Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Homemade English Muffins - Julia Child



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite..."Let's not be muffin snobs; store bought are excellent." Those words were written by my beloved Julia, who then confused the issue by proferring a recipe for homemade English muffins. I, not unlike a climber who accepts the challenge of another summit simply because it's there, had to make them just to prove I could. Under normal circumstances, the recipe would have then been retired, but around that time sandwich size muffins were introduced into, and quickly disappeared from, supermarket shelves. We loved them, especially for certain types of burgers, so the recipe for English muffins was moved from inactive to active status, and I began to make them again. While these are made with yeast, no kneading is required and the batter is easy to work with. The muffins freeze well and are a great introduction to bread baking because of their kneadless nature. These days I use 5 inch rings to make large muffins, but I continue to use Julia's recipe. It's one of the best I've come across and I thought you might like to try it. Here's Julia's recipe.

Homemade English Muffins ...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Julia Child

Ingredients:
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons instant mashed potatoes softened in 1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold milk
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt dissolved in 3 tablespoons warm water
2 to 3 tablespoons softened butter or nonstick cooking spray

Directions:
1) Place softened potatoes and milk in a large mixing bowl. Beat to combine. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add to flour and beat until a thick smooth batter forms, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until batter has risen and large bubbles appear on the surface, about 1-1/2 hours. Batter must be bubbly before proceeding.
2) Stir batter down. Add salted water and beat vigorously for about a minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again until bubbles appear on surface of batter, about 1 hour.
3) Brush insides of 3-inch rings with butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Butter or spray surface of griddle or frying pan and set over moderate heat. When drops of water dance on surface, scoop batter into rings. Batter should be about 3/8-inch thick to produce a muffin twice that size.
4) Cook muffins slowly on one side until bubbles which form near bottom pierce through top surface and top changes to a dryish gray color, about 6 to 8 minutes depending on the heat. Turn muffins, remove rings and let cook until they are a spotty token brown, about 1 minute. Remove to a rack to completely cool. Yield 10 to 12 3-inch muffins.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Brussels and Liege Waffles - One Perfect Bite
Crumpets - One Perfect Bite
Gluten Free Pancakes - One Perfect Bite

This post is being linked to:

Wild Yeast - Yeast Spotting

58 comments:

Joie de vivre said...

Mary,
Homemade is always the best isn't it? I can't believe Julia said not to be a snob!

Allie and Pattie said...

Mary, I've made these for years for the same reason- the size. My children love english muffin pizzas. I must try this recipe. I can't believe I haven't tried Julia's.
xoxo Pattie

Claudia said...

Despite making English muffin pizzas, English muffin hamburger platters and English muffin sandwiches - I've never made the muffins. Now, it seems do-able. Homemade is indeed always better.

Farmer Jo said...

potatoes?! Who would have thought. I will have to try this version, I am loving making English muffins.

I have been making egg sandwiches on mine.

Big Dude said...

This is a whole different concept from the ones I just made. I look forward to trying it for my next batch - thanks for posting it.

Mary said...

Gotta love Julia!! I love English muffins just plain toasted with butter to creep in those little nooks and crannies. Yours look perfect.

Michelle said...

Hi Mary,
Oh I love english muffins and can't wait to try this recipe. Thank you as always.

Bridgett said...

instant mashed potatoes? I definitely want to see what these are all about. That is an interesting addition and one I have not had before.

Ashleigh said...

Thank you for this recipe...

Together We Save said...

Sounds wonderful!!

Bob said...

Mmmm, homemade english muffins. Good times.

Tuty @ Scentofspice said...

Mary,
Greetings from my kitchen :)
I just made the English Muffins the day before yesterday. Homemade version has become our family favorite too.

Vanillastrawberryspringfields said...

Well this one i sure did wait for when u mentioned it on ur other post.....cant wait to get my hands ....on muffins as these right outa my oven....but before that am off to look for that instant active dry yeast that i never find:-))))))

Anna said...

Hi Mary, the english muffin looks delicious, I love your site, the header is stunning. :-)

msmeanie said...

Lovely blog. You have some great recipes. These English Muffins look/sound amazing. I love Julia Child!

Bella said...

Wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

Ivy said...

Thanks for taking time to pass from my blog. They sound delicious. I only found out about English muffins recently and the history behind them. I think they are perfect for breakfast.

SnoWhite {Finding Joy in My Kitchen} said...

those look wonderful!

Martha said...

I love English mufins and I'm a Wolferman's girl -- and have never tried to make my own! But these don't look that hard and I LOVE English mufins!

Hungry Dog said...

These look picture-perfect! I'll have to try making them sometime. Thank you for posting!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ahh I've always wanted to make these-I think the freshly cooked ones would be extraordinary especially since the bought ones sit on the shelf for a while. Thanks for sharing the recipe! :)

Cookin' Canuck said...

Look at those perfect English muffins! These look far better than the ones I find in the store.

JG said...

Homemade English Muffins are the best! When my sons were young, my trips to the grocery store were always planned and we just enjoyed our English Muffins. I made them in loaf pans, sliced the loaf & into the freezer they went.

