I made the English muffin recipe from the Complete Book of Breads, thinking maybe I’ll freeze some for a Sausage McMuffin-like homemade convenience food. Sausage McMuffins are a guilty pleasure of mine.
I have made English muffins once before, with a recipe I found somewhere on the internet, I don’t remember where. I wasn’t impressed with the looks of that batch, but the taste was good.
This batch had good looks (they are rolled and cut out with a biscuit cutter, so are very uniform) but only so-so taste, none of the characteristic flavor of English muffins. Also, a very dense crumb, not big airy holes. The other recipe I tried didn’t result in large holes either.
I broke out the electric skillet we received as a wedding gift five years ago, which I had never used before. I did change the method of cooking from what Clayton describes. He has you cooking each skillet-full of muffins for a total of 14 minutes or so in the skillet. I had to cook in batches, so by the time I would have gotten to the last couple of batches, they would have been over-proofed and would have collapsed. So I combined the oven-baking instructions with the skillet instructions. I cooked them for two minutes to a side in the electric skillet set at 325 degrees, and then put them into a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. That was too hot and too long, resulting in this:
Then I turned the oven down to 350 degrees, and baked the next batch only ten minutes, which was perfect.
Some day I’ll have to try another recipe. But it likely won’t be soon. I rarely have the urge to make English muffins.