I used to make my own bread.  You know, in those bread machines where you threw in all the ingredients, plugged it in and let it do all the work? The bread was amazing when it turned out the way it was supposed to, which unfortunately was not the majority of the time. So I finally stopped using the bread machine, and took a break from making my own bread.

Then I ran across this recipe in the NY Times for English muffins. And, yes, if you like English muffins, it is worth your while to make these from scratch. Not only is the texture lighter and crisper, homemade muffins taste better, too. In order to give them a unique crunch, you need to sear these muffins on the stove top before baking. While you don’t need muffin rings to make these, if you have them go ahead and use them.

Time Required:

35 minutes, plus 1 to 1 1/2 hours’ rising

Yield 6 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Cornmeal, preferably coarse, as needed

Directions:

  1.  In a small bowl combine yeast and 1/3 cup warm water. Let rest until yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and put it in a large bowl. Whisk in yogurt, milk, honey, salt and the yeast mixture.
  3. Add flours and baking soda to bowl and beat thoroughly with a spoon or rubber spatula until combined. Cover bowl and let rest in a warm spot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough has doubled.
  4. Heat oven 350 degrees. Lightly dust a small baking sheet with cornmeal.
  5. Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/2 cup measuring cup, drop batter into skillet to form round muffins about 4 inches in diameter, mounding the batter in the center. Don’t worry if they are not exactly circular. Repeat until you have 3 muffins, leaving the rest of the batter for a second batch. Reduce heat to low. Cover pan with lid sheet and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.
  6. Flip the muffins using a spatula. Cover again and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until the other sides are golden brown. Place muffins on prepared baking sheet. Repeat using remaining batter and another tablespoon of butter.
  7. Bake muffins for 6 to 9 minutes, or until puffed and cooked through.
  8. Split the muffins with a fork and toast before eating.

There is nothing better than fresh-baked goodies, and English muffins dripping with butter is one of the best!