Comment: English muffins are indispensable for eggs benedicts, our traditionnal new year's day and Valentine's day breakfast.
Commercial stuff being... well, what it is, it's not an option. So after a couple of more or less successfull attemps, here is a version that I hope is as close to the English way as possible. There are 2 schools on the web, the milk/egg one and the plain water one. My feeling is that the water one is probably the right one. Then some recipes are entirely made in the fry pan (or griddle), others entirely in the oven and finally, what I believe is right, browned in a pan then finished in the oven. The tricky part is after the second rise, to transfer the buns in the pan without deflating them. The method used here, suggested on the site referenced below is the easiest to get a good result. As for the yeast, use less and let rise for a longer time to develop a better taste (if you have the time) 7g ~1h, 5 g ~2h (dry yeast) or 3 times this of fresh yeast: 21g ~1h, 15 g ~2h. For the second rise, as they were not too sticky, I covered them with a humid towel, otherwise, use a plastic film (not tight).
How to make English muffins
another site worth looking at: English muffin recipe
for 6 muffins
200 ml water (or milk)
15 g of fresh yeast (see text)
5 g sugar or honey (1 teaspoon)
20 g butter
300 g flour
1 flat teaspoon salt
Warm the water up (35 to 40C) and divide the water in 2 small bowls. Add the butter to the first one and melt the butter. Add the sugar and the yeast to the other one and dissolve the yeast. Let activate ~10 mn.
Put all the ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Use the mixer with the dough hook, or a spatula or your hands.
Knead for ~5 to 6 mn.
Let rest in a bowl under a humid towel for 1 to 2 hours (the dough should double in volume).
The dough should be rather sticky.
On a well floured table, cut the dough in 6 pieces (about 100 g each), make into balls, place on an individual small piece of parchement paper with LOTS of flour evenly spread, larger than the bun as they will spread a bit when you flatten them. Any bit of dough not floured WILL STICK !!!, and let rest in a warm place (warm oven), covered, until again doubled in size 60 to 90 mn.
In a fry pan (or a griddle) heated to ~160C [320F], using frying oil, slide the buns off the parchement paper and fry for 3 to 4 mn. Flip them over, flatten them a bit and fry for another 3 to 4 mn.
Place them on an oven tray and cook them in the oven for 10 mn @ 180C.
Let cool on a cooling rack.