I'll be baking these, too. Thanks!

Lynda said...

I've used English muffins for so many things, but I've not tried making my own. It sounds so easy, so I'll have to give it a try. Thanks Mary for another great recipe!

Karen said...

I love to make English Muffins. I like the look of these - more nooks and crannies than my last batch had. I'm going to give them a try :)

Debbie said...

These look delicious. I have never had a homemade English muffin and could only imagine how good these must taste....

Joyce said...

I have made English Muffin bread in the past but not this recipe from Julia. Problem is I love Thomas English muffins and usually eat more then one so I can't keep them in the house or I will be as big as a house:)
Joyce

Claudia said...

Chocolate and zucchini's Clotilde recently posted about sourdough crumpets (which I believe are the same)and I've been waiting for some proper tins - the old tuna can thing won't work anymore as the bottoms can't be cut out these days. But a store clerk who knew I was looking, showed me Stuffed Grape leaves cans, which are 4" - so perfect for us. Soon it will happen.

Joie de vivre said...

Mary,
Thanks for visiting. I'm trying to stay healthy. So far, so good. :)

Haden News said...

I love English Muffins, but have never made my own! Thanks for sharing Julia's recipe :)

Lori said...

I would like to try this. Lately I have not been in a bread baking mood despite craving some homemade bread. I guess I am wanting someone else to make it for me. he he. Wont happen. This is the next best thing though, no knead certainly makes it way more appealing

gekchoo said...

Hi,
I am from Malaysia.Love to try this recipe.Just 1 Q,is instant yeast=active dry yeast?Thank you.

Paulchoo

Chef Aimee said...

I love the quote! But wow what a great recipe for homemade nooks and crannies! ;)

Mary said...

gekchoo, they can be used in the say way. Just follow the directions in the recipe and all will be fine. I hope you'll visit with us often. You're always welcome here.

3 hungry tummies said...

The photo says it all! I can hear the crunch of biting into the toasted english muffin!

Susan said...

I have never tried to make english muffins. I will have to give this recipe a try. :)

Debbie said...

Mary, thanks for reminding me of Julia's English muffins. I had just about given up making my own..time and all. Hope you are well...haven't heard from you in awhile so I was just checking. Your blog continues to be a beautiful gift to us all.

Helene said...

Looking at yours you encourage me to make this recipe. I'm sure nothing beats freshly baked English Muffins.

Michelle Ioapo A'etonu said...

Hi Mary! Thanks for commenting on my blog! Your blog is awesome and everything looks delicious! I need to get back to cooking and baking again!

theUngourmet said...

I've been wanting to make English muffins for a while now. The potato flakes are interesting in here! I bet they taste wonderful!

MonsterMama said...

Never have tried making these but you sure make it look easy. Those look perfect!

Elisa, Croatia said...

This looks too easy!Thanks Julia=) and Mary for sharing it was us.

Mashed potatoes..interesting

zurin said...

nothing like homemade...:))

Debinhawaii said...

I have always wanted to try making English muffins--yours look just perfect!

Chef E said...

I can see the allure of mastering making something like this...I love english muffins, my breakfast bread of choice!

Muffin Pizza's!

Liesl said...

I love English Muffins! I need to try making my own sometime! Yours look so perfect!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Homemade English muffins have been on my "to make" list for ages now ... one of those things I mean to do but never get to it. Will have to remedy that. I love the ease of the recipe and your photo is so inviting!

By the way, I love the name of your blog! :)

Thanks so much for your kind comment on my blog. Its lovely to meet you and I'll be following you too!

Federica said...

buonissima questa ricetta!

S said...

You did Julia proud with these, Mary!

My Little Space said...

Oh Im about to make these too! My children love to have this with scrambled eggs & ham!

shahana said...

I love english muffins and i cant wait to try this out!

Deeba PAB said...

Simple and ever so delightful!

hobby baker said...

They look perfectly scrumptious!

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Will definitely be making these as English muffins simply don't exist in Italy; thanks for sharing!

Katy ~ said...

Grins. I am a muffin snob. I would much prefer these any day!

Mary said...

Mike, the recipe I've used comes from Julia Child and Company. While I can't pretend to know what was in her mind, Julia used boiling water to dissolve the instant potatoes. I always assumed the cold milk was to get the potatoes to a temperature that would not kill the yeast. If the potatoes were allowed to cool, cold milk would be a problem and would retard the action of the yeast. So, if the potatoes are hot, use cold milk. If they are at room temperature use tepid milk. I've made these for years and I think you really like them. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Nan said...

Thank you so much for this! I've copied and pasted it into a folder to make soon. I'm always happy to come upon Julia's non-meat recipes since I am a vegetarian.

Mary said...

I have received another anonymous comment from someone who says this recipe does not work. First, this is an exact copy of Julia's recipe and it can be found on pages 166- 167 of Julia Child and Company. I've made these over and over again, most recently on Valentine's Day, so I know the recipe works. I would ask the anonymous writer to email me and together we can go through the steps of the recipe to see what might have gone wrong on their end. We do aim to please. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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