I'm catching up on my Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge with Peter Reinhart's recipe for English Muffins (which you can get from his book above, starting on page 157-158). I have to confess that I made this late last night/early morning... as in 1am this morning. I know, kind of odd, but I really wanted to enjoy these muffins when I woke up.
As I've done in previous recipes for the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge, I made mini versions of this recipe and I really liked how the mini english muffins came out. They're great for a light bite and I certainly enjoyed them for breakfast this morning.
The dough is made by combining flour, salt, sugar, yeast, butter and milk. Once a silky, supple and slightly tacky dough is achieved, it's left to rise.
After the first rise, I cut the dough into sixteen pieces and formed each piece into a tiny little boule to prepare for the second rise. The original recipe called for cutting the dough into 6 pieces for large muffins or 9 pieces for smaller ones. I went even smaller since I knew they would continue to expand and proof.
These little guys had their second rise and they all puffed up quite a bit. They were starting to look more like the english muffins I've seen at the stores.
After their second rise, they were now ready for the skillet to get some color. Each muffin is cooked on a hot skillet to puff up ever so slightly and heat up to a nice golden brown. Once the muffins have browned, they're baked in the oven for a few minutes to ensure the middles are cooked.
Before you know it, you'll have a nice pile of homemade mini english muffins to enjoy!