Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English Muffins YouTube Thumbnail

Split open with a fork reveals the nooks and crannies and regular holes through out the crumbs interior, just waiting to be toasted to a golden perfection and slathered with butter and enjoyed with your favorite fruit preserve and morning coffee or tea. You’ll be one happy person as you take that first delicious bite of crisp, crunchy, chewy, and flavorful toasted Homemade English Muffin. Your world will never be the same.

Making your own English Muffin is one of the most satisfying things you can do. The ingredient list is short and simple. The process is straight forward. In fact this style of yeasted baked good is called a “Straight Dough.” Meaning all the ingredients are incorporated at once, mixed, kneaded, fermented, and then baked or in the case of English Muffins griddled or pan baked. Most “Straight Doughs” can be made from start to finish with in a 4 to 5 hour period.

Bakers Percentage and why it is good for you to know:

This recipe for the English Muffin is highly hydrated dough, 75% to be exact. So what does that mean to you, the baker? When looking a recipe for bread you can start to note the weight of other ingredients the flour in the recipe. Especially the water to flour. This will tell you before you even start to mix how firm or loose the dough will be when handling it. The higher the hydration, the stickier the dough will be through the kneading and shaping process. A dough with higher hydration will also have larger irregular open texture in the crumb structure through out the baked good. Where as dough with lower hydration will have a more uniform crumb with small and very even holes and texture and will be very easy to handle while kneading and shaping.

The formulation to find the percentage of the ingredient by weight to the flour by weight is to divide the weight of the ingredient by the weight of the of flour and then times it by 100 to get the ingredient percentage in the recipe. The flour percentage is always 100%.

Here is an example formula: (ingredient weight ÷ flour weight) x 100= Ingredient %

Example using the English Muffin Recipe:

(341 g. Water ÷ 454 g. Flour) x 100 = (75% Water by weight to 100% Flour)

Once we know what the water percentage in the recipe will be we the baker can then adjust how we handle the dough through out the mixing, kneading, fermentation, folding, shaping, and final proofing process. Because this dough is highly hydrated it will be very sticky during the entire kneading and shaping process. So we incorporate a process called folding. Folding the dough twice during the fermentation replaces “Punching Down” the dough. Folding increases the strength and elasticity in the dough with out damaging the gluten structure. This technique can be used with any wet dough. Check out the folding technique in my Homemade English Muffins at the video time stamp (2:43) and (3:17)

To learn more about “Bakers Percentage” click on the link for King Arthur’s Flour website for a more in-depth details: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/professional/bakers-percentage.html

The full instructional video for Homemade English Muffins is at the bottom of this blog post. Follow this link to “LIKE” and “SUBSCRIBE” to my YouTube Channel “Just One Bite, Please?” http://www.youtube.com/c/justonebiteplease/

Equipment:

  • Glass Mixing Bowls
  • Measuring Cups and Spoon or Electronic Baking Scale
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Plastic Bowl Scrape
  • Metal Dough Divider
  • Wooden Cutting Board
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Non-Stick Spray
  • 5 Quart Heavy Bottom Pan with Lid/Cast Iron Pan with Lid
  • Half Sheet Cooling Rack
  • Half Sheet Pan
  • Cornmeal

English Muffins (yields 8)

  • Measured           Grams             Ingredients 
  • 1- ½cups                341 g.            Water
  • 1 tsp.                          3 g.            Instant Yeast
  • 2 tsp.                        15 g.            Turbinado Sugar (Raw Sugar Crystals)
  • 3-¼ cup                  454 g.            Bread Flour (Unbleached, Unbromated, King Arthur Bread Flour)
  • 1-½ tsp.                    12 g.            Sea Salt (fine)

Mixing the English Muffin Dough:

  1. In a mixing bowl combine the water, yeast, Turbinado sugar, and half the bread flour. Beat together with a rubber spatula until the mixture looks like a thick pancake batter.
  2. Add the remaining bread flour and the salt. Combine with the rubber spatula until the dough just comes together.
  3. Scrape and turn the dough out on the work surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes. The dough will be sticky. Do not add any extra flour to the work surface as you knead.
  4. Place the dough into a lightly oiled container, cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 1 hour.
  5. After 1 hour of fermentation turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and fold. (See video for folding technique, Time stamp 2:43 and 3:17)
  6. Place the dough back into the oiled container, cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 1 more hour.
  7. After 1 hour, turn the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and fold.
  8. Lightly oil the work surface again and place the folded dough onto the oiled surface. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  9. After 30 minutes, divide the dough into 8 pieces each weight approximately 102 grams each.
  10. Lightly flour the wooden cutting board and set aside.
  11. Lightly flour the work surface and gently round each piece of dough by bring the outside edge to the center and pinching to form the dough into a round.
  12. Turn the dough over an place the seam on the floured work surface and lightly pat the rounded dough into a disk.
  13. Place the dough seam side down on the lightly floured cutting board. Continue to pre-shape the remains pieces of dough and placing them on the floured cutting board.
  14. Cover pre-shaped dough with plastic and rest for 15 minutes.
  15. After 15 minutes. Reshape the pieces into discs that are about ½ inch thick and 3-½ inches across.  
  16. Sprinkle cornmeal on the cutting board and place the discs seam side down onto a cornmeal and cover with plastic let proof for 1-¼ to 1-½ hours.
  17. To see if the dough is ready to be cooked. Test the dough by lightly pressing the dough with your finger tip. The indentation should hold and not spring back completely. This is know by bakers as the “Poke Test.”

Griddle Baking the English Muffins:

Pre-heat the cast iron pan for 10 minutes over medium low heat before griddle baking the English Muffins.

  1. Traditionally English muffins are “baked” on a griddle or in a pan. To do this, preheat a heavy skillet or griddle on medium-low heat for 10 minutes before cooking the muffins.  
  2. Place 4 muffins into the pre-heated dry pan leaving room between each muffin. Place the lid on the pan and coo/bake with a lid on the pan if possible, this will ensure even cooking.
  3. Bake/cook for 5-6 minutes on each side. Check the bottoms as the English Muffins are bake/cooking and adjust the heat if necessary. This will need to be done in two batches.   
  4. Place the baked/cooked English Muffins onto a cooling rack and cool to room temperature before fork splitting and toasting.
  5. Split with a fork, toast, and slather on butter and your favorite jam or preserves.
  6. Enjoy!

Note: The Homemade English Muffins freeze beautifully. Place in an airtight freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw the English Muffins at room temperature, fork split, and toast to enjoy!

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