English Muffins

The English Muffins Recipe This soft, traditional English teatime bread crossed the Atlantic to become an American brunch favorite.

Rising and proofing time:
1 1⁄2 hrs

2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour,
plus extra for dusting
1 tsp quick-rising dried yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted,
plus extra for greasing
vegetable oil, for greasing
2 tbsp ground rice or semolina

1 Pour 1 1⁄4 cups tepid water into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast, and leave for 5 minutes to dissolve, stirring once.

2 Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and pour in the yeast mixture and melted butter. Gradually draw in the flour to form a soft, pliable dough.

3 Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. Shape it into a ball and place in a large greased bowl.

4 Cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

5 Lay a kitchen towel on a sheet, and scatter with most of the ground rice.

6 Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, knead briefly, and divide it into 10 balls.

7 Place the balls on the towel and press them into flattish rounds. Sprinkle with the rest of the ground rice and cover with another kitchen towel. Leave to rise for 20–30 minutes, or until risen.

8 Heat a large, lidded frying pan and cook the muffins in batches. Cover with the lid and cook very gently for 10–12 minutes, or until they puff up and the undersides are golden and toasted.

9 Turn over and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until golden underneath.

10 Cool on a wire rack. Great split, toasted, and spread with butter and jam, or as the base for eggs Benedict.

Homemade English muffins are far superior to anything you can buy, so it really is worth the extra effort of making them. Prepare the dough in the morning, and you can enjoy a freshly cooked batch for afternoon tea. Alternatively, leave to rise overnight, ready to bake for a leisurely breakfast.

English Muffins
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