Known for their craters and pockets, these mini loaves are best opened with a fork to keep the inside texture crumbly, creating the perfect toasted surface for slathering on butter and jam.
- 2¾ cups bread flour
- 1 cup warm whole milk (105° to 110°)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed and softened
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup stone-ground cornmeal
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour, warm milk, egg, sugar, butter, yeast, salt, and baking powder at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until dough is smooth and starts to pull away from sides of bowl, 5 to 6 minutes. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Sprinkle a layer of cornmeal over a wellseasoned cast-iron baking pan or 14-inch skillet. Butter inside of 8 (3½-inch) canning bands, and place on prepared pan.
- On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball, and press each ball into a 3½-inch disk. Place 1 disk in each prepared band. Sprinkle tops lightly with cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Remove plastic wrap. Place baking pan on stove, and heat over medium-low heat. Cook, moving pan around occasionally for even heat, until muffins are golden brown on bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn muffins, and remove bands; cook until golden brown on both sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°, about 5 minutes more. (If muffins register below 190° but are golden brown, cover with foil, transfer pan to oven, and bake until the internal temperature reaches 190°, 5 to 10 minutes more.)
- Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.