You haven't ever really tasted an English muffin, until you've had the homemade variety. And these scrumptious breakfast treats are so simple to make that you'll wonder why you ever bothered with the store-bought kind in the first place. By using your bread machine to mix and rise the dough, the hands-on time is minimal. The only real work is rolling and cutting the muffins, and then cooking them on the griddle…yes, the griddle! If you can make a pancake, you can make an English muffin too. Make sure you split them apart with a fork to create those tell-tale nooks and crannies -- the perfect surface for smothering with butter and jam.
- Place the ingredients in the pan of your bread machine following your manufacturer's directions. Use the "dough" or "manual" setting. Alternately, place the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, then add to the flour mixture, along with the butter and egg. Mix on low speed until combined. Then knead on medium speed for 8 minutes or until soft and smooth. Turn dough out into a greased bowl, cover and let rise for about one hour or until double in size.
- After it's risen, transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll it out until it is about 1/2–inch thick. Cut out circles with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter (or the rim of a glass). Extra dough can be re-rolled and cut. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and place the muffins a couple of inches apart on the pan, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 20 minutes more.
- Heat a large frying pan or griddle over low heat. Sprinkle the pan with cornmeal and add the muffins, cornmeal side down to the pan. Cook for 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Flip over and cook for 7 minutes more, adjusting the temperature if necessary. The idea is to cook them gradually, not too fast or too slow, so the insides become fully cooked. (if unsure, you can split one open to see if done; if still doughy/tacky, cook for a few minutes more.)
- When the muffins are golden brown, transfer them to a wire rack to cool. You may need to cook them in several batches, depending on the size of your pan.
Find more recipes from Alison Needham on Family.com, or visit her blog at www.agirlamarketameal.com.