No-knead English muffins

nooksandcrannies

This past spring, I took a trip to Napa Valley and experienced the most incredible English muffins from a local bakery in the area. I’m serious about my bread. This English muffin made all other English muffins look silly. The outside was slightly crisp and the inside was fluffy and full of nooks and crannies. It’s all about that texture. If you know me, you know that I love any bread full of nooks and crannies.

Nooks and crannies = little pockets to hold butter!

When I got home, I was inspired to re-create my English muffin experience at home using the same recipe as my no-knead herb slab ciabatta, sans the herbs.

This recipe is just as easy as the ciabatta recipe…and there’s no need to even turn on your oven! I’ll show you how to make your own English muffins, full of nooks and crannies…

This recipe is perfect for mixing up on a Friday night to cook the next morning for brunch-or you can place it in the fridge until you are ready to make it (no more than two days!)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp instant yeast

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup cool or room temperature water, filtered

1 Tbsp mild-tasting oil (corn, canola, etc.)

1 handful of corn meal

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Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a medium glass bowl.

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Add the water, and keep stirring to form a somewhat sticky, shaggy dough.

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Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 12-18 hours-overnight is just fine!

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The dough should look something like this after 12-18 hours. You can either proceed with cooking the muffins or chill the dough (no more than two days) until you’re ready to cook. Just bring the dough to room temp before cooking-approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

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Lightly flour a cutting board-if you’re messy like me, make sure to put a towel underneath the board for ease of cleaning up later!

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With your still-floury fingers, scoop the dough out onto the cutting board.

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Gently spread the dough into a rough rectangle.

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I like to roll a pizza cutter through my flour canister before cutting the dough to keep the dough stickage to a minimum. Stickage…that’s my technical word for the day.

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Attempt to cut the dough into 6 fairly uniform pieces. If they’re not perfect, no worries-you will be forming the dough into flattened discs.

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I like to pinch the corners together and then flip the dough over to form a ball, then pat the ball down into the English muffin shape.

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Six English muffins!

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Brush half of the oil onto a wide, flat pan, and repeat with a second pan (not pictured.) If you don’t have a brush, a paper towel or clean fingers will do the trick. I worked with two similar sized pans at a time because patience is a virtue I don’t exactly possess 😉 In each of the following steps, repeat with a second pan.

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Sprinkle a light amount of cornmeal in three places on the pan.

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Gently place three muffins on top of each cornmeal spot and sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a light dusting of cornmeal.

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Cover the pan, turn the heat on to medium low, and cook for about 10 minutes until the bottom of the muffins start to form a slight crust.

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Carefully remove the lid, being sure not to drip any hot steam onto yourself. Flip the muffins over, re-cover and cook the other side for about 5 minutes until the other side starts to pick up a slightly golden color. Flip the muffins over again, re-cover and cook another 5-8 minutes until they look like this on both sides:

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Now this is the difficult part-let the muffins cool for about an hour at room temperature. Why? Because this ensures that the inside will be light and airy, rather than gummy.

Once cooled, you can either eat the muffins as-is, or split the muffins with a fork and toast. They taste great with butter, cream cheese, mashed avocado, jam, peanut butter …the possibilities are endless. You could even split them and turn them into a breakfast sandwich or mini pizzas!

I hope I have inspired you to try this recipe at home. They’re just as easy as making pancakes. How do you top your English muffins?

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