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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chew on This | Homemade English Muffins

 The Sprite (my daughter) has been making breakfast difficult for me. She has decided she is no longer interested in our usual breakfast-time fare. She would many times rather go without then eat what I have to offer, which is totally not allowed! So while her disinterest (pickiness?) can drive me bananas and have me declaring that I am no "short order cook" - I still need her to eat something nutritious before heading off to school.

Her breakfast of choice, at the moment, is a Clif bar and a smoothie. Not bad, but I'm going through Clif bars like nobody's business since both kids like these bars in their lunches and for a snack. I've tried the old reliable breakfast offerings of pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and even cereal. None are piquing her interest. So, to the trusty internet I went to find some help.

Here's what's working for her now - Homemade English Muffins. They're easier to make then I thought they would be. And, best of all, everyone is loving them. Toasted with butter or jam. Or cheese. Filled with sausage (only The Boy and The Husband). Or filled with eggs (only The Sprite).

Whew! That's a relief…..for now! 


Here's the recipe:

Homemade English Muffins
(recipe via King Arthur Four)
1 3/4 C luke warm milk
3 T softened butter
1 1/4 t salt
2 T granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 1/2 C bread flour
2 t instant yeast

corn meal or semolina - for dust griddle/pan

To start, combine all ingredients (except corn meal/semolina) in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Incorporate your ingredients using a paddle attachment. Mix for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. The dough is quite sticky and stretchy - this is what you're looking for.

Form dough into a round ball, place in a clean bowl and cover. Let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2-2 hours. When your dough is ready, gently deflate it and divide into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball and then flatten the balls into 3" rounds. Place rounds onto a sheet pan that has been generously dusted with corn meal/semolina. Dust the tops of the rounds generously with the corn meal/semolina, as well. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for about 20 minutes. 

Once your dough is ready (it will only be slightly puffy after the 20 minute rise), place a griddle, or large, heavy bottomed frying pan, over low heat. Place as many dough rounds onto the pan, without them touching, as you can. Allow the dough to cook between 7-15 minutes per side, until the crust becomes golden brown. The muffins are done when their internal temperature reaches 200℉. If the outside of your muffins brown too much before they are cooked thoroughly, place the muffins onto a cookie sheet and finish them off in a 350℉ preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until baked through.

Fork split the muffins (do this to reveal all the lovely nooks and crannies) and serve with butter or jam. Enjoy!

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