Monday, May 7, 2012

English Muffins

This past Saturday morning around 7 a.m. I rolled over and said to David

I'm going to go downstairs and make some English muffins

David knows me well enough to know that I didn't mean

I'm going to go toast myself an English muffin. Maybe slap on some jam, or if I'm feeling ambitious an egg and some cheese

Because this is what I do. I wake up on a random Saturday and decide to make marshmallows. Or even doughnuts. I don't know why I do, but I do. So here's how it went.

English muffins are very easy to make. They don't require a lot of ingredients, and while they do require yeast they don't take hours to rise; a mere 35-40 minutes seemed to do the trick. I had no idea that English muffins aren't baked in the oven. They cook on the stove top. I used my griddle pan and managed to cook six at a time. (The way they puffed up when they hit the hot pan was quite satisfying.) The cornmeal coating seems to protect the muffin from getting overly toasted. I cracked one open very shortly after removing it from the stove top and slathered it with some strawberry jam. Mmmmm...super good.

English Muffins from Tasty Kitchen

  • 1 cup Milk
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 cup Warm Water
  • ¼ ounces, weight Yeast
  • ¼ cups Cornmeal
  • 5-½ cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Combine milk, butter, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Warm until butter starts to melt, then whisk briefly. Remove pan from heat and allow liquid to cool to lukewarm.

Pour water into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with yeast. Stir gently with a fork. Set bowl aside for 10 minutes, or until yeast has dissolved.

Line baking sheets with waxed paper and sprinkle with a generous amount of cornmeal.

Pour cooled milk mixture into yeast mixture and gently stir until well blended. Add 3 cups flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth. Beat in remaining flour and salt until the dough is no longer sticky. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface and dust with flour. Flour hands and knead dough for 3-4 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes.
Roll out dough with rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into circles (a tumbler or mason jar does well). Transfer muffins to prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover with a dry, lightweight towel and let rise until doubled in height, 35-45 minutes.
When muffins have risen, heat a skillet over medium heat. Carefully lift muffins from the pan and place on the ungreased skillet. Cook about 10 minutes on each side, using a spatula to flip them. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before splitting (with a fork) and toasting them.

Sunday morning I fried up some turkey bacon and made egg sandwiches for the grown-ups with my English muffin bounty. The boys wanted pancakes, which I made because when they saw the griddle pan Saturday they were expecting pancakes and I dashed their hopes with English muffins. Not the same thing. At all. Ask any 7 or 9 year old boy you know. English muffins are not an acceptable substitute for pancakes. But home-made English muffins are darn good and I can't wait to pull the left-overs out of the freezer the next time I'm craving one.

And you didn't ask, but this is what we were dancing to in the kitchen Saturday morning. Getting up at 7 seemed to inspire everyone else to get up, even though we're typically a sleep-in-late on the weekend household. This was performed on the recorder at a certain Spring Concert we attended recently. Can't get it out of my head!

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