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Cooking Ex Nihilo: Making English Muffins

Living in a former French colony has its advantages when it comes to bread.  There's really nothing better than fresh baguette!  And then there are croissants and pain au chocolat, awesome in their buttery deliciousness.  As delicious and wonderful as these things are, every now and then one longs for a good old English muffin (which is probably more American than English!).

Now, I'm not gonna lie.  As with making any sort of bread-anything, there is a fair bit of time involved.  But a lot of the time is waiting for things to rise at which point you can do other things.  

I use a recipe in the More with Less Cookbook.  Since it's there, I won't write it out here, and I do encourage you to get a copy of that cookbook if you don't own it yet.  

I  cheat and make the dough in my bread machine, but it's easy enough to do by hand.  The main thing with dough, both in a machine and by hand, is to add the flour gradually.  If you add it all at once, it can get really tough and difficult to manage and will cook with the consistency of a rock.  You'll know you have the right amount of flour when the dough is no longer sticky and it is pliable and easy to manage. For some reason, the amount of dough the recipe calls for is not enough when made in my machine.

With English muffins, you let the dough rise and then punch it down and then cover it and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  You then roll it out and cut it into rounds.  

I used a large juice glass to cut my muffins, but you can also use a biscuit cutter.  Once you have them cut out, dip them into corn meal and place them on a pan to rise the second time.

English muffins are cooked on top of the stove, not in the oven.  We have a big griddle that fits over two burners and I can cook 8-10 muffins at a time.  The trick is to not have the heat too high or the muffins cook quickly on the surface but then they are gooey on the inside.

Once they are done, they are great with butter and jam.  We also like to make Egg McMuff*ns for a yummy breakfast sandwich.  They also freeze well.

These are not exactly like store-bought English muffins, but they are delicious, especially if you don't expect them to be exactly the same.


podso said…
I think they are better than store muffins. I used to make these regularly, especially in Africa, in my electric fry pan with a tuna can for a cut out. I used a recipe from an old kid cookbook "Feed My I'm Yours." Probably similar to the one you used.

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