Add the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) and pour over the boiling water, milk, yeast and sugar and stir to combine. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast starts to bubble.
Add the flour and salt and mix together either using a wooden spoon or the dough hook on your stand mixer. Knead in the bowl for 2 minutes - if you need to, add about ⅓ cup more flour. The dough will be sort of sticky but will still form a ball without sticking to your hands. Cover the bowl and put in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
Shape & rise
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface, split into 8 even sized pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Roll each ball in the cornmeal and place on a baking tray (giving them about 2cm of space between them) and leave them uncovered, in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes until they are puffy.
Cooking Method 1: Using a frying pan and the oven (My preferred method)
While the muffins are rising, heat a frying pan/skillet over a low-medium heat - let it heat for about 10 minutes before you cook the muffins. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Working a few at a time, carefully place each muffin into the frying pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side and then remove from the pan and transfer to a baking tray. Once all the muffins have been fried, bake them in the oven for 8 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Cooking Method 2: Using only a cast iron or electric frying pan
While the muffins are rising, heat a cast iron frying pan/skillet over a low-medium heat, Let it heat for about 10 minutes before you cook the muffins.
Working a few at a time, carefully place each muffin into the frying pan. Cook for 2 minutes on 1 side, then carefully flip over and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Flip again and cook for 5 more minutes on the first side, and then if they need it, flip one more time and cook for a further 2 minutes. During this process, keep an eye on them so that they don't burn. If they look to be browning too quickly, turn the heat on the frying pan down and flip them more frequently.
Once they are nice and brown on both sides, remove them from the frying pan and place on a cooling rack.
Serving and storing
To make sure you get all the great nooks and crannies that you want, use 2 forks to prise the muffins open before serving. Toast under the grill or in the toaster and spread with butter and jam!
English muffins store best in the fridge for 3-4 days. They also freeze really well. Split them open and place back together before placing into a snaplock bag and freezing. This makes it easier to pull them apart when they are frozen and put them straight in the toaster.