat 2 cups of the flour gradually into the above mixture. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rise in a warm place (about 85 degrees F.) for about 1-1/2 hours or until it collapses back into the bowl.
Beat in 3 tablespoons of softened butter. Beat or knead in the remaining flour. Grease the inside of the muffin rings and fill half full with the batter. Let them stand in a lightly greased iron skillet sprinkled with corn meal until the dough has doubled in bulk. It should now fill the muffin rings. Turn the heat to low/medium under the iron skillet and keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Adjust the heat as needed so they don't cook too fast. After about 15 minutes flip the muffins and cook the other side. You can chill or freeze the dough before it rises if you want to cook another batch at another time.
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