Saturday, April 24, 2010

Recipe: English Muffins ... the good, the bad and the not-so ugly!

I love to bake bread and yeast-filled products.  I'm getting pretty good at it and we've only bought one or two loaves of "bunny bread" from the grocery since Christmas.  The kids are learning to like "mom's bread" even if it isn't as soft and fluffy (and full of junk) as the store-bought kind -- it is MUCH cheaper than the $3+ per loaf I was paying ... so, they suffer a bit.

With summer rapidly approaching, I will run into a snag with my bread baking.  My dh, who spent much of his formative years in the bayous of Louisiana will NOT let me turn on the oven once the temps go above 70 -- it is a hard and fast rule around here. 

So, I'm looking for bread recipes that I can cook on the grill, stove-top or elsewhere (and I don't want  a bread machine ... have gone that route before and it's not fun, stress-reducing or fool-proof!).

Last night I made salmon cakes with homemade english muffins ... and the muffins were excellent.  I think I have found a great recipe ... and method of making the little blighters which makes them both edible and delicious!

Here's the recipe with my changes and notes: 
English Muffins (based on a mix of different recipes from online and cookbooks)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 tbls active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 tbls butter
  • 3 tbls milled flaxseed
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

1. In a micro-safe bowl, warm the milk, sugar and butter until warm. Stir till all is melted. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, yeast mixture, shortening and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add salt and 2 cups of flour, or enough to make a soft dough; use the least amount of flour possible to make it not stick, but you want a soft, light dough. Knead. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise about an hour or 1-1/2 hours.
3. Punch down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter, drinking glass, or empty tuna can. You can also form the dough into balls and flatten – just be gentle. The muffins should be about 1/2-inch thick before rising. Sprinkle waxed paper with cornmeal and set the rounds on this to rise – you must do the cornmeal step else the muffins stick badly to the wax paper. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal also. Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.
4. Heat non-stick griddle (if using electric, keep heat around 225-250). Cook muffins on griddle about 10 minutes on each side. Continue to flip over every 5 minutes or so until muffins are a lovely browned color (or if you are in a hurry, preheat oven to 250-275 and place muffins on rack for 10min or so). Allow to cool and place in plastic bags for storage. To use, split by perforating with fork tines all around the muffin, and toast (or eat untoasted, just not as good).

This recipe made about 16-18 slightly smaller-than-storebought muffins.  I fork-split the left-overs and froze them in a ziploc bag ... this morning the muffins were amazing (see the picture above)!

1 comment:

  1. Mary, I love bread baking..don't do it often bcos of time! Have you tried making English crumpets? I tried once - a lot of fun, too fiddly for every day but nice to try at least once.