by Helen Carpenter
Here are tips to help you make perfect muffins.
1. While the yeast is dissolving, fill a 13” x 9” pan with hot water and place it in your unheated oven. Muffins rise best in a warm, humid environment.
2. If your recipe calls for honey, spritz your measuring spoon with cooking spray. The honey will slide right off the spoon.
3. Instead of using a rolling pin and cookie cutter to form your muffins, divide the dough into even parts. Then press out the dough pieces in your hamburger patty mold. You’ll get just-the-right-size, perfectly round muffins.
4. Once your muffins have risen, hand-transfer them to the heated griddle. They’ll keep their shape better than if you try to slip a spatula beneath them.
(Bonus tip: Prefer using a spatula? Dip the edge in cornmeal so it slides easily under the muffins.)
5. To test for doneness, lightly tap the top of the muffins with your fingertip. A hollow sound means your muffins are cooked.
6. When you’re ready to toast, split the muffins with a fork instead of a knife. Your toppings will fill the resulting nooks and crannies.
And here’s the perfect recipe for Perfect English muffins.
What you’ll need:
2-3 quart bowl
Standard-size cookie sheet
Griddle or frying pan
1 package yeast
1 cup warm water
3 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
3/4 cup shortening
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
Dissolve yeast in bowl in warm water for five minutes. While yeast is dissolving, sprinkle cookie sheet with a light coating of cornmeal.
Add flour, shortening, honey and salt to yeast-and-water-mixture to form dough.
Coat dough with flour; knead until elastic.
Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Use a hamburger patty mold or the flat end of a glass dipped in flour or sprayed with cooking spray to flatten each ball into a 3-inch circle. Put the muffins on the cookie sheet as you form them.
Cover the cookie sheet and let the muffins rise for an hour.
Heat the griddle or frying pan to 375 degrees (no oil necessary).
Cook the muffins, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.
Split with a fork, toast, and enjoy with your favorite topping.