Sunday, August 1, 2010

Now I will share what I consider to be the biggest breakfast success of my weekend of baking: English muffins! I’ve been making noise about trying them for quite some time. Really it started when I took my mom to mother’s day brunch at Founding Farmers in DC. They make almost everything in house- including homemade English muffins and sausage! (I’m not quite ready to tackle sausage making yet…) The muffins were so much more delicious than anything I’ve ever gotten at the store, so in my quest to conquer the world of yeast, I put them high on the list of things to try.
The result was very successful and not even very time consuming! I tried to take a lot of pictures of the different steps to make it clear. I found an excellent website that does an even better job of delineating the different steps. I would recommend it for a first attempt.

English Muffins
From Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Makes 6 muffins

2 ¼ cups flour
½ tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon butter (at room temperature)
1 cup milk (at room temperature)
Cornmeal (for sprinkling)
Canola oil

Step 1: Make the dough the night before. The dough only needs to rise for an hour at this step but it cuts down on morning prep time so you don’t have to wake up as early! Combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix in the butter and milk. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for at least an hour.

Step 2: The next morning, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and shape into balls. Lay parchment paper on a baking sheet and spray or coat lightly with oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Move the dough balls to the parchment paper and cover them loosely with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise for an hour.

Step 3: Heat oven to 350 degrees and heat a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop. Brush the stovetop with a little canola oil and gently transfer the dough balls one at a time to the skillet. Allow them to cook for 5-8 minutes on each side, or until they are nicely browned. They should flatten as they cook but there is no need to press on them. I used a big cast iron skillet and it worked wonderfully!

Step 4: When the muffins are done browning, transfer them to the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes. Do not wait until all the muffins are ready to go in the oven- put them in as soon as they are browned. Transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. We toasted ours and topped with butter and jam.

The prettiest plate (thanks aunt suzi)

These really were very easy and required little actual work time. I think during the school year I might make batches on the weekend and keep them in the freezer! I tried making whole wheat flour muffins as well but I wasn’t totally pleased with the results. I think I might experiment with using half white and half whole wheat flour.

The most creative plate- Matthew wrote "Hi" in bacon...
Watson relaxing in a lounge chair

1 comment:

  1. I just made these for Christmas breakfast. Delicious. Thanks for the idea.

    Happy holidays!