Sunday, September 4, 2011

English Muffins

I have an English muffin problem.
So. Many. English. Muffins.
Every week I purchase two packages of 9 Thomas' English muffins, the 100 calorie, fiber filled variety. I eat all 18 of them each week and repeat the cycle each week. I've been wondering for a while now if I could make my own since I have pet bread-leaveners living in a glass bowl on my counter. So I turned to trusty Sourdough Home for a recipe:
English Muffins
Recipe from Sourdough Home
Sponge
46g (2/3 cup) non-fat dry milk
480g (2 cups) water at room temperature
240g (1 cup) starter yeasts (or a packet of yeast)
62g (2 tablespoons) honey
480g (4 cups) unbleached, all-purpose flour

Dough
1 scant teaspoon baking soda
120-240g unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
Hello friendly neighborhood yeasts....
Meet 2 cups of reconstituted skim milk!
Squeeze in two tablespoons (or 42g) of delicious honey.
Mix until the flour is just wet, no need to stir until
gluten formation here.

Cover and allow to set at room temperature overnight. In the morning, stir down the sponge which will have risen significantly. Pour in the first cup of flour and stir until the dough can be handled.  Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead the remaining cup of flour into the dough.  This dough is very sticky! I had to flour the top and bottom each time I went to knead it.  Once the dough is just slightly sticky to the touch, take a rolling pin and roll it out to a 1/2" thickness. Using a 3" inch cutter (or if you don't own one like me, the wide end of a drinking glass), cut out rounds. Reroll the dough and continue cutting out the rounds until the dough is used up.
You will have a lot. This recipe seems to make about
28 to 30 muffins.

Allow the rounds to rest in a warm area for about an hour. After the hour is up, heat a griddle pan to medium heat. I cooked mine at about the same temperature I'd cook pancakes at to allow the insides a chance to cook.  At flipping time, make sure you squish the muffin down with your spatula to make it spread out horizontally and not just rise vertically.
They lack the nooks and crannies that Thomas' has us all trained to expect, but they were still quite tasty. Truth be told though, while good, they were a lot of work. It was certainly a fun experiment and wonderful way to use my pet starter yeasts. They will be great for entertaining at a brunch but I think I'll stick with Thomas' for everyday eating.

What's your favorite way to eat an English muffin? Toasted with jam? Toasted with peanut butter? Let me know in a comment down below! :)