Sunday, July 10, 2011

English Muffins - Peter Reinhart

I love muffin like the one above.  English muffins are great to savor...the texture is so different though it is called muffin, it taste like bread.  It has a spongy texture and a cross between a crumpet and a roll.  The inside is soft and custardy with lots of pockets and the outside is chewy and caramelized .  Love the nicely burnt cornmeal dusting on the outside.  The method to make this english muffin is very unique and I find it challenging once again to wake up at 5 am in the morning to make them for our breakfast.   This recipe is from the recent bread book I bought - Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart .  Love this book so much that I carry it to the office with me everyday so that I can flip through the book during my lunch hour :)  And this is one recipe that I find interesting to try out !

According to Peter store-bought English muffins may look easy to make, but they are actually tricky to do at home, especially if you want to get the spongelike nooks and crannies that trap butter and jam and are the key to their popularity.  All you need is a flat griddle pan or electric griddle.  Lucky I have one at home for making Chapatis/flatbread and all I need to buy is the crumpet rings which I find hard to find. Eventually, I bought the egg rings to substitute as crumpet rings LOL! Just have to crack my head...I have brains so have to use it to the fullest.  Found these egg rings at Wah Seng, Ipoh - a set of four for RM5plus.   And I am ready to go :)

This batter dough must be prepared a day or two before baking day. Leave them in the fridge to sit for a least one day or up to 4 days.  Mine sat in the fridge for 2 days...the more bubbles the better..that shows more pockets in your muffins :)

the right consistency is like the one shown above

I brush the inside of the ring with olive oil 
and dust cornmeal on them

first time making them ...
a wee bit too much cornmeal but just the same
love the burnt smell of them on the muffins

first time making - I forgot to read the instructions properly
and have poured in the dough 
a bit too full to the brim

the done ones......
they look like  authentic English muffins....:p

kept three for WB's breakfast...
to go with his hot black coffee.....mmmm

I had mine with a spread of butter...yummy

spread them with your favorite jam....

these were packed and shipped to the office
and guess who was the lucky one that morning  ?

English Muffins -  Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day

Do Ahead :

Batter :-

2 tsp (0.5oz/14g)  honey
1 tbsp (0.5oz/14g)  vegetable oil or olive oil * I used olive oil
1.5 cups ( 12oz /340 g ) lukewarm whole or non fat milk ( 95º F or 35º C )
2 2/3 cups (12oz/340 g ) unbleached bread flour
3/4 tsp ( 0.19 oz/ 5.5 g) salt, or 1 1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
2 tsps (0.22 oz/ 6g ) instant yeast
1/4 tsp ( 1.5 oz /43 g ) warm water

Cornmeal, for dusting - for english muffins authentic look

Add the honey and oil to the milk and stir to dissolve the honey. In a mixing bowl. whisk the flour, salt and yeast together, then pour in the milk mixture. Whisk for 1 minute, until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is hydrated. You should see gluten strands forming as the wet sponge develops. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula, then mix the batter for a few more seconds.  Scrape down the bowl again. then cover tightly with plastic wrap and immediately refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days. The batter will bubble and rise as it cools down.

On Baking Day

Remove the dough from the refrigerator abour 2 hours before you plan to bake the English muffins. The dough will be much stiffer but still sticky and it will bubble as it comes to room temperature.

When ready to bake, dissolve the baking soda in the warm water and gently fold it into the dough, just like folding egg whites into cake batter, until it is fully absorbed. Let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes, until it starts bubbling again. Heat a flat griddle pan or cast-iron skillet over medium heat, or to 
300º F or 149º C if using an electric griddle.

Mist the griddle and the inside of the crumpet rings with spray oil, then dust the inside of the rings with cornmeal. Cover the surface of the pan with as many rings as it will hold, then dust the pan inside the rings with more cornmeal. Lower the heat to medium-low, actually closer to low than to medium : you will have to use trial and error on this at first until you find the setting that works with your stove or griddle.

To bake          

Mist a 1/3 cup measuring cup with spray oil , fill it with dough, and pour the dough into a ring, filling about 2/3 full : depending on the size of the ring, you may not need all of the batter in the scoop to fill each ring, but for standard crumpet rings 1/3 cup of batter is about right. Fill all of the rings, then sprinkle cornmeal over each muffin.

The dough will not spread immediately to fill the ring but will begin to slowly rise and soon will fill and reach the top of the ring ; it may or may not bubble. Cook the muffins for at least 12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and crisp and the tops lose their wet look.  Then, flip the muffins over, rings and all, and cook for 12 minutes more. If it takes less than 12 minutes per side, your griddle setting is probably too high and youill end up with undercooked muffins.

When both sides are golden brown and the dough is springy to the touch, remove the muffins from the pan. Cool them in their rings for about 2 minutes, then pop them out.

Turn the muffins on their edge to cool.  this will help prevent sinking and shrinking.  Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. After they cool, you can split them  with a fork to accentuate the interior nooks.

*You can eat them alone or spread butter or jam on them 
if you want something sweetish :)

Enjoy and have a great day !

*           *          *


  1. You got up at 5 I'm impressed but even more impressed with those muffins, they look so good.

  2. Love English muffins. Yours looks good.

  3. Wow! I love English muffins - these look incredible! Can I place an order for a dozen?

  4. I know who is the blessed lady who got the tupperware of goodies!! hehehee.. thanks Elin for allowing me to taste what outside cannot buy... any more muffins coming tomorrow?? :)

  5. Wah, I love English muffins! Thanks for sharing this. Did you get your cornmeal from Wah Seng also? They are selling in 1kg packet only, wondering anywhere else I can get this.

  6. I love all of P. Reinhart's recipes -- they have taken the mystery out of bread baking for me! I will have to try these next -- yours look awesome! Theresa

  7. The english muffins looks so good. I have yet to make it that good.

  8. Pauline...hahaha yea 5am in the morning just to savor some hot muffins. It was worth it :)

    Christine...thanks for dropping me a line here :) must try making them yourself. Easy and it is something you will love having for your breakfast :)

    Claire...thanks for being my taster :)

    Min....Sorry for the late reply :p I got mine from KL . I am not sure wherelse in Ipoh selling lesser than 1 kg. Mine was a kg packet. You can use them for pizza and other stuff.

    Theresa....yea, I am also a fan of Peter. I have two of his books and love them all :)

    Joy....yea you must try making them this method. The best I have eaten so far :)

  9. i must try making some english muffins too and that cornmeal is a very nice finishing touch to that muffins!! mmmm!!

  10. I love English muffins. They are one of the very few "bakery" items I buy. I don't own a griddle nor rings :(
    Yours turned out great! love biting into one!

  11. Lena....yea...I love the taste good too :)

    Roxana...yea...the texture is great and I shall be making them again :) You can use a non-stick pan in place of a griddle. I don't have the crumpet ring but I used the egg ring instead :p

  12. I love English Muffins - these look amazing! I would love to be able to make them from home!

  13. Erin...homemade ones taste good;)