The family tradition for the last few years has been that I make Eggs Benedict for breakfast on Christmas morning. This year, I thought I'd try to make the English muffin portion of the meal from scratch, and even went so far as to invest in a set of four English muffin rings, since the two recipes I have for them involve the use of rings. Then I found a recipe that seemed even simpler, cutting the rounds with a biscuit cutter. This is the recipe I went with, adapted from Complete Cook by Le Cordon Bleu (the same book from which this bagel recipe came from).
2 tsp dried yeast
3 1/4 cup bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups water (approximately)
1. See this post for basic method. I let my dough rise twice: once before cutting (for about an hour, or until doubled) and once the muffins were cut (for about 20 minutes, or until they have risen slightly again, but not doubled). I recommend taking the time to do this as you get a nicer flavour and texture.
2. After the first rise, roll to dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut using a round biscuit cutter. The original recipe says to use a 2 3/4" cutter, but I found this too small, so for my second batch I used the next size up I had, which was 3 1/8".
Reroll the dough until it's all gone; I got 14 muffins in the end.
3. After shaping and the second rise, preheat oven to 425F and bake the muffins for 8 minutes. Flip them and bake an additional 7 - 8 minutes. Cool on wire racks. You can also cook them on the top of a griddle if you want to. Use a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet on low heat. Flip over when lightly browned and cooked through.
Now, if you're looking at my finished product and thinking those are some seriously whacked-looking English muffins, Madame Coyote, you'd be thinking the exact same thing that I did. These look nothing like English muffins. They look like fancy buns, but certainly not English muffins. I'm not sure what to attribute this to, as they shaped nicely pre-baking, but they went all crazy when baked. They taste pretty good, though, especially with butter and jam, and they had a nice, spongey interior. All is not lost; I'm freezing them and am still going to use them for Eggs Benny on Christmas morning.