Monday, March 30, 2020

English Muffins

While life has abruptly changed for all of us these days, I'm stuck at home trying to look for the silver linings and to avoid reading more news.  One of the few advantages of social distancing and being stuck in the house is more time for cooking.  So I am aspiring to share some of the recipes we are cooking in our house, in case anyone is looking for inspiration.



This weekend I was craving english muffins and our local stores were sold out, so I decided I might as well just make them myself.  It turns out these are shockingly easy to make and really delicious.  Even a few days after making them they are still fresh and better then the store bought variety.  These are perfect for your quarantine kitchen - as they take a lot of time (two 10-12 hour rises), but pretty minimal effort!  That is if you can find bread flour in the stores these days...  



Photos of the mixing and rising process:


English Muffins
From the Bravetart cookbook (I recommend following her on instagram @bravetart for more inspiration!)
Makes 12 english muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 2/3 cup (16 ounces) bread flour
  • 2 Tb sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 Tb butter melted (4tb in the dough, 2 Tb for cooking) - note: bacon fat can be used for grilling, if you are already making bacon
  • 1/2 cup corneal, polenta, or grits

Make the muffins:
  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add in sugar, salt, yeast, milk and melted butter.  Mix together with a large spoon.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 10-12 hours.  The dough will roughly triple in volume and look spongy (see pictures above).
  2. Line a cookie tray with a sheet of parchment and sprinkle a layer of corneal over it.  Without stirring the dough, scoop out 12 dollops onto your cookie tray.  You can use a 1/3 c measuring cup, or a large spoon.  Make your hands damp, then smooth out the edges into a mostly circular shape.  Sprinkle with cornmeal again, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 10-24 hours.
  3. Preheat an electric griddle to 350f (or heat up a cast iron skillet, but this seems harder).  Melt the 2nd portion of butter (2 Tb) into a little cup.  Cover griddle with butter (or bacon fat), and transfer the dough portions to the griddle.  Cook for 8 minutes until bottom is golden.  Brush some melted butter on top of each muffin, then flip and cook for 8 more minutes on the other side.  Remove to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
To eat: split these by hand (instead of a knife), working your way around the edge.  Toast then consume.  (Even fresh these taste a little better toasted).

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

(Kid approved)



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