Friday, October 2, 2015

Easy English Muffins – A Model of Buttery Deliciousness

I don’t watch a lot of food television, but every once and a while I’ll catch a show where celebrity chefs sit around describing the best things they ever ate, and this English muffin was inspired by one served at the Model Bakery, in Napa, CA.

These muffins were fried in clarified butter, and looked (and sounded) absolutely amazing. I didn’t actually use their recipe, since I wanted to experiment with a simpler, faster method; but if it makes you feel any better, I did cook them in clarified butter.

Speaking of which, I’ve never done a video for clarified butter, but you don’t need one, since all we do is melt some unsalted butter (the only kind I ever use), and once it’s melted, take a spoon and skim off the white, foamy milk solids from the top. That’s it. Once clarified, you can use it without fear of the butter burning from high temps, or long cooking times.

If you want, you could just briefly brown each side and finish these in an oven until cooked through, but I did mine all the way in the pan, a la Model Bakery, and it worked out fine. They took about 7 to 8 minutes per side, and really took on a great buttery flavor.

Over the years, I’ve tried several different methods, including the traditional batter cooked in ring molds system, but I think this technique is much easier, and produces something very close to a classic English muffin. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes 6 English Muffins (recipe can easily be doubled):

- First mix:
1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water
- Wait 15 minutes to see if yeast is alive, then add:
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg white
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup warm water
- Mix dough and let double
- Form 6 seamless balls of dough, press on to a lined baking pan, coating both sides  with non-hipster corn meal.
- Allow to double in size and fry in clarified butter for about 7-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Let cool before splitting!

16 comments:

Jo. said...

Damn, literally just looked at your site for an English muffin recipe last week and couldn't find one, used some random google recipe and they were a bust! I should have waited another week, your recipes are always infallible.

R Riddle said...

Uh-oh...
This could be dangerous...

Warren Drell said...

Something I was really surprised about when I joined the military 10+yrs ago, English muffins are hard to find. I am a born and raised Californian even though I no longer reside there. Are they kinda like bagels, where they seem most popular in certain states, namely New York and California? Thank you for the awesome recipe as always!

Mulligan said...

Chef Johhhhnnnn is the man again! The only place I'm able to find English muffins in China is at McDonald's morning menus. Good. I can make these, every, single, day!

Bryan Soto said...

This....Looks fantastico.

Susan said...

Thanks for the laughs this morning -- the video had me chuckling and the recipe sounds delicious! On my to-try list...

Unknown said...

Chef John, is that 1 and 3/4 cup of flour, or One 3/4ths cup of flour? I've tried making the dough a couple times now (the first I thought I must've added the wrong amount of water), but this time to the tee and the dough is far far too stiff.

meigancam01 said...

Very delicious recipe.love it.

philogaia said...

Damn you! Damn damn damn. I've been eating low starch for several years. I do admit that this year preparing for and climbing Mt St Helens I've been eating more starch than usual. Perhaps that was my weakness. I wanted to try making English muffins back when I found I needed to lay off the grains. The interest never faded. I had an egg white I needed to use up in the fridge.I told myself I would freeze them individually. Perfect storm.

Short story. The finished product looked pretty lame. But I stood at the kitchen counter and ate half the batch with butter as my only dinner. Damn. I should be about fifty pounds heavier tomorrow morning.

rodentraiser said...

Why an egg white but not the yolk? What will a whole egg do different to the recipe? I'm just curious.

BBTGoss said...

Your tuna melt recipe calls for basic white or French bread, but anyone who's anyone knows that you ought to an English muffin. I highly suggest that anyone who makes these use them as they were intended- for tuna melts. Chef John's recipe can be found here: http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-tuna-melt-open-face-insert-hypocrisy.html?m=1

And as always... enjoy!

Nicki Tinez said...

Can I use instant yeast? I can't find active yeast in Belize!

Jason Hill said...

A use for that leftover egg white
that just doesn't belong in ice cream
made these and they tasted great.

http://imgur.com/kIkvfD1

Michelle McKone said...

I love your recipes, and am going to try your SF style bagel and this english muffin recipe TODAY. But I have to disagree with you on the "unsalted" butter. I used to buy unsalted butter, until I learned that unsalted butter has another ingredient in it to give the butter the flavor of salt without the salt. MSG. They mask it by stating on the ingredients: cream, "NATURAL FLAVORS" which is a euphemism for MSG.Anything can fit the definition of "natural flavors" or "natural flavoring" and it's usually some form of manipulation from either oils of plants or spices, but more than that, it's manipulation of ingredients created in a bioengineering lab. Anything that states "hydrolyzed yeast extract" or anything like that is MSG. So I buy my butter salted. Even organic unsalted butters, with rare exceptions, contain MSG to compensate for the flavor you're not getting with the salt.

Chef John said...

This is a myth. I'm sure somewhere there's unsalted butter with MSG in it, but no one should ever buy butter that includes any kind of not from flavorings or other ingredients that are actually butter. I have no idea where you're buying your butter, but where I get mine, which is any major grocery store in San Francisco, do not contain MSG. You got some bad info.

Gisel Silva said...

Do I really need to make these in a cast iron skilled? I don't have one. Will they come out the same, oh and working with that type of dough is so hard, but I will practice on that.