English Muffins (adapted from Baker's Apprentice)
about 1 dozen (depending on size)
In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Using an electric mixer mix in shortening and 3/4 cup of milk, with paddle attachment at low speed until the ingredients form a ball. If there is loose flour in the bowl dribble in remaining 1/4 cup of milk. The dough should be soft and pliable.
Sprinkle counter with flour and transfer dough to counter. Knead doug for 10 minutes, if using stand mixer use dough hook and mix for 8 minutes. Spinkle with flour as needed to make tacky. The dough should pass the windowpane test. Lightly oil bowl and transfer dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, or until double in size.
When dough has raised, transfer to counter and press or roll out to 1 1/2 inch think. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out muffins. Roll out scraps and repeat, do not roll out more then once. Sprinkle cookie sheet with corn meal and place muffins on sheet, sprinkle corn meal over muffins, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
Heat flat griddle to medium or 350 degrees, also pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the griddle with vegetable oil or mist with spray oil. Transfer muffins to griddle and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bottom of the dough cannot cook any longer without burning. Flip the muffins on the other side and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to sheet pan and bake in oven 5 to 8 minutes to ensure center is baked.
Transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack.
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