Perfect English Muffins - light, lofty and full of HOLES
The dough is really just a few steps up from batter. The high hydration ensures the muffins will be light and lofty rather than dense, creating medium to fine “nooks and crannies”.
2c Warm Water
1/2c Sour Cream
4c Bread Flour
1c Yellow Corn Meal
Pour warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle with yeast. Add honey and whisk until dissolved. Add sour cream and continue to whisk until uniform, there may be some small pea sized bits of sour cream, which is fine. Combine flour and salt and start adding to the liquid. The amount of flour used will vary, the key is to get a dough that is very wet (cannot quite form a ball, but pulls away from the side of the bowl when worked). To mix and knead the dough I continually dip my hand in warm water and smoosh it about, the dough is about right when it is sticky but my hand will stay clean for two or three “smooshes” while I am kneading (to knead this dough I keep it in the bowl ). Knead for 5 minutes.
Cover and let rise, some cooking spray will help keep the dough from sticking to the cover and make it easier to push down while proofing. Let dough rise until double in size (about an hour), scrape sides and mix dough down. Repeat three or four times then cook.
I use a large electric griddle to cook the muffins (Presto Tilt n Drain Big Griddle, awesome tool), any flat griddle should work. The dough is sticky, I dip my fingers in water between each muffin to help.
Sprinkle the griddle generously with corn meal. Cut apple size balls of dough and gently place them on the griddle, DO NOT over work the dough. You can pinch the edges to make a rounder shape, I never use rings. Spray tops with oil and sprinkle generously with corn meal. Turn the griddle on high (appx. 450), cook the first side until it is golden brown on the bottom and the muffins have a nice loft. Gently flip the muffin taking care not to deflate it. Let cook on high for 5 min then reduce heat to medium (appx. 350) and continue cooking until the muffin is cooked through, will sound hollow to tap, about 15 minutes.