Fabulous English Muffins

Who thought you could easily make your own English muffins? Complete with nooks and crannies? Well, you can. And wait ‘til you taste these babies!
 
Makes 10-12 muffins
Ingredient List: 
2 ½ teaspoons (1 packet) yeast
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup or coconut sugar
1 ½ cups warm water
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons sea salt
Step By Step Instructions: 
Place ½ cup warm water in a large mixing bowl and dissolve sweetener by stirring. Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the water and set aside to stand until it bubbles, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in oil along with 1 cup warm water.
 
There are 2 ways to proceed now: with a stand mixer or by hand:
 
 
 
Stand Mixer
Attach dough hook to the mixer.
 
Place all but 1 cup flour in the mixer and turn speed to ‘2’. Slowly add yeast/water mixture until all the ingredients are combined and a soft dough forms. Slowly add flour until a ball of dough forms and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
 
Continue to process at speed ‘2’ to knead the dough for 7 minutes, adding small amounts of flour as needed so the ball of dough continues to ‘clean’ the sides of the bowl and create a soft ball.
 
Lightly oil a bowl (twice as large as the dough) and transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and lightly turn it so that the dough is coated with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and cover with a light dish towel. Set aside in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
 
Hand Kneading
Place all flour in a large wide mixing bowl and form a ‘well’ in the middle. Pour the yeast/water mixture into the well and begin mixing with a fork to pull the flour into the liquid.
 
Once the dough forms a ball, knead for 8 to 9 minutes, in the bowl, adding small amounts of flour to create a soft ball of dough.
 
Lightly oil a bowl (twice as large as the dough) and transfer the dough to the oiled bowl and lightly turn it so that the dough is coated with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and cover with a light dish towel. Set aside in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
 
Once the dough has risen, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead 1-3 times.
 
Heat a lightly-oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat.
 
Break the dough into balls that are about 2 inches in diameter. Place 4-6 dough balls on the surface of the hot skillet and press them down with a spatula, but do not flatten. Think English muffin thickness. Allow to cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes, lightly pressing the muffins every few minutes. The muffins will swell and increase in size by about 50% so don’t crowd the skillet.
 
After 4 minutes, flip the muffins and cook for another 4 minutes. You’ll know the muffins are done when both sides have the typical browning you associate with English muffins. They will sound hollow when you tap on them.
 
Split with a fork before toasting and enjoy!