Buttermilk English Muffins

© Katherine Stetson

Please review Bread Essentials for valuable tips.

This recipe calls for an electric pancake griddle for cooking the muffins, but a cast iron pan can also be used, although only half a batch can be cooked at one time.

For muffins that are ready to cook first thing in the morning, follow the overnight method noted at the bottom of the recipe.

Makes eight muffins.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 2  teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup spring water
  • ½ cup buttermilk

Extras

  • Olive oil
  • Corn meal

Mix the Dough

Combine dry ingredients in a 1 quart bowl and whisk together gently.

Pour the wet ingredient into a 2 quart proofing bowl and warm in the microwave to 100 degrees.

Pour the dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredient in the proofing bowl and stir to combine.  Ensure that all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the dough mass.  Dough will be somewhat stringy and tough, but only a minute or two of mixing is necessary.

Cover the proofing bowl with cello-wrap or a fitted lid.

Proof the Dough

Place the proofing bowl in an 80 degrees, draft-free location with an instant-read thermometer resting on top.  The center of the oven warmed by the interior bulb is ideal.

Check the temperature of the instant-read thermometer periodically to ensure that the temperature does not exceed 90 degrees or dip below 70 degrees.

After two to three hours, the dough will have nearly doubled in volume with a flat and dimpled surface.

Work the Dough

Liberally flour your counter top and fingertips.  Tip the proofing bowl and gently extract the dough onto the counter.  The dough will be quite sticky.  Keep your fingertips floured as needed.

Smooth the surface of the dough with a little flour and turn it over.

Gently pat the dough into an oblong, approximately 4” by 8” (1 inch high).  Fold both ends inward, like a business letter.  Turn dough over and gently pat the dough into a rectangle approximately 4” by 8”.

Shape the Dough

Prepare a resting surface by covering a cookie sheet with wax paper or parchment.  Brush the paper with a thin coating of olive oil and sprinkle with  corn meal.  Set aside.

Slice the finished dough in half lengthwise (a bench scraper works best, but a sharp knife is also fine) and slice each piece into four equal pieces for a total of eight.  Gently shape into small mounds by tucking under any edges.  Ensure each piece is lightly floured and place on the prepared cookie sheet.  Brush tops of muffins with olive oil and sprinkle with corn meal.  Cover with a clean tea towel and let rest for 45 minutes.

Preheat a pancake griddle to 325 degrees.  When dough has finished resting, place the muffins on the griddle.  After about 8 minutes, rotate the muffins a half-turn and continue cooking another 8 minutes.  Turn muffins over and gently press on each with a pancake spatula to flatten slightly.  Cook an additional 16 minutes, rotating them half way through.

When cooked, move muffins to a baking rack to cool.  Use a fork to split the muffins and toast or reheat as desired.

Overnight Method

This method creates a muffin with greater air holes and a hint of sourdough flavor.

Decrease the amount of yeast to ¼ teaspoon.  Increase the proof time to 12-14 hours.

Follow all other instructions as indicated.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.