Homemade English muffins

I’ve been trying to think of ways to make breakfast more exciting. I’m not keen on cereal and I don’t have much time in the mornings so I want something homemade that can be prepared quickly.

I ordered a copy of Bread: River Cottage Handbook No. 3 and in it was a recipe for English muffins. Homemade, healthy and can be eaten with sweet or savoury ingredients. Perfect! They were really easy to make; mix up a batch of bread dough, proof, shape into muffins, final proof and cook for ten minutes.

Muffins proofing on a floured worktop

Proofing English muffins

Proofed muffins on a floured worktop

Almost doubled in size and ready for cooking

Our skillet cooked the muffins beautifully: flat parcels of dough puffed up into tall, bouncy muffins. I found cooking the first round a bit tricky because I’m still getting used to skillet cooking on an induction hob. Skillets hold heat really well so even if you reduce the temperature (after using too much heat), you can easily overcook something because of the heat stored in the pan.

Muffins cooking in a cast iron skillet

Skillet cooking

The recipe said to coat the outside in semolina flour (for the crust) but I couldn’t get hold of any so I dusted each muffin with a fine layer of flour instead.

Hot English muffins cooling on a wire rack

Plump muffins cooling

And here they are! Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. We ‘taste tested’ a freshly cooked muffin with blackberry jam (we have no willpower when it comes to waiting for freshly baked goodies to cool) and the rest were stored in a tin for the morning.

English muffins in a tin

On Sunday morning I had mine toasted, buttered and topped with lightly fried mushrooms and rosemary. It was delicious!

Golden English muffins piled high with mushrooms and rosemary

Next time I might try wholemeal flour, freeze a few and try coating the outside in cornmeal instead of semolina flour. Most of the English muffin recipes I’ve found online contain lard or lots of butter. The River Cottage recipe is lard free and only contains flour, water, yeast, a drizzle of oil, salt and semolina flour (optional), which makes it a bit healthier.

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