16

I've finally mastered my technique for creating english muffins. They come out light with lots of air bubbles. Unfortunately, they don't taste like english muffins. They taste like regular bread.

My recipe is 2 cups flour, 1 cup water, 7g yeast, and 1/2 cup scalded milk. After mixing the dough/batter, I poor/scoop into english muffin rings on a bed of corn meal, letting them raise for about 90 minutes. They then go right into the oven for about 20 minutes at 425°F (220 °C), flipped over halfway through.

Am I missing an ingredient to get that english muffin taste? Or is my technique flawed?

1
  • It's possible that the issue is cooking it too far -- english muffins always seemed to have a vaguely dough-y quality to them, like they're just slightly undercooked (if we were to compare it to regular bread)
    – Joe
    Jan 25 at 14:45
8

English muffins are not usually baked. Instead they are cooked in a skillet or on a griddle. You can bake English muffin dough, but it will turn out like a holey white bread (as you describe). To cook, heat a skillet or flat griddle to medium (temperature for a griddle would be 350 degrees F). Also preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the pan or griddle with vegetable oil or mist with spray oil, and place on pan 1 inch apart. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until the bottom would burn if cooked longer. Carefully flip over and cook 5 to 8 more minutes. Both sides will be flat. Transfer pieces to a sheet pan and place in oven on middle shelf for 5 to 8 minutes, until center is cooked.

Also, the recipe that I have for English muffins (in Peter Reinharts' Bread Baker's Apprentice) describes it as an enriched dough, one that has fat added. My recipe calls for .5 oz. of shortening or butter.

3
  • I tried frying, but the texture turns out all wrong. They end up feeling like pancakes. Plus, when I pan fry them, the outsides don't look like english muffins. Oct 30 '10 at 16:31
  • 1
    @splattered bits - Reinhart suggests putting a towel over them to keep them from developing a "skin" while frying. If they flatten so much that they feel like pancakes I'd check for a different recipe.
    – justkt
    Oct 30 '10 at 16:39
  • I don't fry them in oil but just use cornmeal. I use an ordinary bread dough recipe and they taste like muffins to me. I also don't put them in the oven (primarily because I usually do this while canoe camping as a way to have fresh bread every day with no oven.) Nov 1 '10 at 0:21
3

I, too, found home-made English muffins to lack flavor. I use a well-regarded brand of flour and the "all skillet" or a hybrid "skillet and oven" baking procedure.

My solution: sourdough English muffins, as described by Culinary Exploration on his YouTube channel. The dough consists of:

  • 275g water at room temp
  • 15g sea salt
  • 170g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 500g all-purpose flour (~13% protein)

Like all good sourdough breads, this is a "three day bread." On day 1, mix the ingredients, proof (covered) for 3- to 5-hours at room temp, then proof overnight in the refrigerator. On day 2, form the dough into 90- to 100-g balls, proof (covered) for 3- to 5-hours at room temp, then proof overnight in the refrigerator. On day 3, bring the proofed dough balls to room temp, dip in semolina and bake in a low skillet until a crust forms on each side, then finish in a 325F oven for 10-minutes.

The result:

enter image description here

Deeply savory EMs about 1-inch thick and 5-inches across with a small, open crumb - plenty of nooks and crannies to hold the melted butter or anything else you care to add.

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.