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Yes, You Can Make (Whole Wheat) English Muffins

11/5/2008 7:38:38 AM

Tags: English Muffins, whole grains, whole wheat, recipes, baking

EnglishMuffinsGriddle

As long as I make the muffins, my husband, Rob, often cooks us a breakfast of scrambled eggs and goat cheese (with a sprinkle of cinnamon) served on English muffins. These little "griddle breads" were invented by Victorian-era English servants as a way to use leftover bits bread dough. They make scrumptious toast, but they're expensive to buy and their packaging is just plain ridiculous. We don’t even give white bread hotdog buns double layers of cardboard and plastic armor.

To make my own, I found several variations on classic English muffin recipes and started cooking. A half-dozen or more batches later, I hit the right combination by using the dough from one recipe and the shaping technique from another. Whether you use a knife or fork to split the muffins before toasting them is up to you. 

Whole Wheat English Muffins

 I like to use my KitchenAid to make dough whenever possible, but this dough can just as easily be kneaded by hand. When hand-kneading, be sure to flour your surface and hands generously. The dough has been kneaded enough when the surface becomes taught, smooth and elastic. Yields 12 English muffins.


Ingredients:

1 cup milk, warmed until just barely bubbling

2 tbsp honey (granulated sugar works, too)

1 package or 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheitjust barely warm to the touch)

1/4 cup melted butter or oil

About 5 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour (Substitute as much all-purpose flour as you’d like for a lighter muffin.)

1 tsp salt


Instructions:

1. Combine warmed milk and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir until dissolved. In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Add yeast mixture, butter or oil, and three cups of flour to the milk. Attach the dough hook and beat at a low speed until mostly smooth. Add flour by the half-cup until a soft dough forms. The dough has the right amount of flour when it pulls into a ball and cleans the sides of the bowl. Be patient, though — it take a moment for new flour to incorporate into the dough.

3. Move the dough to a greased mixing bowl (finesse works better than strength when removing the dough hook), cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.EnglishMuffinsDough

4. Sprinkle a work surface with flour and a long sheet of waxed paper with cornmeal. Punch down the dough and move to the floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on the waxed paper, leaving 3 inches between the muffins. Slightly flatten each round and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a greased griddle over medium heat. Gently brush excess cornmeal off muffins and place on the griddle, cooking until a deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until the edges feel firm.

6. Cool on wire racks and toast before serving.


Above:
A dusting of corn meal and a turn on the griddle give English muffins their signature crunch.

Right: A bed of corn meal keeps the muffins from sticking during the second rising.


Sarah Beth Jones and Rob Jones sold their business in the city to learn how to live mindfully in Floyd, Virginia. Photos by Rob Jones


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Post a comment below.

 

Lina Tsa
8/21/2012 12:11:40 PM
how many calories does a single muffin contains?Because accordng to my calculations each muffin will have about 260 kcals..

Zonya Gingrich
4/16/2012 11:52:13 PM
These are delicious! I made them to use to make breakfast sandwiches to pop in the freezer. We are trying to get away from cold cereal, and I needed some alternitives. They are HUGE. I think next time I'll make 16 instead of 12 from this size batch. I don't have a griddle, so I used my two cast iron skillets. I should have turned the burners a little lower, because they burned a bit. I didn't do them as long per side, but then left them in the oven a little longer.

Mum
2/6/2011 5:43:44 PM
These are delicious!! I made them with all whole wheat flour and they were fine. Very good taste..my husband likes them better than mr. Thomas'!! Thanks again for posting this awesomeness!!

Leslie Lansing
8/20/2009 3:16:36 PM
Made these muffins twice and each time I was very pleased. I had been searching for a recipe so that I could replace the ridiculously priced store brands. Looks like I was successful. Thank you.

