English Muffins: Who Needs the Muffin Man?

We needed bread for tomorrow's lunch, and outside the solid sheet of rain made our streets swimmable.  I had no desire to go out.  But I DID have yeast, flour, and an oven - the result was inevitable - I would avoid an easy 5 minutes in the rain by spending two hours baking 6 English muffins.

Is it worth it?  Yes.  And not just for the DIY factor - although I was all sorts of excited when this recipe came together and I had 6 round and beautifully browned breakfast treats stacked in front of me.  They actually had more flavor than any of the brand names, and they were so cheap and easy to make, I'm seriously considering blackmailing the unscrupulous, overpriced Muffin Man into early retirement so I can take over his job.
The Brown Eyed Baker blog posted the basis for this recipe, noting it as one of those things you think you could never make - turns out it's pretty dang easy.  If you're ever looking for something new and exciting to bake, go check out the Brown Eyed Baker - it's a fun and fantastic resource!

1 1/2 cup bread flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbs honey
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 tsp instant yeast
2 tbs butter (or shortening)
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tbs cornmeal
1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients flour, sugar, salt and yeast
2. Melt the butter and stir it in
3. Adding the milk SLOWLY, stir until the dough is slightly sticky and easy to manipulate - stop adding the milk once you get to this point
4. Against a hard surface, stick your fists into that dough and knead the heck outta it - you're aligning the gluten strains so they interact with the yeast properly, allowing the dough to rise evenly
5. Use your hand to lightly oil a large bowl, stick the dough in the bowl, turn it over once so it's well-coated, and place a towel over the bowl.  Let rise for 1.5 hours. 
 6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Break off six pieces of dough, roll them into the shape of - well, an English Muffin, and leave them to rise again for another hour.  If you have a dog with legs, like I do, put that dough up high - I don't know why my dog wanted them so bad...these things must have smelled like puppy crack
 7.  Sprinkle the top of the muffins with cornmeal, heat a greased skillet to medium, and preheat oven to 350
 8.  Giving the muffins some room to puff out, place them on the skillet and brown both sides of them as much as possible - they'll start to look like well-cooked pancakes!
 9. Put the muffins back on the parchment paper, and stick them in the oven for just under 10 minutes.  Let cool - again, out of reach of your dog - and enjoy!
Questions?  Additions?  Comment below, or email


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