Heat up your milk. Get it to 120 degrees or thereabouts. Add in the shortening; it should melt and combine with the milk. If it’s not, it’ll just stick to your whisk; heat more if you need to. Add in the sugar and salt and mix until it dissolves. Now set it aside to cool. This is important, because you don’t want to accidentally kill your yeast.
In a separate big bowl, combine the yeast and the flour. Add in the cooled milk and mix it all together. Cover your bowl with some plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an hour or so, until it’s doubled in size.
Start warming up your griddle. Use cooking spray and spray the insides of your muffin rings and the 1/3 cup you’ll use to parcel out the dough. The dough is very sticky and it will deflate a lot, but the 1/3 measure works well. When your griddle is 300-350 degrees, dust a little semolina flour in each ring atop the griddle and use the measuring cup to place the dough. It should spread out well on its own within the ring or help it along with a buttered spoon. While the first side cooks, get out the semolina flour and sprinkle a little on the tops.
I use a small pair of tongs to lift up the muffin to check the bottom. The thing to remember here is that you want the top and bottom golden brown, but the center doesn’t have to be completely cooked. That will all be taken care of in the toaster later.
After flipping the muffins over, use the tongs to work the rings loose. Set them aside to cool a little. Let the English muffins continue cooking until they are done. Prepare the next batch the same as before my spraying the rings with Pam and cooking the dough.