Bonnie S
5/7/2009 9:28:16 PM
Just finished a batch of these and, WOW, they were great... time-consuming but worth the effort! Couldn't wait to see how they looked inside so I sliced into a hot one and before I knew it the whole family was eating them warm slathered with butter. thanks for the recipe. (btw, You did leave out instruction on what to do with the salt :) sorry I'm a copy editor by trade!)

Bonnie S
5/7/2009 7:09:46 PM
Just finished a batch of these and, WOW, they were great... time-consuming but worth the effort! Couldn't wait to see how they looked inside so I sliced into a hot one and before I knew it the whole family was eating them warm slathered with butter. thanks for the recipe. (btw, You did leave out instruction on what to do with the salt :) sorry I'm a copy editor by trade!)

Bonnie S
5/7/2009 7:09:10 PM
Just finished a batch of these and, WOW, they were great... time-consuming but worth the effort! Couldn't wait to see how they looked inside so I sliced into a hot one and before I knew it the whole family was eating them warm slathered with butter. thanks for the recipe. (btw, You did leave out instruction on what to do with the salt :) sorry I'm a copy editor by trade!)

Sarah Beth Jones
11/10/2008 3:17:11 PM
Whew - I was afraid I had left that essential cooking-on-both-sides detail out! My only experience using freshly-milled flour was at bakery where I worked during college and that was one mammoth mill. I found the flour to be lovely and nutty but functionally no different than any other whole wheat flour. My guess is that unless your home mill does truly bizarre things to the wheat berries, you'll be fine. Let us know how it turns out!

Sharon K._2
11/9/2008 9:02:58 AM
Sorry, I hit submit just as I noticed my error. You said to bake each side on the griddle. Duh. That answers my question.

Sharon K._2
11/9/2008 8:59:48 AM
Your picture is beautiful. Thanks for posting this recipe as I've been wanting to make English Muffins. I have home-ground wheat - do you think that will work? Also, are they upside down in your picture cause they would berounded on top wouldn't they? Or do you turn them while on the griddle which makes them flat on both sides?

Sarah Beth Jones
11/8/2008 2:01:41 PM
I'll definitely have to try the barley flour - sounds like a great addition! I've used both regular whole wheat flour and whole wheat bread flour with equally good results. Pastry flours in general are best used for anything you want to turn out flaky and light. Bread flour has more protein, which leads to a nice chewy loaf of bread. Regular whole wheat and all-purpose flours are somewhere in the middle. SBJ

arthur _1
11/7/2008 4:53:30 PM
Sarah, I add a little barley flour for a great taste. If you use too much, though, you'll get rocks.

arthur _1
11/7/2008 4:51:58 PM
Sarah, I add a little barley flour for a great taste. If you use too much, though, you'll get rocks.

Corrine O'Leary
11/7/2008 3:15:18 PM
Do you use whole wheat pastry flour or just regular whole wheat flour? Thanks!

Sarah Beth Jones
11/6/2008 1:41:39 PM
I use a cup of all purpose flour per batch because I like a little bounce to my biscuits (if you will), but all whole wheat would also be fine. They'll be a little denser and you'll use a little less flour, that's all. I've been thinking of playing with various grains, maybe even oatmeal, as additions to the basic dough. Again, it'll make a denser, more crumbly muffin, but it would also add flavor and a greater nutritional punch. Let me know how yours turn out!

Olivia_1
11/6/2008 8:44:04 AM
Thanks for this recipe! I can't wait to make them and eat homemade English muffins. I have one question; I rather use whole wheat flour exclusively. Would that make a huge difference?

Sarah Beth Jones
11/6/2008 7:32:11 AM
Hi Sharon, I went through many a gooey-in-the-middle batches before finding this suggestion. I hope your muffins turn our beautifully! SBJ

Sharon Reihart
11/5/2008 4:22:44 PM
I've made English Muffins a few times but it was hard to get them to cook in the middle, despite cooking them on a very low setting in the skillet. That's a great idea to pop them in the over for a little while. I'm going to try this the next time I have a go and these muffins.










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