King Arthur English Muffin Recipe – Wolferman’s, Bays, Thomas, and even some store brands have great English muffins that are easy for those with a few dollars to spare.
Most of us have a certain secret; and if you agree, you’re nodding your head now, “Yes, that’s why.”
King Arthur English Muffin Recipe
The secret is simple, really, not specific to cooking. Woodworkers know this. So are fly fishermen. Gardeners know this well.
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If you love baking, you’re always up for a challenge. Is Raisin-Pecan Rye in the Bakery? “I can do this.” Lorna Doone cookies? “So are they.”
Once you’ve enjoyed freshly made, oversized English muffins filled with delicious and unique breakfast treats, you’ll never want to go back to the store. Even store-bought quality.
The recipe below makes 16 large English muffins. If you’re paying $3 to $4 or more for a half-dozen high-quality English muffins, you can save money by making your own.
This will be a very soft dough, so you will need to treat it a little differently than most yeast doughs. If you have a stand mixer, beat the dough with a flat beater until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and becomes satiny smooth and shiny; it will take about 5 minutes at medium-high speed. When you lift the beater, the dough will be very elastic.
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Roll the dough into a rough ball, cover the container. Let the dough rise until it is straight…
I am fortunate to have two large cast iron grills; each stretched over two burners on my stove.
To give the muffins a characteristic curved crust, I sprinkle one grid with semolina and the other with farina (for example, cream of wheat). I like to see which ones burn while the muffins are baking. And the answer is no difference, use it too.
Using two griddles allows me to bake all the cakes at once; but most of you may not have two griddles, so you will have to take turns baking the cakes. Whatever you use – electric griddle, oven rack, frying pan, electric frying pan – sprinkle it with semolina or farina.
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If you are using a non-stick (or non-stick) griddle or pan, spray it with non-stick vegetable oil before adding the semolina or farina.
Divide the dough into 16 parts. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, then flatten the balls until they are 3″ to 3 1/2″ in diameter.
The easiest way to prepare and bake these cakes is to place them directly on the baking surface – in my case, two griddles. That way you don’t have to move them after they’re up.
If you cannot do this, sprinkle the baking sheet well with semolina or farina and place the cakes on the sheet; they can be very close to each other.
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Cover the muffins (a piece of parchment works well) and let them rest for 20 minutes. They don’t rise very high, but they blow a little.
You have to find the exact amount of heat that cooks the cakes all the way through and browns them to perfection at the same time.
Cooking the cakes on very low heat for 15 minutes on each side works well for me. However, unless you have two large griddles, long baking times can be problematic, as muffins waiting to cook can rise too much and become crumbly.
The solution? Cook faster on a fairly high heat and in the oven (eg 7 minutes on each side), then cook for a short time in the oven.
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If you find that your cakes are browning too quickly, reduce the heat. Don’t panic if they’re browned the way you like, but still undercooked; you can finish them in the oven.
You want English muffins, not dinner rolls, so pull them out gently to prevent them from rising. A piece of parchment over the muffins and a baking sheet over the parchment works great for me.
If they bump into each other as they rise, use a sharp knife to gently cut them off.
Bottom left, after flipping the cupcakes. Bottom right – I turned them around again and it looks like it’s done.
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And remember: use a fork to divide, not a knife to cut. Muffins split with a fork will have nice angles and corners; there will be no knife cuts.
Even easier – use an English muffin separator. If you eat a lot of cake, you’ll really appreciate this handy tool.
PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was an award-winning Maine journalist (favorite subjects: sports and food) before joining King Arthur Un in 1990. Hired to write the fledgling Baker’s catalog, PJ Jr. but the sixth employee of a growing company. …
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