Muffin genealogy

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Englilsh muffins

Englilsh muffins (Bill Hogan, Chicago Tribune)


Proof: In a large mixing bowl, stir together warm water and honey. Sprinkle in yeast. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.


Mix: Stir in milk, butter and whole wheat flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm spot, 1 hour. This wet dough (called a sponge) will bubble and, when poked, look something like a sponge.


Rest: Whisk together salt and 1 cup all-purpose flour; stir in. Turn out and knead, adding a little flour if needed to achieve a soft but cooperative dough, 1 minute. Pat dough into a ¾-inch thick circle, about 10 inches across. Dust lightly with flour. Cover with plastic and let rest, 30 minutes.


Cut: Punch out 3-inch circles with a cookie cutter or drinking glass (re-pat scraps once).


Crisp: Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium. Brush with salted butter. Griddle muffins until light brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side.


Bake: Slip griddled muffins onto a baking sheet and slide into a 300 degree oven. Bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes.


Toast: Poke a fork around the perimeter of each muffin and pry open. (The fork method assures the most butter-catching crannies. Don't use a knife!) Toast. Butter. Munch.

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