Who doesn’t love English muffins? 🍔
Ingredients for servings
25 g bread flour
454 g warm water @ 43-46°C
1 tbsp active dry yeast
227 g sourdough starter, ripe (fed) or discard ripe will give you a more vigorous rise
843 g all-purpose, unbleached flour
43 g nonfat dry milk
57 g butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp sour salt (citric acid) optional, for enhanced sour flavor
semolina or cornmeal, for coating
Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal/semolina, in a large bowl.
Mix and knead — by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine — to form a smooth dough. The dough should be soft and elastic, but not particularly sticky; add additional flour if necessary.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and set it aside to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it’s noticeably puffy. For most pronounced sour flavor, cover the bowl, and immediately place it in the refrigerator (without rising first). Let the dough chill for 24 hours; this will develop its flavor.
Gently deflate the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it, and let it sit for a few minutes, to relax the gluten. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll 1.5cm thick, and cut in 7.5cm rounds. Re-roll and cut any remaining scraps. Repeat with the remaining half of dough.
Alternatively, divide the dough into 24 pieces (total). Shape each piece into a round ball, then flatten each ball into a 7.5cm round. For a somewhat more even rise as the muffins cook, flatten each ball slightly larger than 7.5cm, and trim edges with a 7.5cm cutter (or trim all around the edge with a pair of scissors). Muffins with cut (rather than flattened) sides will rise more evenly.
Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal- or semolina-sprinkled baking sheets (12 per sheet). Sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise until light and puffy, about 45 to 60 minutes. If the dough has been refrigerated overnight, the rise time will be about 2 hours.
Carefully transfer the rounds (as many as a time that will fit without crowding) right-side up to a large electric griddle preheated to 175°C, or to an ungreased frying pan that has been preheated over medium-low heat.
Cook the muffins for about 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 90°C. The edges may feel a bit soft; that’s OK.
Remove the muffins from the griddle, and cool on a rack. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature for 4 or 5 days; freeze for longer storage.
Refrigerate the dough 24 hours before shaping and cooking the muffins for best sourdough flavour.
Cook muffins on their first side for about 5 minutes for best shape; then lay a cake pan, cookie sheet, or similar flat (though not excessively heavy) object on top of them. Continue to cook for about 7 minutes; then remove the saucepan, turn the muffins over and finish cooking on top without the pan. This helps to keep the muffins flat (rather than domed) over the rim.