Homemade English Muffins
In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer* stir together the warm water and sugar. Stir in yeast; let stand about 5 minutes or until mixture is foamy. Add flour, 1 tablespoon of the melted butter, and the salt. Using the hook attachment, beat on medium speed for 5 minutes (dough will be smooth and elastic, but stringy). Using a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl. Remove bowl from mixer. Coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, coated side down, over dough. Let dough rise in a warm place until double in size (35 to 45 minutes).Advertisement
Sprinkle a large baking sheet with 1/4 cup of the cornmeal; set aside. Coat a 3-tablespoon ice cream scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup with cooking spray. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down sides of bowl and fold dough over onto itself to deflate. Using the prepared scoop or measuring cup, drop dough in 3-tablespoon or scant 1/4-cup portions 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle tops generously with the remaining 2 tablespoons cornmeal. Using floured fingers, gently push or pat edges of dough portions into more rounded shapes (they don't need to be perfectly round). Cover with waxed paper and let rise in a warm place until puffy (about 20 minutes).
Lightly grease a large skillet or griddle with another 1 tablespoon of the melted butter; heat skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Coat a wide spatula with cooking spray. Using the prepared spatula, gently transfer half of the dough portions to the skillet. (Try to get underneath the portions so you can pick them up without deflating them.) Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until bottoms are golden, turning once halfway through cooking. Remove from skillet. Repeat with the remaining dough portions, greasing skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter if necessary.
To serve, split warm or cooled muffins with a fork. If desired, serve with additional butter and jam.
If you don't have a freestanding mixer, mix the dough by hand. Using a large bowl, combine the ingredients as directed in Step 1. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture at a steady rate for 5 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir. Continue as directed.
Cool muffins completely. Place in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container; seal or cover tightly. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw muffins at room temperature if frozen. Split and serve as directed.