Cinnamon Vanilla English Muffins

Cinnamon Vanilla English Muffins

There’s a new English muffin out on the shelves. Thomas’ Cinnamon Vanilla English Muffins. It’s a limited edition. Have you tried them? While I do love them, I’m not crazy about all the icky chemicals, artificial flavors, and preservatives they put into them.

When I look back at some of my first recipe posts, I had used a lot of processed ingredients. Over my four year journey with this food blog, it has enlightened me to eating more healthy and using fresh seasonal ingredients . I have found a new love for cooking from scratch and food photography & styling . Passions I may have never discovered on my own, had I not had this recipe blog or researched various foods for cancer cures. 

I’m not here to tell you how you should eat. Even kids know what they want and don’t want to eat.  I’m here on this journey exploring my passions, discovering new techniques, and sharing with you all along the way. If I can inspire just one person to challenge themselves in the kitchen, then that makes all the time invested here well worth it.

Don’t be afraid to get in the kitchen and make mistakes. I still make plenty of mistakes in my culinary adventures. My photography skills are amateur on a good day, but I’m pushing myself to step outside my iPhone comfort zone to learn food photography and styling.

I’m also guilty of rephotographing a recipe and going back and replacing the image on a post. It’s temping to do it with all my early images, but I fear if I do, I won’t see my progression. I mean, there are some horrific photos that make me cringe when I look back at early recipe posts, or when I get an email notification that someone pinned one of those bad photos.  Not only have my photography skills and cooking skills improved, I even see a difference in the quality of the ingredients I use.

I definitely have a newfound love for baking bread from scratch. Sometimes, I wonder why I waited so long to try my hand at it. Shoulda, coulda, woulda!

These English muffins can be completed in just a few hours. That may be easy for me to say, because I’m not a novice baker… anymore. But I once was. You’ve got to roll up those sleeves and just dive in. Yes, you’re going to have mishaps, (I still do.) but that is how you learn. Then, you improve upon your technique the next time. (*stepping off my soap box.)

This Recipe is adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. For all the novice bread bakers out there, I highly recommend this book.

Cinnamon Vanilla English Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: *Most ingredients are organic when possible
Serves: 6
 
The fragrance of cinnamon and vanilla will warm your palate and soul. A nice change from a plain English muffin.
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cup unbleached bread flour (Recommend organic King Arthur flour)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 whole vanilla bean scraped (*optional 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted room temperature butter
  • ¾ to 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk (*hint- to make buttermilk simply add 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk)
  • Cornmeal for dusting
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, salt, and yeast with a fork. If using stand mixer use paddle attachment.
  2. Add room temperature butter and ¾ cup milk and form ingredients into a loose ball. If any flour is remaining loose in bowl, add remainder ¼ cup milk. Dough should be soft and pliable not stiff.
  3. Sprinkle counter top or other surface with flour. If using a stand mixer, switch over to the hook attachment. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until passes the windowpane test. Dough should be tacky but not sticky.
  4. Generously oil a glass or ceramic bowl with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place dough in bowl. Make sure dough is oiled completely. Cover with plastic wrap and towel and place in draft free area to rise until doubled in size. 60 to 90 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Shape pieces in rounded discs by working dough with thumbs to undersides of your finger.
  6. On a baking sheet, place a sheet of parchment paper and lightly oil and generously dust a bottom layer of cornmeal.
  7. Place pieces of dough about an inch apart and lightly coat top with oil and generously dust top with cornmeal.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap in towel and place in draft free area to double in size 60 to 90 minutes.
  9. Preheat griddle to 350 degrees.Or if not using electric griddle place on low medium heat and preheat. Preheat oven to 325 degrees as well.
  10. Lightly spray surface with oil and carefully place rounds on to the griddle. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Carefully flip and repeat above step. Resist the urge to smash down rounds. They will fall on their own as you cook them. Smashing will make them dense.
  12. Place all the muffins on the parchment paper and finish baking on middle rack for additional 5 minutes.
  13. Let cool and slice apart with a fork. For best results toast.

