1 T. dry active yeast dissolved in 1/2 C. tepid water
2 T. instant mashed potatoes softened in 1/2 C. boiling water
1 C. cold milk/milk substitute, plus driblets of water, if needed
2 1/2 C. flour baking flour 3-quart mixing bowl
*To be added after first rise:
1 1/2 t. salt dissolved in 3 T. tepid water
2 to 3 T. butter/margarine/oil, (softened if using butter or margarine)
Method:Into the instant potatoes, beat the cold milk/milk substitute and stir it along with the dissolved yeast into the flour.
Beat vigorously for a minute or so with a wooden spoon to make a smooth, loose thick batter, heavier than the usual pancake batter, but not at all like conventional bread dough. (Beat in driblets of water if batter is stiff rather than loose)
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise, preferably at room temperature until batter has risen and large bubbles appear in the surface (usually about 1 1/2 hours, depending upon the temperature of the room).
Stir the batter down, then beat in the salt and water, beating vigorously for a minute. Cover and let rise until bubbles again appear in the surface-- about 1 hour (or overnight!) at room temperature.
Brush insides of English muffin rings (or tuna cans about 3" in diameter with tops and bottoms removed) generously with butter/oil.
Butter/oil surface of griddle or frying pan lightly and set over moderate heat. When drops of water placed on the pan surface begin to dance, the heat is about right.
Spoon or scoop batter into the ring--batter should be about 3/8" thick. Cook the muffins slowly on one side until bubbles pierce through the top surface and until almost the entire top changes from a wet ivory white to a dryish gray colour; this will take 6 to 8 minutes or more, depending on the heat (regulate heat so that the bottoms of the muffins do not colour more than a medium or pale brown).
Turn the muffin rings over on the griddle and lift the ring away from the muffin. Continue cooking the second side until lightly browned and dry (probably less than 1 minute).
Cool the muffins on a rack. Once cool, split in half horizontally with a table fork.
Toast under your broiler as these fresh ones are moister than the ones from the supermarket or bakery.
The batter can be mixed up the evening before use and the muffins can then be baked in the morning.
K (D) or (P)