I am now fully immersed in autumn, my favorite season. We’ve put away our sandals, slipped on our boots and thick socks, and I’ve dusted off my many plaid button-down shirts. The trees in the Hudson Valley today were a riot of color as I drove through, and I couldn’t help but smile.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this, but one of my favorite things about autumn is getting to use pumpkin in my baking. Pumpkin is one of the few remaining ingredients that are almost exclusively used during certain times of the year in baked goods like pies, cakes, and scones. That’s why when I take a bite of pumpkin pie, I’m instantly transported to all the other wonderful things I associate with fall, like dozing off in front of a fire, shopping for apples and cider at the farm near my childhood home, and gazing at the stars while sipping hot tea as the temperature drops. It’s all so deliciously and earnestly cheesy that it’s hilarious. My heart leaps at the thought.
Ever since we discovered how great handmade English muffins can be in Beijing (you can find our original recipe and a multigrain variation on it here), we’ve wanted to create a pumpkin-flavored variation. They’re almost ideal if I do so so myself. You can serve them halved, toasted, and spread with butter. In addition, if you’re in an outlandish mood, you can add some cinnamon sugar.
- 3 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour plus more for kneading
- 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1/3 to 2/3 cup of lukewarm water
- 2/3 cup of plain yogurt
- ¼ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of semolina or cornmeal
- 2 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
- Mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and spices together in a large mixing basin. Pumpkin puree, yogurt, water, and the dough hook from your stand mixer’s attachment should be added to the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set the speed to low and knead for 5 minutes. Knead by hand for 10 minutes if you choose. Rest the dough for 5 minutes after kneading.
- The dough should be rolled to a thickness of about half an inch on a clean, lightly floured surface. Use a round cutter 3 inches in diameter to make 12-15 discs (a drinking glass works well).
- Spread the semolina out on a baking sheet and set the muffins there. In order to equally coat the bottoms with semolina, rotate the muffins. Set in a warm place, covered with a damp towel, for an hour or until almost doubled in size.
- Brush some oil onto a flat griddle pan and heat it over high heat. Muffins can be added to the pan in batches over medium heat.
- To achieve a crisp and golden outside, cook each batch for 14 minutes total, or 7 minutes per side. Make only one turn.