In a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean, salt, and yeast with a fork. If using stand mixer use paddle attachment. Add room temperature butter and 3/4 cup milk and form ingredients into a loose ball. If any flour is remaining loose in bowl, add remainder 1/4 cup milk. Dough should be soft and pliable not stiff.

Sprinkle counter top or other surface with flour. If using a stand mixer, switch over to the hook attachment. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until it passes the windowpane test. Dough should be tacky but not sticky.

Generously oil a glass or ceramic bowl with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place dough in bowl. Make sure dough is oiled completely. Cover with plastic wrap and towel and place in draft free area to rise until doubled in size. 60 to 90 minutes.

This is what your dough will look like after it has doubled in size.

Divide your dough into six equal pieces.

For best results, use a kitchen scale if you own one. Weigh the dough then divide the total weight by six. If I have a little dough left over I just divide it up in tiny pieces to each one.

Shape pieces in rounded discs by working dough with thumbs to undersides of your hands. On a baking sheet, place a sheet of parchment paper and lightly oil and generously dust a bottom layer of cornmeal. Place pieces of dough about an inch apart and lightly coat top with oil and generously dust top with cornmeal.

I love how the vanilla seeds and cinnamon peek through the dough. The flavor is so flagrant.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in draft free area to double in size again for 60-90 minutes.

Preheat griddle to 350 degrees. Or, if not using an electric griddle, place on low medium heat and preheat. Preheat oven to 325 degrees as well. Lightly spray surface with oil and carefully place rounds on to the griddle. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown.

A good quality griddle, either cast iron or electric, is the best way to go. I have since replaced my smaller ceramic griddle above with a cast iron griddle. It made a huge difference while cooking them because cast iron heats evenly, and I was also able to fit all the muffins on at once.

Carefully flip and repeat above step. Resist the urge to smash down your muffins once you flip them. It will make them dense. They will flatten out on their own as they cook. Let them do their thing. It’s one of those “Do as I say, not as I do” kinda things. I repeat, resist the urge to smash down your muffins once you flip them.

Place all the muffins on the parchment paper and finish baking on middle rack at 325 degrees for an additional 5 minutes. Let cool and slice apart with a fork.  That’s what makes the nooks and crannies. Although, you may not be able to wait that long. For best results toast the muffin. My favorite way to eat them is with butter and strawberry jam. What’s your favorite way to eat an English muffin?

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7 Comments

  1. avatar

    Yummy! I have my Nanny Florida’s English muffin recipe (more of a sourdough). Your variation looks and sounds delicious!

    • avatar

      Thank you. I treasure handed down family recipes. Before my Aunt passed away this year, I kindly asked her to share a few recipes with me. She so graciously did. May she rest in peace.

  2. avatar

    I LOVE english muffins but have never tried making them myself at home – yours look so wonderful and I love the flavor combination. YUM! Must try these soon.

  3. avatar

    I just love making homemade English Muffins! They’re so much more simple than you would think.
    Also, as for the old pics and wanting to revamp them. I totally get ya. Leave the old cringe-worthy pics, but just make your main pic (the one that will get pinned on pinterest and seen first) a new one. That way, the progress is still there, but you’re able to refresh things a bit 🙂

    • avatar

      Holly,
      Thanks for stopping by. Speaking of cringe-worthy pics, I was checking my blog stats this morning and saw one. I wanted to hide under my ottoman, and I was the only one in the room.

      I really enjoyed reading your about page and touring your blog site. I plan to visit again.

  4. avatar

    Hi Sherri!! I’m back about several quiet months in the blogosphere, and it feels great! It helps that my older 2 daughters have become interested in my food blog, and my 15 year old wants to help with the photo editing….will certainly save me a lot of time!

    These homemade english muffins look incredible! I’ve made them a few times, and you’re right….they are SUPER EASY to make! Love them! So much better than the store counterparts. Now that I’m experimenting with gluten-free baking, I can’t wait to give that a try.

    Hope you had a GREAT summer! 🙂

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