homemade english muffins {fancy-pants}

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We won’t talk about the fact that it took me two weeks to write ten good pages of my novel, that I’m 40% done with a book I thought I’d finish come March. I’m trying really hard not to beat myself about this, about the fact that Fridays were supposed to be devoted to writing when the day, in actuality, has been about rest. And while I know my lovely agent is excited for this book, the best writing I’ve done in years, I hear an old teacher’s voice reverberate, and she tells me that no one is waiting for my book so why not focus on making it good.

I took one of those Buzzfeed career quizzes today, the sort of quiz that defines your vocation based on a series of random questions that are set to profile you in some way. I got “Writer,” and I shook my head because that’s only one of three things I consider myself to be. If there was a term for who I am professionally, I venture it would be “Creative,” because this is who am I and how I imbue all the things that I do, whether they’re marketing or organizational projects, baking or novel-writing.

So today I offer you homemade English muffins, which were supposed to resemble large mushrooms, capped domes and the like, but they don’t. Funny how some things are never what you want them to be.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours.
1 cup whole milk {I used 2%}
1 cup water, divided
2 ½ tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp cane sugar
1 tsp sea salt
3 ½ tsp activated dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
butter for rings
½ cup instant polenta

DIRECTIONS
Bring milk, water (3/4 cup), butter, sugar, and salt to a simmer. Stir frequently so the ingredients dissolve and the butter melts evenly into the mixture. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and cool to room temperature (approximately 30 minutes). Sprinkle yeast over remaining 1/4 cup of warm water (105-110F) and let stand for five minutes. Whisk the yeast and water to dissolve. Add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture. Add egg. Beat on low to combine, and gradually add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl so all of the flour is absorbed. The batter will be sticky, and once a dough forms, increase to high speed and beat for 30 seconds. Refrigerate, tightly covered with cling film, for 4-8 hours.

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Butter the inside of 12 entrement rings (3 inch diameter 1 ½ inches tall). If you don’t have rings, a muffin tin will absolutely do. Coat insides with polenta. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and arrange rings on it. Sprinkle approx ¼ tsp polenta in each ring.

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After at least four hours, stir the batter with a fork, and fill rings using a 2 ½ inch scoop. Sprinkle each top with ¼ tsp polenta.

Fill two large classes with hot water. Bookend the sheet pan with the glasses and cover the lot of it with a large kitchen garbage bag and tie tight. You want to make sure that no air enters the bag, and that the water doesn’t touch the muffins. Proof for 1 ½ hours, or until the muffins rise above the rings.

Preheat oven to 350˚F bake for 25 minutes, let stand for 5 minutes, then remove rings.

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9 thoughts on “homemade english muffins {fancy-pants}

  1. yum!!
    i haven’t had english muffins in a while ~ now i am really craving some after your photos! thanks for the recipe :)

    Like

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