The (English) Muffin Man

Growing up I wouldn’t say I was a picky eater but I sure did waste a lot of time not eating certain foods for no good reason.  One of those foods being english muffins.  I thought they were stupid, just give me a bagel instead.  Though I will forever have a special place in my heart for bagels I am sure making up for lost time with english muffins.  What first started my new love affair was the idea that an english muffin entirety counted as a serving versus a half of a bagel.  Who doesn’t want to eat as much as they can? However, MyPlate.org indicates that 1/2 a muffin is an 1-ounce portion, while a 1/2 a bagel is 2-ounce.  (One ounce= a serving) Even though the serving size idea is not exact, it is certain that english muffins are lower in calories making them the poster child for a ‘healthier’ breakfast option.  My love for english muffins grew because of that reason of their lower calories, they are light and airy, not so dense that you have to take a nap right after breakfast. This recipe I am going to share with you today I use to eat them as breakfast with almond butter, banana and cinnamon, a snack plain (not even toasted), as lunch and dinner for the perfect portion bun for hummus sandwiches, lentil sloppy joes, you name it.  They are so versatile, paired with savory or sweet, and the perfect complement to whatever you’re craving!

Yields: 16 english muffins

Prep Time: 2 hrs 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hrs 50 minutes (and worth it (-:)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (honey or agave work as substitutes)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoon melted butter
  • 4 and 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup Whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • cornmeal for dusting
  1. In a small saucepan heat milk and maple syrup over low heat until temperature reaches 105-115°F.  Remove from heat, stir in yeast and set aside for 5 minutes.  Whisk in the egg and melted butter.
  2. In a stand mixture with the dough hook add flour and salt, mix together.  On low speed, gradually add the wet mixture.  Stop and scrape the sides as needed.  When the flour is all incorporated turn the speed up to medium and mix for 4 minutes, until the dough is smooth and sticky.
  3. Oil another bowl and add the dough to it, oil the top of the dough.  Cover and let sit in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.  It should double in size.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half.  Divide each half into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball then flatten into discs.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust some cornmeal onto it.  Transfer the dough onto the baking sheet, sprinkling more cornmeal onto the tops.  Cover with a towel and let sit for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 325°F
  6. Heat a griddle over medium-low heat.  Gently place the dough onto the griddle (careful not to deflate them) Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden on both sides.  Transfer back onto the baking sheet then bake for 15 minutes in the oven.
  7. Let cool completely before devouring, I would say before storing but these bad boys are addicting, enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • After your yeast sits for 5 minutes in the warm milk, make sure it is foaming and has bubbles.  If it does not that means your milk was too warm and killed the yeast or the yeast was expired.  This will make dense muffins, still good, but better to redo the milk and yeast part than the entire recipe.
  • A great place to proof breads is in the oven with the oven light on.  It creates a warm environment but not too warm that a crust will form and it is also draft free.  Just remember to take them out when you pre-heat the oven(-; We have all been there…
  • If you do not have a stand mixer, like me being a college student, you can gradually add the wet into the dry, when it starts to come together pour onto a work surface and knead for 8 minutes.  The dough will be very sticky, do not add more flour!  The more you knead and work it it will become smooth and less difficult to work with.
  • You get a lot of english muffins out of this but don’t worry they freeze great for up to 3 months, or 5 days in an airtight container.

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