1 package active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 c warm water
1/2 c whole milk
2 Tbsp butter
3 c flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 c cornmeal (optional)
1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let sit about 5 minutes, until foamy on top.
2. Combine 1 1/2 c of flour and salt in large bowl. Mix well.
3. In another microwaveable bowl, combine milk and butter and microwave for 30 seconds, stir and microwave for 30 more seconds. Continue until the butter has melted.
4. Pour the yeast mixture and milk mixture with the flour. Stir until it makes a pastry mix. Add 1/4 c of flour at a time until the dough forms a soft, slightly sticky ball that pulls away from the bowl.
5. Sprinkle flour on countertop and coat your hands (this is the messy part). Knead it for 5 minutes.
6. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl that has been coated with non stick spray. Lightly spray the top of the dough and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. It should double in size.
7. Punch dough down, shape it into a ball again. Cover and let rise again for 45 minutes to an hour or until doubled again.
8. Punch dough down again and place it on a well floured countertop.
9. With a rolling pin, roll dough until its close to 3/4 inch think (err on the side of caution). Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into circle. (Cut as many, re-roll the ball and cut out again)
10. Place the cut dough circles on a sheet pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal and sprinkle the tops (optional). Cover loosely with a damp towel and let rise until they are doubled in size.
11. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Carefully place muffins in skillet. Cook the muffins in the skillet until they are golden brown and crispy on each side (about 4 - 6 minutes each side.)
12. Let muffins cool on wire rack.