Monday, December 5, 2022

Comfort food on a cold day

I did something today I haven't done in years: made a batch of English muffins. Actually, a triple batch (because why go through all the work for just a few?).

English muffins are one of Older Daughter's favorite things. Nothing like a little comfort food on a cold winter's day.

I measured the shortening using the displacement method, something I prefer to do with all hydrophobic ingredients.

Milk, shortening, sugar, salt, heat.

Warming to between 120F and 130F, just enough that the shortening starts to melt.

Then I poured the warm liquid into the flour/yeast combo, and mixed it.

Time to add more flour. Before:


Next step: Kneading.

Ready for the first rising.

Since I tripled the recipe, I knew better than to try to let the dough rise in just one bowl. Instead I greased two bowls, and split the dough in half.

Setting it to rise in front of the cookstove.

An hour later, the risen dough was making the towels look pregnant.

Punch down, let rest.

Rolling and cutting. My cutter is a tuna can.

Each one gets brushed with water (both sides) and dipped in corn meal.

I filled the (barely warm) oven with pans of raw English muffins for the second rising, so two overflow pans went on the warming shelf above the woodstove.

The range that came with the house includes a central griddle feature. I'd never used this feature before, but it worked well. English muffins are "baked" by putting them on a griddle and turning them ever few minutes until baked through.

The final tally. Well, not quite. A number somehow disappeared into thin air the moment they came off the griddle, snitched by Certain Parties Who Shall Remain Nameless.

Yep, comfort food on a cold day.


  1. I love that you showed us this. I've never made English Muffins. In fact I don't bake much any more, well, actually none, being a stove top "cooker". So this recipe suits me well.
    Cooking really pairs well with cold weather.
    Here we are, in December, and at 4 am it was 70 degrees outside, and wet ( very humid). Inside, all my appliances are emitting heat as well as the pilot lights on my old stove which only recently got lit for winter. When it's cold out, those two things alone make a huge difference between indoor and outdoor temps in this well insulated house. This morning I woke up hot and had to turn on the dehumidifier.
    This is an aside on the dehumidifier. It's a feature of a window unit. It doesn't use the compressor and only works on low so doesn't use as much power. Plus it cycles on and off, bringing power usage even lower. It is my summertime "hack" for reducing power usage, especially since it tends to be so humid here in the South. So I am thankful for and enjoy it's function on days like today is probably headed for here in the winter. Probably 80 degrees and humid outside. Inside? Ugh.
    Today I am jealous of your cold weather! Will try your recipe when it actually gets cold.

  2. Thank you for the detailed recipe, complete with pictures! I love English muffins, but have never made them. I think it's time to give them a go!

  3. I used to work in the baking industry. We were measuring for some new conveyors at a plant and one of the products was English muffins. I snagged one right off the line and it was still very warm. That was a real taste treat!

  4. I have never made English muffins. Will have to give it a try! Wondering why the recipe says “oven to 375” when it appears you don’t even use an oven?

    1. Huh. I literally never noticed that! Yes, disregard the recommended temperature since, as you logically point out, these never go in the oven.

      - Patrice

    2. but they can, we cook ours in the oven but at 350 for 25 minutes, same recipe just oven baked instead of griddle cooked. They might be a tad more poofy but that is fine with us.

  5. we actually bake our English Muffins in the oven. Hubby follows the directions in BH&G Cookbook but since we have no electric griddle or skillet we followed sort of the directions for cooking English Muffin Bread, in the oven at 350 for 25 minutes. Works great for us and less standing which is what kills my back.

  6. Oooh! My husband bakes sourdough English muffins once in awhile for us. Sometimes he uses them under Eggs Benedict. That's my favorite breakfast in all the world...