Originally aired July 22, 2013
- 2 2/3 cups unbleached bread flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated until lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- About 1/4 cup fine cornmeal
To make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, yeast and salt together until combined. In a large liquid measuring cup or small bowl, stir the milk, olive oil and honey together until combined. While whisking, slowly pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, whisking until the liquid is absorbed and spongy dough forms. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
In a small bowl, stir the baking soda and warm water together until the baking soda dissolves. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the soda mixture into the dough until just combined.
To cook the muffins: Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Grease four 4-inch English muffin ring molds with vegetable oil and dust the interiors with cornmeal, shaking out the excess. Place the molds in the pan and fill each one two-thirds full with dough. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon cornmeal over the top of each muffin; reduce the heat to low and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 12 minutes. With a large spatula, flip the muffins in their molds and cook for an additional 12 minutes. Using the spatula, transfer the muffins, still in the molds, to a rack; set the pan aside. Cool for 3 minutes then remove the molds. Stand the muffins up on their sides to keep them from collapsing under their own weight, and let cool completely on the rack.
Meanwhile, heat the pan again over medium heat. Regrease the muffin molds and dust again with cornmeal. Place them in the skillet, fill them two-thirds with dough and sprinkle with cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and cook as directed above. Let cool and continue making muffins until the dough is used up.
Note: Store completely cooled muffins in an airtight bag at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 1 month.