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English Muffins

Introduction & method

English muffins are an old type of bread roll that are quite popular in the English-speaking world. Do not confuse them with the American cake-type thing of the same name. English mufins are griddled (cooked without oil on a hotplate) rather than baked.

English Muffins Recipe

Make the muffin dough

Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast for the dough. Break the butter into small pieces and add that. Give everything a quick stir, then add the egg and the liquid and stir that in. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Put it in a clean bowl, drizzle with vegetable oil, cover and leave in a warm place to prove until doubled in size (this will take an hour or two). Alternatively, you can leave it in the fridge to prove overnight.

Make the muffins

Sprinkle semolina or polenta onto your worktop. Tip the dough out onto it, and press it down to make a sheet about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick. Sprinkle semolina onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Cut rounds of dough using a 7.5cm (3 inch) cutter, and place them on the baking sheet - turn them over so that the uncoated side gets a coating of semolina. Leave plenty of space between them because they will grow. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave them to prove for about half an hour.

Cook the muffins

You might need to experiment with the cooking temperature to get it right. The trick is to get the inside of the muffins cooked through without burning the outsides. Heat a cast-iron griddle plate or large frying pan to medium heat. Place as many muffins as you comfortably can in the pan, without overcrowding it. Let the muffins cook for 5-6 minutes, and then turn them over. The cooked side should be a light golden brown. Cook for another 5-6 minutes, then remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool down. You may find during the cooking that some of the semolina or polenta will fall off the muffins. This will burn easily, so try to remove these specks from the pan, unless you don't mind the smell of burning food.

Serve the muffins

Muffins can be eaten for breakfast with a poached egg or bacon. They are an essential part of Eggs Benedict. You need to split them open with the tines of a fork. You can use a knife, of course, but the fork method gives a more uneven cut and an interesting texture. Lightly toast them on both sides and spread with butter. You can also make sandwiches with muffins, just as you would with bread rolls. And muffins make excellent burger buns - in fact I prefer them to any other kind of burger container.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of English Muffins on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 300 grams strong white bread flour
 170 ml milk or buttermilk
 15 grams butter
 1 egg
 1 tsp active dried yeast
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp sugar


Semolina or polenta for dusting.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 9 muffins
Prep time: 15 minutes.
proving time: 3.5 hours.
Cooking time: 12 minutes.
Total time: 4 hours.