Sunday, October 16, 2011

English Muffins

If you've been following my blog at all you know I am a huge fan of making bread. I love making bread more than anything else! Yes, it takes a lot of time and patience but nothing can beat the smell of fresh bread baking in your oven or taking that first bite into bread that you baked just that morning.

This time I set out to make English Muffins. Not a difficult bread to make but it was the first bread that was not baked in an oven. English Muffins are actually baked on top of a lightly greased griddle or skillet. The whole family loved them, especially after I slathered them with some butter and homemade strawberry jam!

*As always, I only made 1/2 a recipe. This keeps me from gaining 100 pounds a year! :)

English Muffins
Source: On Baking: A Textbook of Baking and Pastry Fundamentals

9.25 fl. oz. Milk
0.75 oz. Compressed Yeast
1 lb. Pastry Flour
1 lb. Bread Flour
0.4 oz. Baking Powder (1 T.)
1.25 oz. Sugar
0.25 oz. Salt (1 1/4 t.)
1.5 oz. Unsalted Butter, room temperature
9.25 fl. oz. Water, warm
Cornmeal, as needed

1. Heat the milk to 75°F. Stir the yeast into the milk until it dissolves. Mix in 7 ounces of the pastry flour. Cover and ferment 15 minutes. (This is called the sponge.)

2. Sift the remaining pastry flour and the bread flour with the baking powder. Set aside.

3. Place the sponge, flour mixture, sugar, salt, butter and water in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix 3 minutes on low speed to moisten the ingredients, then beat on high speed another 7 minutes. The dough will be soft and somewhat sticky.

4. Cover the dough and rest 20 minutes. Punch down the dough and rest another 10 minutes.

5. Roll out the dough until it is 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into circles with a 3¼-inch cutter. Place the cut pieces on cornmeal-dusted sheet pans and proof 20 to 30 minutes.

6. Bake the muffins on a lightly greased griddle heated to 375°F until golden brown, approximately 7 minutes per side.

Yield: 18 Muffins, approximately 3 oz. each

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