Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bake with Us - English Muffins for Breakfast with the BBB


Nooks and crannies!  That is what most people who love English muffins are really after.  The English muffin is a craggy, toasted, crunchy bite that holds plenty of butter or topping, or egg, whatever you choose to put on or into it.  They look somewhat like crumpets, but were called "toaster crumpets" because they were meant to be split and toasted.  And while they are called "English" muffins, it is mostly to differentiate them from traditional cupcake shaped muffins.  They were supposedly created in the United States by an English immigrant named Samuel Thomas.  He opened a bakery in New York in 1880 and sold the muffins, pre-cut or "fork-split," to give a rougher surface for toasting.  They have remained a popular alternative to toast ever since.  I can't wait to try out one for Eggs Benedict!

These were tender enough to just finger split them, but you can see it dented in the sides a bit.  So I went and fork started the rest of them.  They are still barely hanging together, but will separate nicely when I want to toast them, while still retaining that nice rough surface.  Never split an English muffin with a knife.  Totally defeats their whole reason for being.


I found that my griddle ranged from 285-355ºF while it was set to 325-335ºF.  I tested with an infrared thermometer laser and it makes sense given the cycling of the heating elements.  At that setting, the 8 minutes per side timing worked out perfectly.  Next time, I would be more careful to end up with 12 muffins instead of the 9 the I ended up with.  It is harder to get larger muffins done in the middle without over-browning the tops and bottoms.  Remember, they still have to be toasted.  I must try a sourdough version as I have made the sourdough English muffins from WildYeast and they were fabulous as well.

This is a totally easy bake with very little hands on time.  Pop them in the fridge and they are ready to grill up in the morning.  There is some planning ahead as they need a few hours for the first rise, then the overnight refrigerator rest.  We'd love for you to try it out and share your results with us!  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished bread to the host kitchen by the 29th of this month.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th.  Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.


English Muffins
from Serious Eats, Stella Parks
Makes twelve 3½-inch muffins
Active Time:20 minutes - Total Time:16 to 30 hours

 10 oz. bread flour (2 cups; 285g) I used all-purpose
 5 oz. whole wheat flour (1 cup; 140g) I used 70 sprouted einkorn and 80g light spelt
 2¾ teaspoons (11g) kosher salt; for table salt, use the same weight or half as much by volume
 1¼ teaspoons (4g) instant dry yeast (not rapid-rise)
 12 oz. cold milk (1½ cups; 340g), high hydration for lots of nooks and crannies I used ~325g to account for different hydration of spelt and einkorn
 3½ oz. honey (1/4 cup; 100g)  I used ~90g and would cut it in half next time
 1 large egg white, cold
 5 ounces fine cornmeal (1 cup; 145g) this is necessary to prevent sticking and over-browning during cooking.  I used millet meal that I ground in a coffee maker
· Roughly 1 oz. bacon fat, unsalted butter, non-dairy margarine, or oil (2 tablespoons; 30g), for griddling  I found that I needed only a wipe with a greased napkin on my non-stick griddle.

For the dough:
In a large bowl, mix flours, salt, and yeast together.  Add milk, honey, and egg white, and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until spongy, light, and more than doubled.  This will take around 4 to 5 hours at 70°F. (Timing is flexible depending on your schedule.) I started mine two nights before, stuck it in the fridge, then let it rise the next day, formed and chilled again overnight.


Shaping:
Spread a thick layer of cornmeal or semolina over a rimmed baking sheet.  With a large spoon, scoop out twelve 2-2/3 oz. (75g) portions of dough; it's okay to do this by eye, just try to get twelve and not less.  You can pinch the blobs here and there to tidy their shape. Sprinkle with additional cornmeal, cover with plastic, and refrigerate at least 12 and up to 42 hours.  I got the shape rounded and then flipped them over to coat evenly.


Cooking:
Preheat an electric grill to 325°F or warm a 12-inch cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-low heat. When evenly hot, add half the butter and melt; griddle muffins in batches until their bottoms are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook as before. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, then split the muffins by working your thumbs around the edges to pull them open a little at a time, or start the edges with a fork. Toast before serving, top with butter and jam or honey, or make Eggs Benedict or Florentine, or a breakfast muffin.  Store leftovers in an airtight container up to 1 week at room temperature (or 1 month in the fridge).

My first test muffins, perhaps a bit dark on the top.

Enjoy homemade English muffins with us!  Share your results!



Source: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/04/no-knead-english-muffins-recipe.html 

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes:
Approximate nutrition for one muffin:

7 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Well, talk about perfect! Kelly the shape on these is so good it's amazing and the nooks and grannies and that jam ... wow oh wow.
I think I'd read that about Thomas and forgotten it, they really aren't English. No wonder the Brits think we're a little nutty.
I certainly think you have these down to perfection.

Karen said...

These are so nice and fat! I wanted to try spelt but chickened out. Love yours!!

Katie Zeller said...

Thomas English Muffins - I bought them every week and we both loved them. Haven't had one since we moved to this side of the pond. Yours look perfect!

hobby baker said...

Thanks Tanna and Karen! I too was surprised by the amount of "griddle spring" on these. I don't know if it was because I reduced the hydration just a bit for the spelt. I did stir until it seemed like it might want to pull away from the bowl a bit, but the rested muffins were pretty flat. I'd say the height more than doubled after grilling. I might do the greater hydration next time in favor of more holes!

Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad to see that semolina works so well. Your muffins look perfect.

And do try the sourdough version. There's just as much griddle spring and it's so satisfying to realize that all the spring has come out of the air.

Lien said...

O wow these are just perfect. Great round shape and that height is the best! Very well done.

Cathy W. said...

Your English muffins look perfect! Love the height and shape! You tested your griddle? Now where's the fun in that! Actually, that's a great idea!

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