These delicious English muffins have the taste of sourdough, without the time commitment. Cooked in a cast-iron skillet, they’re rich and fluffy and deliciously full of nooks and crannies! This English muffin recipe is one you’ll want to use again and again!
3 and 1/2 cups (420g) all purpose flour, plus up to 1 cup (120g) as needed
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
6 Tablespoons clarified butter
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed*
Make the Biga: Around 12-24 hours before mixing the dough, combine the flour, water and yeast in a small bowl. The dough should be a slightly sticky dough ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. A 24 hour chill will give you more of a sourdough flavor. The biga will rise slightly.
Make the Clarified Butter: This should be made and chilled at least 4 hours before cooking the english muffins. Melt the cubed butter in a saucepan over low to medium-low heat. Without stirring, melt butter until a white foamy layer forms on top. Remove from heat. With a spoon, skim off the top foamy layer, leaving the clear yellow layer of butter underneath. Avoid browning the butter. Let sit for 5 minutes. Line a wire sieve with a dampened, wrung out piece of cheesecloth and set sieve over medium bowl. Pour the clear, yellow, melted butter onto the lined sieve. Leave any milky residue behind in the sauce pan. Discard the residue. Store the strained, melted butter in a covered container and refrigerate until it becomes a solid form, about four hours.
Make the Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, combine the biga, water, yeast, olive oil, salt and 3 and 1/2 cups (420g) of flour. Mix on low speed until the mixture fully combines, about 1 minute. It will be a sticky, wet dough. Cover the bowl with a towel and let stand for 20 minutes.
Affix the mixer with the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low, add enough of the remaining flour to get a soft cohesive dough that clears the sides of the bowl. It should be soft but not sticky. Add up to one more cup of flour as needed. Knead in mixer until smooth and elastic, for 8 minutes.
Place dough in medium greased bowl. Turn so all sides are covered with the nonstick spray. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. (At this point, the dough could be refrigerated for up to 12 hours. Allow it to stand at room temperature for one hour before using.)
Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper and generously sprinkle with cornmeal.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 12 equal pieces (about 2.5 ounces each). Shape each piece into a round ball and flatten to a small disc, around 4 inches in diameter. Place each dough disc on the parchment and flip so each side is coated with cornmeal. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm place until the rounds have increased in volume by 50%, about one hour.
Melt 2 Tablespoons of clarified butter into a large (preferably cast iron) skillet on low to medium-low heat. Add the dough rounds to the pan and cook until they are a medium golden color on each side. Typically, this will take about 3-5 minutes on each side. If they are browning too quickly, lower the heat. Brown on both sides and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Add more butter to the skillet and repeat until all of the English muffins are cooked. Allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes – they are continuing to cook internally.
To split in half, use a fork to poke holes around the center of the outer edge of the English muffin and pull apart with your thumbs – this will give you all of those delicious nooks and crannies!
Toast or enjoy fresh! They’re best served hot! English muffins will stay fresh in an airtight container for 2 days.
Refrigerating dough overnight is a great way to time having fresh English Muffins in the morning!
You could shape the English Muffins and let them cold proof in the refrigerator overnight. Take them out about an hour before cooking to allow them to come to room temperature and puff up more if needed.
You will have extra clarified butter leftover. Keep in the refrigerator and use as needed.
This recipe can be easily doubled.
You can substitute the Biga for 120g ripe sourdough starter.