Friday, September 24, 2010

English muffins

One of the things M. really loved about her time in Samoa this summer were the English muffins which her team leaders made them all for breakfast.  She raved about them so much that I asked her to get me the recipe.  Yesterday was the first time that I had enough unplanned time to try them.  Here is how they turned out:

I tried one to be sure they were edible and they are indeed very yummy.  They are particularly good with cherry butter.  (I have gallons of the stuff, you know.)  Want to make them yourself?  I'll share the recipe with you.  Actually, I'll give you the recipe as it was given to me and then I'll give you the recipe the way I actually made it.

First, the original way:

6 pkgs. yeast
3/4 c. very warm water
2 TBSP sugar
3/4 c. butter
5 1/4 c. milk
6 tsp salt
18 c. flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water.  Melt butter in milk, add salt when lukewarm and add to yeast.  Add 12 c. flour.  Beat batter well.  Cover and let rise one hour.  Punch down and add the rest of the flour until dough is stiff.  Knead thoroughly.  Let rise until double.  Punch down.  Pat out 1/2 inch think.  Cut into rounds.  Dust both sides with cornmeal.  Let rise until double.  Heat griddle or skillet, grease slightly.  Brown on both sides.  Makes 36.

OK, now my version.  This is if you have a large capacity mixer which is capable of kneading dough and can hold that much flour.  I have a Bosch and it managed with no problem.  I also use SAF instant yeast which is different from the little packages of yeast you buy in the grocery store.  That said, here goes:

Use the same ingredients as above, except instead of regular active dry yeast, use 6 tsp. instant yeast.

Melt butter in milk and add salt when lukewarm.  In mixer, place milk mixture, very hot tap water, sugar, 12 c. flour and place your yeast on top.  Pulse to mix and then run machine until the ingredients are well combined.  Cover and let rise for an hour.  Pulse to punch down.  While mixer is running, add flour until it cleans the sides of the bowl.  Mix on a higher speed for five minutes.  Turn out on a greased counter and flatten dough to just 1/2 inch thick.  (I found this easier to do if I split the dough in half.)  You can use your hand, or I used my roller-tool-thing (I'm sure that's its technical name) in the picture below.  I also used a biscuit cutter, also in the picture, to cut out the muffins.  I ignored all the other instructions to let the dough rise again.  It took a while to cook them all, so the dough had plenty of time to rise without hanging about waiting for it.

I used a small bowl of cornmeal and lightly patted the cornmeal on each side of each muffin.  I followed the rest of the directions as they are written, though it took a bit longer to cook them than I thought it would.  I was using pretty low heat so that the muffins wouldn't burn, but yet they would be cooked all the way through.  Oh, and it makes far more than 36.  I was able to get at least 46 and I could have rolled the dough a bit thinner. 

This will get us through three breakfasts if we are vigilant about limiting people to just one or two.  I realize that most families don't go through food at quite the same rate we do, so if 46+ muffins seems a bit much, I would think they would freeze quite nicely.  I'm not even going to bother... they'll be gone by Sunday.


sandwichinwi said...

Oh, YUM! We have made E. muffins in the past and they turned out fine, but I'm always game for a new recipe, especially a BIG recipe. We (at only SEVEN) in our family, would go through these pretty quickly, too. I freeze e. muffins all the time, so I think the freezing would be fine.

Did you use any whole wheat flour? We try to use mostly ww.


thecurryseven said...

This time I used a combination of white and whole wheat because I was using up some white flour that someone had given us. Normally I use whole wheat for everything. We grind our own and I the wheat berries I use are a hybrid hard red and white wheat, so the flour is usable for everything but pastry. Oh, and because we have the grinder, we also grind our own cornmeal as well. It's a very loud process, though.


sandwichinwi said...

We have a mill and grind our own, too. DH does it in the basement, now, because it's so loud (and it keeps the fine dust down there, too)


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