2 1/4 c. (10 oz) bread flour
1/2 T. (.25 oz) sugar
3/4 t. (.19 oz) salt
1 1/4 t. Instant yeast
1 T. (.5 oz) shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup (6-8 oz) milk or buttermilk, room temperature
Cornmeal for dusting, optional
1. Stir together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir in shortening/ butter and 3/4 cup milk until ingredients for a ball. If there is still loose flour, dribble in so me of the remaining milk. The dough should be soft, pliable, not stiff.
2. Knead dough for about 10 min, dough should be tacky but not sticky. It should pass the windowpane test. Transfer dough to a little oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
3. Ferment at room temperature for 60-90 min, or until dough doubles in size.
4. Shape into a loaf if making English muffin bread. Or Divide dough into 6 pieces 3 oz each. Shape into a boule, similar to a roll. Spray a baking pan with oil. Transfer balls of dough to pan, spacing them 3 in apart. Mist lightly with oil then loosely cover with plastic wrap. If you are making these the night before for breakfast now you can place them in the fridge. Just remove a few hours before you are planning to cook them so they can warmup and rise.
5. Proof for 60-90 min until nearly doubled.
6. Heat skillet medium heat (350*F). Also, preheat oven to 350*F
7. Brush pan with oil if not using nonstick. Uncover the muffin rounds and GENTLY transfer them to the pan. Fill the pan so the pieces are 1 in apart, not touching. Cover remaining pieces.
Cook for 5-8 min or until the bottom of the dough is about to burn. The bottoms should be dark, they will brown quickly but won't burn for awhile so resist the temptation to turn early or they will fall flat. Carefully flip and cook for another 5-8 min. Transfer to sheet pan and place in oven, don't wait for others to cook. Bake for 5-8 min. Meanwhile cook remaining pieces.
8. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 30 min before serving.
**instead of cutting them open with a knife use a fork. The advantage is that by running the tines of a fork into and around the the edge of the bread, the famous nooks and crevices are created.