These are delicious English muffins. They truly are crunchy, chewy, totally satisfying, and worth the effort. You can trust me on this.
My good friend Michael requested hamburgers on buns for his birthday dinner. I had no interest in or intention of making my own buns. But go find one that’s all the free’s – gluten, dairy, and sugar. Plus the store ones have other ingredients in them that sound mighty suspect. So what to do but make my own? I couldn’t find a bun recipe that sounded right but I did find a recipe from Cook’s Illustrated for gluten free English muffins. I totally trust those people. They’re recipes are always right on. I modified it to be dairy and sugar free as well and the results are epic.
There are a number of steps – none of which are difficult, almost all of which are fun. The only not fun parts are removing the sticky dough from the mixing bowl and greasing the plastic wrap.
You will need a kitchen scale, and a standing mixer is handy but not absolutely critical. A word on kitchen scales – I have noticed that people tend to dismiss a recipe as complicated as soon as a scale is involved. Can I ask you to reconsider? It’s actually much simpler than scooping things in and out of little measuring cups, wondering if you’ve overfilled or underfilled the cups, and then having to wash them. You just plop the bowl on the scale, add the ingredients, and reset to 0 between additions. They cost under $20 and last forever.
One more observation – there are some strange sounding things in here like tapioca and potato starch. Don’t let that intimidate you. It’s just a matter of going to a health food store and buying them. Those stores usually have a whole display of little Bob’s Redmill bags and you just pick out the ones required. Presto. You’ve got what you need. Do it once and it won’t seem so odd or off-putting. Yes, I am speaking from experience.
What to do: follow the recipe exactly and measure the ingredients exactly and the muffins will come out perfectly.
What not to do: think you can leave out the psyllium husk.
I forgot to mention – they taste totally fantastic with burgers (yes, they’re large enough to hold the burger).
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (unrefined or refined) plus 3 teaspoons additional for frying muffins
- 8 ounces white rice flour (Bob's Redmill is the best)
- 2 1/2 ounces brown rice flour (Bob's Redmill is the best)
- 2 1/3 ounces potato starch
- 1 ounce tapioca starch
- 4 ounces gluten-free oat flour
- 3 Tablespoons powdered psyllium husk
- 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup cornmeal evenly over 2 rimmed baking sheets.
- Whisk water, eggs, and coconut oil together in a bowl. Using a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix white and brown rice flours, potato starch, tapioca starch, oat flour, psyllium husk, yeast, baking powder and salt. Slowly add water mixture and continue mixing on low until dough comes together, about 1 minute, scraping bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium and beat for 6 minutes. Dough will be sticky. (you can use a hand mixer if you don't have a standing one )
- Working with about 1/3 cup dough at a time, shape into 10 rough balls using wet hands, and space at least 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared sheets (5 per sheet). Cover loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap (To grease plastic wrap lay sheet of wrap on counter and use coconut oil spray or brush with coconut oil). Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°. Remove plastic and, using damp hands, press dough balls down gently until they're about 3/4" thick. They'll be about 3 1/2" in diameter. Dust tops of muffins with remaining 1/4 cup of cornmeal.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel, leaving a thin film of oil on the bottom and sides of the pan. Carefuly lay 3 or 4 muffins in the pan and cook until bottoms are just set, about 1 minute. Flip muffins and cook on second side for an additional minute. Transfer muffins to clean baking sheet. Wipe skillet clean.
- Repeat with remaining oil and muffins, making sure to wipe skillet clean between batches.
- Bake until golden brown and firm, 30 to 35 minutes. Allow muffins to cool for 20 minutes before splitting with a fork and toasting. Fork them don't cut them, otherwise you'll lose all the little ridges that make them so pretty.
- Once cooled, unsplit English muffins can be frozen in Ziplock bags for about a month (assuming they last that long!). Defrost or heat on low until soft enough to split with a fork.