Wednesday, December 17, 2008

English Muffins From Scratch

The family tradition for the last few years has been that I make Eggs Benedict for breakfast on Christmas morning. This year, I thought I'd try to make the English muffin portion of the meal from scratch, and even went so far as to invest in a set of four English muffin rings, since the two recipes I have for them involve the use of rings. Then I found a recipe that seemed even simpler, cutting the rounds with a biscuit cutter. This is the recipe I went with, adapted from Complete Cook by Le Cordon Bleu (the same book from which this bagel recipe came from).

English Muffins

2 tsp dried yeast
3 1/4 cup bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups water (approximately)

1. See this post for basic method. I let my dough rise twice: once before cutting (for about an hour, or until doubled) and once the muffins were cut (for about 20 minutes, or until they have risen slightly again, but not doubled). I recommend taking the time to do this as you get a nicer flavour and texture.

2. After the first rise, roll to dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut using a round biscuit cutter. The original recipe says to use a 2 3/4" cutter, but I found this too small, so for my second batch I used the next size up I had, which was 3 1/8".

Reroll the dough until it's all gone; I got 14 muffins in the end.

3. After shaping and the second rise, preheat oven to 425F and bake the muffins for 8 minutes. Flip them and bake an additional 7 - 8 minutes. Cool on wire racks. You can also cook them on the top of a griddle if you want to. Use a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet on low heat. Flip over when lightly browned and cooked through.

Now, if you're looking at my finished product and thinking those are some seriously whacked-looking English muffins, Madame Coyote, you'd be thinking the exact same thing that I did. These look nothing like English muffins. They look like fancy buns, but certainly not English muffins. I'm not sure what to attribute this to, as they shaped nicely pre-baking, but they went all crazy when baked. They taste pretty good, though, especially with butter and jam, and they had a nice, spongey interior. All is not lost; I'm freezing them and am still going to use them for Eggs Benny on Christmas morning.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

They look great!



Cherie said...

Haven't made English Muffins in YEARS but have been thinking they'd be great for the Christmas long weekend. As I recall I baked them on an electric griddle and they looked like the store bought ones, flat on both sides.

Yours look quite tasty, WC! Well done!

(Now I'll go find my recipe and see what I can come up with. It's a cold potentially rainy/snowy/freezing rainy day so what better to do with my time than bake and eat. Oh no! ;)

Meg said...


Border Life said...

They look very tasty!

Clueless said...

I just discovered this blog of yours and I am so happy. I love to bake and that has been my Christmas assignment since 1984 since I already had been for years anyway. Before my depression, I would make 6-8 different cookies and candies and give as gifts to my coworkers, friends, church and family. One year I had to purchase 14 pounds of butter. LOL!!! I used every bit of it.

Culinary school is something among many things that I've had in the back of my head, but it would be a hobby. I love taking a recipie and tweaking it to make it my own adjusting delicately liquid ratios, fat ratios, different brands. People at work would beg me to bring in my throw aways when they knew I was trying to perfect something.

Oh, how neat...I have to add this to my to follow? Oh, I love English Muffins, in fact, my therapist and I were talking about baking them the other day.


Wandering Coyote said...

Rosa: Thanks!

Cherie: I might try them on the griddle next time to see if I get a better shape.

Meg: thanks!

BL: yeah, they tasted pretty good and will taste even better as Eggs Benny!

CC: Welcome to ReTorte!! Nice to see you here! 14lbs of butter? Ouch! I think I bought 6 this year and I thought that was TONS! Sure, subscribe and keep coming back!

Kellie said...

You wouldn't happen to have an easy but yummy recipe for hollandaise would you? I've been craving some eggs benny as well! :)

Wandering Coyote said...

Kellie: Honestly? I use a mix - Knorr or McCormick's or whatever is available. It's not worth it to make it from scratch, IMHO.

Kellie said...

Very good to know. Thanks! A mix, I can do! :)


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