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English Muffins

1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 cup hot tap water
3 Tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
4 1/2-5 1/2 c flour
1 egg

In a cup, stir together the first three ingredients. Let stand 10
minutes. Mix the next five ingredients with three cups of flour
in a large mixing bowl until well blended, then add the yeast
mixture. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer for two
minutes (three minutes by hand). Then beat in the egg and mix
well. Begin to add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until
the dough is a rough mass that cleans the side of the bowl. Keep
at least 1/2 a cup of flour for the board or work surface. Turn
dough onto this flour and knead by hand for five to eight minutes.
If you use a dough hook, process six minutes.

Turn dough into an oiled bowl, cover with film and let rise in a
warm place until doubled (approx one hour). Punch down and knead
in bole for approx 30 seconds, let rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle work surface with corn meal. Turn dough onto it and roll
out until 1/4 inch thick. (If dough resists rolling let rest for
two minutes then resume rolling. Finally cut into three inch
rounds. Sprinkle both sides with cornmeal and place on a table
next to each other. Cover with a towel and let rest and rise until
they are approx 1/2 inch thick (15-20 minutes).

Heat a heavy griddle or cast iron frying pan . The heat is right
when a piece of newspaper placed in the middle of the pan turns
brown. With a spatula, place muffins gently on the griddle, leaving
space between them. Cook two minutes on each side. Reduce heat
to quite low and cook and additional five to six minutes per side.
If they scorch it is because heat is too high.

Cool on a metal rack. To toast, separate with tines of a fork.
These will keep three to four months in a freezer. Yield 24.


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