The English Muffin was the top secret British bread that America never knew they wanted so bad. It was shown to America from a British guy named Samuel B. Thomas. The form of the bread was actually believed to be made in the 10 century in Wales from the "Bara Mean" recipe a yeast leavened bake cake. In America, they used oven baked breads and in England they were using griddle based breads. When Samuel came over to America he showed this technique in his famous bakery "Thomas Bakery".
The dough can be made from milk or water but to be honest milk is better. Milk is 80 percent water and 20 percent fat. When using Milk in this recipe you want to have the temp at 110 to 120 degrees so the yeast doesnt die off from it being too hot or too cold. After the yeast blooms and starts to die off then put salt and flour and that makes the simple dough.
You will want the Active Yeast to bloom for 5 minutes. The process of the yeast blooming is very simple. The yeast lives in its environment swimming around. Once you put any type of sugar inside the yeast goes crazy and starts to eat that sugar right away. The yeast starts to technically fart CO2 and then dies off after the process which makes those little holes and bread smell from the bowl.
Cooking Pan/Griddle Fry
The difference on baking in the oven and pan frying on a griddle is the difference of texture and taste. When you bake inside the oven it has the heat all around it so it bakes evenly around with the pan. When your pan frying it goes from one side to the other baking one end to the other. The texture of bread on a pan makes the bread crunchy for some recipes and it cooks faster. In the oven it stays at a certain temp and because it longer the pans make the bread cook evenly around.
The reason why you put cornmeal on the frying pan for this recipe is because of the sticking. When you have bread on nonstick or stickable pans your going to have the same issue the bread sticking right on the surface. Dusting cornmeal helps this problem by putting a protective layer on the bottom. You may ask why cant you just use flour? You can use flour or semolina but I rather give you the original recipe to help you learn how Sam made his delicious bread.
Prep= 1 hour and 5 minutes
Cooking= 10 mins each
Total= 2 hours and 25 minutes
1 cup of warm milk
1 packet of active dry yeast or (2 1/4 tsp)
2 tbsp of granulated sugar or any sugar substitute would be fine
1 tbsp of oil
2 cups of All purpose flour
cornmeal for dusting
1 tsp of salt
Get the 1 cup of milk and heat the milk in the microwave for 1 minute until the temp hits 110 to 120.
Put the milk into a large bowl with the yeast and sugar and start to swirl it with a spoon. Swirling the liquid inside make air bubbles which makes the yeast go faster with pockets of air hitting them.
let it sit for 5 mins until the yeast stops blooming
Next add the salt and flour
Start rolling dough in a circular fashion where the dough starts to become itself.
Add the oil and smooth it around
Let it sit and cover for 1 hour until the dough inflates and becomes double in size
Take the dough on a floured surface and flat the dough until the size of the sides hits 1.5 inches
Use a bisquit cutter to cut all the dough
Preheat a frying pan for low heat or (3) on the stove
Test the first bread to see if the timing cooks it right. I have an electric stove so mine takes longer to heat where as gas or induction heats faster.
Dust the corn meal on the pan and now you have some fresh English muffins
Refrigerate or on the counter= it about 3 to 5 days
Freeze= it about 3 months