Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Homemade English Muffins

I made english muffins!!! whats even better is that they were super duper easy to make. If you are new to breadmaking like I am, I highly suggest trying this recipe. I can not believe how easy it was to make them. The dough was very easy to work with and there is something so cool about cooking the dough in a frying pan! 
The texture was chewy and although mine didn't have the holes like the store bought ones, it still tasted like an english muffin. 
The only question remained..Could you toast these and make an Egg Mcmuffin? 
Why yes... yes you can. I was hopping around the room in excitement! My husband snagged this right after I took a photo of it. He couldn't believe I was frying the egg up just for a photo shoot..only a food blogger would understand my need to do just this:) I needed several shots and thought for sure the egg would turn cold..so I wasn't really looking to eat it..Thankfully the first one worked and it was gone after that!
I decided not to take a photo of each step. My camera is not one to pick up when your hands are covered in a sticky dough. The other reason is because the website the recipe came from has a step by step tutorial with photos included. I am a really visual person when it comes to making alot of things and this website did a far better job then I could have. I will include the recipe here but encourage you to head over there and look at the photos. Thank you The Knead for Bread for a fantastic recipe!
 ** For my expat peeps in the netherlands and germany: I realise the bread flour you buy in the stores here already come with yeast and alot of the time salt in the bag. I went ahead and added in a packet of yeast and left the salt out. I was worried there wasn't enough yeast in there to do what I needed it to. It worked great and I'm glad I didn't add the salt in. It was perfect the way it was**

English Muffins..I was able to make 19
1-1/4 cups Lukewarm Water
4 cups Bread Flour
2-1/2 tsp. Instant Yeast
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1-1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Small Egg Whites
Fine Cornmeal..I used Polenta

In a large bowl pour in lukewarm(110F)water. Add instant yeast, baking soda and 2 cups bread flour. Mix until smooth. Allow to sit for 5 minutes uncovered. In the meantime add egg whites into a seperate bowl and beat with electric mixer. You want them to become stiff and moist. Once the egg whites have formed stiff peaks, add to dough batter. Using a rubber spatula fold in the whites until incorporated into the batter.

Start to add the in the rest of the flour, 1/4 cup at a time using a wooden spoon. After the first 1/4 cup add in the salt. When the mixture becomes to hard to mix in the bowl, pour it out onto a flat surface. (I went ahead and held back some of the bread flour to sprinkle on the counter top for kneading) Knead for about 5-6 minutes until it becomes smooth and silky. Add a small amount of oil into a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl, making sure to turn the dough on all sides to lightly coat it. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to double in size..About 1 hour.

Once dough has risen in the bowl,punch it down to release the air in it. Pour it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out to 1/2 inch thick. Allow to dough to rest for 3 minutes. Sprinkle cornmeal on the counter top to place the cut out dough. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles. Place the cut out pieces onto the cornmeal. When you have left over dough just re roll and cut out more circles. Sprinkle the tops with more cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 45mins.

About 5 minutes before you are ready to cook the english muffins turn your griddle or fry pan to medium heat. Spray with a little oil spray and once griddle or pan is hot place the muffins on to fry. If you are using a frying pan then you will need to cook them in batches wich is fine.

You will cook each batch for 16 minutes but you need to turn them every 4 minutes..so intotal you will turn them 4 times. Do not forget to do this!!!. If they are turning to brown then turn the heat down. I had mine on medium heat but my pan was to hot so keep an eye on them. Serve warm or let them cool down and toast them. I should say that some of my muffins came out funky. I have a few teenie weenies and even an oval shaped one but those happend after I had to re roll the dough out. So don't be alarmed if you get those aswell:)