English muffins are fun to make — they rise straight up in the skillet like the flat-topped towers of storybook castles. I’ve never been able to match the nooks and crannies of a Thomas’ muffin, but homemade muffins easily trump lesser brands like Orowheat.
I love English muffins, toasted and slathered with butter. However, store-bought breads got crossed off my list during the years my son was allergic to corn syrup. After he grew out of that, I still couldn’t bring myself to return breads to the “buy” list. I am cheap, and the cheap breads’ ingredients lists are long and convoluted. My inexpensive homemade bread is better than the expensive bread, and breadmaking is one of my hobbies. I enjoy working with bread dough.
But I miss English muffins. But, being cheap, the only ones I would consider buying are the 99-cent-per-bag versions that are even lesser than Orowheat. And, making them, I can make them whole-wheat so they are actually an acceptable breakfast food rather than an all-white, processed treat.
How difficult could English muffins be, particularly when I am already experienced with breads? Jennifer Reese says, “Hassle: A lot more hassle than going to the store.” But she doesn’t go to the store with four young children in tow. Personally, I’d much rather spend 10 minutes mixing the dough in my Bosch mixer plus 30-45 minutes shaping and cooking them. It takes us almost 30 minutes to get from “Let’s go to the store, guys!” to walking through the grocery store doors — and our grocery store is one and a half miles from our house.