The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Whole Wheat English Muffins

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

A homemade version of a classic breakfast bread. The overnight rise is worth the wait!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 1-½ cup Warm Water, divided
  • 2-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1-½ cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Coarse Salt
  • Solid Vegetable Shortening
  • Cornmeal

Preparation

In a small bowl dissolve yeast in 1/3 of the warm water. Allow it to sit for a few minutes until it’s somewhat frothy in appearance.

Combine flours and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well with a fork. Add the yeast mixture and the remaining water. Stir with a sturdy wooden spoon to make a dough. Dough will be fairly sticky.

Empty the bowl onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as needed to create a smooth, firm ball of dough. Clean out the mixing bowl and grease with shortening. Place the dough ball in the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, grease a large cookie sheet with shortening and sprinkle generously with cornmeal. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and remove from the bowl. Punch it down on the counter and divide into 10 evenly-sized sections. I weigh the whole ball of dough on a kitchen scale and then divide by ten, weighing each piece to ensure the muffins are the same size. Roll each piece into a ball and then flatten between your palms, forming a disc about three inches across. Place each disc on the cookie sheet at least an inch apart. You should just barely have room for all ten muffins. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.

Heat a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, scoop about a tablespoon of shortening into the pan and tilt it so it melts evenly over the pan. Carefully slide a spatula under the muffins on the pan and place them cornmeal-side down in the pan. Don’t crowd the pan—you’ll probably need to do this in batches. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook for about 8 minutes. Check the underside of the muffins every few minutes to ensure they are not burning. After 8 minutes flip the muffins over and press down on them gently with the back of the spatula. Cook for another 8 minutes. Once the first batch is done, remove them from the pan to a plate. Add a bit more shortening into the pan and continue with remaining muffins (I could only fit four muffins in my pan at a time).

Muffins can be served immediately, and they are truly delicious when fresh! However they also store well. To store, cool completely and store in a zippered bag with the air squeezed out. Store on the counter for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

Adapted from Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day Hardcover by Roy Finamore.

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