In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, combine powdered milk, 1 TBSP sugar, salt, butter or oil, and hot water. Stir until all is dissolved, set aside to cool to room temperature. (It is important to cool this down to room temperature or colder.)
When cool, in a separate small bowl or measuring cup, combine yeast, ⅛ tsp. sugar and warm water. Let proof for 5 to 10 minutes. When foamy, add to mixing bowl and combine with milk mixture.
Add the sifted Artisan Flour and beat to combine until well incorporated (it will look a bit like cooked oatmeal). Scrape down bowl, and then turn up to medium high on stand mixer and beat for three minutes. When done, scrape down dough to center of bowl, spray the top, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes until double in size and quite airy.
Pre-heat oven to 350° while dough is rising.
Turn on griddle to pre-heat on low (or 250°). Lightly oil or spray griddle. Put rings on a parchment covered sheet pan. Spray rings well then place rings on the warming griddle. Keep parchment and sheet pan close at hand for later use.
When batter has finished rising, mix by hand with a rubber spatula, which will deflate the dough. Do this gently and in a folding motion.
Once rings are warm, sprinkle about a tsp. of cornmeal in each ring. Then scoop out dough with a small ice cream scoop or soup spoon, and make 4 scoops of dough in each ring, filling all 6 rings. Make sure all dough is on the inside of the ring. If you have extra dough go back and fill in the center or empty space in each ring. Spray top of muffins, cover with the sprayed side down parchment paper, and lightly press dough into rings if needed to fill in all the gaps. Remove paper, sprinkle a tsp. of cornmeal on each muffin, replace sprayed paper on muffins, then top with sheet pan. Cook 4 to 6 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Flip with a metal spatula, while keeping rings on. Cover with parchment and sheet pan and repeat cooking process for 4 minutes. Remove paper and sheet pan. Using the same pan and paper, move English muffins to the sheet pan and place in pre-heated oven. Bake 3 minutes with the rings on. Remove rings, using small tongs, by grabbing one edge and pulling up. Remove all 6 rings and put a clean piece of parchment over English muffins and cook in oven for 10 to 13 minutes. Pinch edges together and if they spring back, they are done. (You want to cover the English muffins while cooking with parchment to keep them from browning, or else they will get too dark when toasted.)
When done, cool on wire rack 10 to 15 minutes, until you can handle them. Use a fork to split the muffins (makes the nooks and crannies); insert into the middle of the band around the English muffin, remove and repeat around the muffin until you reach the first set of holes. You may need to wipe off the fork many times or use many forks to complete this, because dough will be very gooey on the fork twines. With both hands, gently pull apart all around the muffin.
Toast until golden brown and top with butter and jam, make Eggs Benedict, or what ever suits your fancy!
These are best eaten the day they are made but will freeze beautifully; split with fork, put the two sides together again, wrap well, and freeze.
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown's English Muffin recipe.
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