I think my go to breakfast is usually a toasted English Muffin with butter, sometimes I will add a slice of cheese, or use them for breakfast sandwiches, for pizza for the kids lunch etc. They are so versatile.
For the longest time I bought them, because.....well because it was easier that way, and it never had occurred to me that I could make them at home and have them turn out just as well.
A while ago I started researching English Muffin recipes, and came across so many different variations, so many different ways of cooking them. Some call for using a cast iron skillet, some call for browning on a griddle and then moving them to the oven to finish baking, some use just the griddle....and then some, like the recipe I use cook on their own, while others use muffin pans and Alton Brown even used Tuna Cans.
I don't see the necessity of it, and that's why I went with this recipe to begin with. I wanted it to be easy, I wanted it to not need any special baking tins or utensils.
Source: The Good housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
about 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp yellow cornmeal
In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeast and 1 1/2 cups of flour. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat milk and 1/4 cup of butter until very warm.
With mixer a low speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients until just blended. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
Gradually beat in egg and 1 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter; continue beating 2 minutes. With spoon, stir in enough additional flour (about 2 cups to make a stiff dough).
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead just until well mixed, about 2 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased large bowl, turning dough over to grease top. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place, away from draft, until dough is doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down dough. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, cover with bowl for 15 minutes and let dough rest for easier shaping. Meanwhile, place cornmeal in a pie plate.
With lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough about 3/4 inch thick. With a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut dough into circles. Re-roll scraps to make 18 circles in all.
Dip both sides of each circle in cornmeal; place coated circles about 1 inch apart on 2 cookie sheets. Cover cookie sheets with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place, away from draft, until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Lightly brush 12 inch skillet with vegetable oil. Over medium heat, heat skillet until hot.
Place 6 circles in skillet; cook 8 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat with remaining circles. Cool muffins on wire rack. To store muffins for later use, wrap cooled muffins in plastic wrap or foil.