The trick here is to try and keep the bubbles in the dough as it rises so the crumb of your muffin stays light and aerated. I freeze a stack of these muffins to make it easy to rev up a simple dinner or pad out a great Sunday brunch.
350ml warm water
1 x 7g sachet fast action yeast
50g plain yoghurt
500g white bread flour
50g unsalted butter, softened
10g fine salt
fine cornmeal or semolina to finish
1. Put the water in a mixing bowl, whisk in the yeast and yoghurt until dissolved then mix in the flour evenly. Knead lightly then leave for 15 minutes. Add the butter and salt then knead until smooth and elastic. The dough will be a little soft and sticky but that's OK. Cover the bowl and leave for 90 minutes at room temperature to rise.
2. Rub some water on a tray then sprinkle evenly with cornmeal. Scoop the dough out onto it then, using wet hands, pat the dough out to about two centimetres thick and sprinkle the top evenly with more cornmeal. Cover and leave to rise for an hour.
3. Put a large frying pan over a low heat and get it hot, then heat the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced). Cut out six to eight dough rounds using a 10-centimetre-diameter round cutter, or cut into squares using a sharp knife. Take a spatula and place two to three rounds on the hot, dry frying pan and cook for about three to four minutes until the base is firm and cooked, then carefully flip over and cook the other side.
4. Then move the muffins onto a baking tray lined with non-stick paper and cook in the oven for about five to 10 minutes until firm around the edge. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces, then leave to cool on a wire rack.
These easy homemade English muffins, together with a cheese and white bean melt and a side of roasted cherry tomatoes, can be made well ahead and then heated fast while you fry a couple of eggs to top them for a Sunday brunch.
Also try: Dan Lepard's crumpet recipe.
Find more of Dan Lepard's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.