5 1/2 to 6 cups flour
2 packages yeast
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons shortening
2 teaspoons salt
In mixer bowl stir together 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In saucepan heat milk, sugar, shortening, and salt till warm,(115 to 120) and shortening is almost melted, stirring constantly. Add to flour mixture. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic(6 to 8 minutes) Place dough in greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover let rise in warm place till double(1 1/4 hours) Punch down cover and let rest 10 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a 4 in round cutter. Dip in cornmeal to coat both sides. Cover let rise till very light (about 30 minutes) Place 4 muffins on each of 4 ungreased griddles or skillets. Cook over medium heat for 25 Minutes; turn frequently. cool. To use split and toast both sides.
If you do not have four skillets, cook only half of the dough at a time. Cove the remaining dough and keep refrigerated. If desired cut the remaining dough before refrigerating. The cut muffins will rise slightly while in the refrigerator, so they may not need all of the suggested 30 minutes to rise and become light. Makes 16 muffins
Whole wheat English muffins: Prepare as above, except combine yeast with 3/4 cups all purpose flour,1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour,1.2 cup cracked wheat, and 1/4 cup wheat germ. Increase shortening to 1/4 cup. Use up to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour as the remaining amount to be stirred and kneaded into dough. Makes 12 muffins.