makes about 12 full-sized muffins
2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
⅔ cup milk, warm
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Cornmeal as needed (or yellow grits, in a pinch)
Whisk yeast, warm water and milk in a bowl until yeast is dissolved. Add vinegar then add flour, sugar and salt and mix until dough comes together in a shaggy mass. Knead in butter until dough forms a ball shape. Knead dough ball for 7 minutes total to develop your bff, gluten! This dough is a bit more wet than your average bread dough (ie soft pretzels) so be prepared and be patient.
Grease a fresh bowl. Transfer dough ball into bowl, cover and leave to rest, relax and rise in a calm, dry place for 1 hour. Transfer dough to fridge for 30 minutes (this chill makes the dough easier to handle).While waiting, line a baking sheet with a thin layer of cornmeal.
Drop your dough out onto a flour dusted surface and separate dough into 12 even pieces. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into rounds, seam down. As you shape them, transfer balls to the cornmeal baking sheet, ensuring the bottom picks up some of the cornmeal, then flip to ensure the tops pick up some cornmeal too, with the center ring of dough without cornmeal. (If you want to save these babes for tomorrow morning, wrap in plastic and refrigerate- they get more tunnely and fragrant if you choose this adventure, and get even better refrigerated 2 days.)
Turn the oven on to 250°F. Warm a cast-iron skillet or griddle over the lowest heat possible. Scatter the pan with a thin, even layer of cornmeal.
Grab the proofed muffins one-by-one and transfer them to the warm pan, working in batches. slowly. You almost can’t take enough time with this stage. After about 4 minutes (!!), their tops will begin to puff and dome, the bottom turn a slight golden brown: that’s your cue to flip them, so, FLIP! After 4 or 5 minutes on the second side, transfer muffins to a new baking sheet and bake 10 minutes to bake fully through, finishing the set of those marvelous nooks and crannies. Cool completely before FORKING open— the sign of a REAL english muffin pro!