Nooks and crannies

Nooks and crannies
Nooks and crannies

Last week, my daughter Isabel informed me that she “needed” 26 English muffins to take to school for Wednesday. It was 7:00 pm on Tuesday…

After a few minutes of lecturing her on the importance of organizing the time and how he could not tell me about things like that with so little forewarning, blah, blah, blah … I started to make muffins. I had never cooked them and I really wanted to do it, but of course, I did not tell that to Isabel 😉

Before I started, I needed to find the right recipe and after a lot of surfing, I chose Alton Brown’s, because his version is quite faithful to the classic recipe and it succeeded in achieving the famous nooks and crannies that are so important for purist of English muffins.

I loved the fact that they are surprisingly easy and fun to make, I loved that they are baked on a griddle rather than in the oven, and I loved the fact that I was able to make the requested 26, with a few spares for the photo-shoot the next day.



  • ½ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • Non-stick vegetable spray

Special equipment: griddle, 3-inch (8 centimeters) metal rings or small tuna cans with tops and bottoms removed.


IMGP6044In a bowl combine the powdered milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt, shortening, and hot water, stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool. In a separate bowl combine the yeast and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar in 1/3 cup of warm water and rest until yeast has dissolved. Add this to the dry milk mixture. Add the sifted flour and beat thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Preheat the griddle over medium-low heat (or to 300 ºF if electric).

Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt to mixture and beat thoroughly. Place metal rings onto the griddle and coat lightly with vegetable spray. Using #20 ice cream scoop, place 2 scoops into each ring and cover with a pot lid or cookie sheet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and flip rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack, remove rings and cool. Split with fork and serve.IMGP6053

Because I had to make so many muffins and they were only for tasting, I decided to use some small rings I had at home. The result were these  tall and beautiful fun size muffins. Kids loved them!


35 Replies to “Nooks and crannies”

  1. Kids love anything sticky and sweet in their hands, especially something so yummy! 🙂

    There’s something about muffin ingles that makes me chuckle though, maybe the direct translation lol 🙂

      1. Well it’s just cute that we call muffin ingles, Unlike most spanish words have an actual dedicated spanish created name. If you know what i mean 🙂

      1. Thank you so much for that link! I will definitely try to make a batch …they will be much better than the store bought type. And the writer is so funny .. ha ha .. burnt edges on muffins! 🙂

  2. I have tried over and over again to make these and failed everytime but I have bookmarked this recipe so I’ll have another bash! what is ‘shortening’ is it an American thing..what is the English equivalent

    1. Hello there!
      Thanks a lot for your comment :). I’m sorry, I thought that the term was known for all English speakers (the first time I heard the word, I had to look for it on the Internet). Well, according to wikipedia, “shortening is any fat that is solid at room temperature and used to make crumbly pastry. Although butter is solid at room temperature and is frequently used in making pastry, the term “shortening” seldom refers to butter but is more closely related to margarine. Originally, shortening was synonymous with lard, since the invention of hydrogenated vegetable oil in the early 20th century, “shortening” has come almost exclusively to mean hydrogenated vegetable oil.
      Crisco is a brand of shortening (this is what I used). The term Crisco is commonly used as a synonym for all shortening”.
      I hope this will help to clarify any doubt 🙂
      Have a nice day!

  3. Can you believe I have never heard of muffins being baked on a griddle? You definitely gave me some ideas, thanks, Giovanna!

    And I remember so well the days when my daughter would inform me that she needed some cookies or sandwiches for 22 hungry school mates asap, oh dear, did I love those moments!

    1. Hi Barbara!
      Well, me neither… 😉 To be honest, when I heard the word muffin, two things came to mind: The muffins (cupcake style) and the Egg McMuffin!! But not anymore 😉
      Yes, the reward for all those days is the empty Tuppers coming home after school.
      Thanks a lot for your comment!

  4. Brava, Giovanna! I never would have thought to make these — but now I cannot stop thinking of doing so. Seriously. I need to make a batch. I’ve got all of this jam that I made and had better start using it. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!!!!

    1. Hi John!
      You should Is amazing how these things rise and cook completely is such a short time and over a griddle… I was amazed.
      They will be perfect for all that jam 🙂
      Thank you for the visit!

  5. I admire you for not screaming with horror when Isabel announced she needed 26 muffins (why did she need them, I´m curious!). Don´t eat them very often but I love them with a softly poached egg on top 🙂

    1. ¡Hola Tanya! Qué verguenza… perdona que no contestara antes a tu comentario. El reto me paeció interesante, menos mal que no eran muy difíciles de hacer…;) Los necesitaba para ilustrar una presentación sobre el Reino Unido que había preparado para clase. Con el huevo encima, se llaman huevos benedictinos, ¿no es así?
      Un beso,

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