Monday, August 26, 2013

English Muffins

English Muffins


Good old,  English Muffins.  Split them with your fingers, pop them in the toaster then butter and spread with jam; grill them with savoury toppings; mini-pizzas; for morning tea, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea... and yes... even the evening meal when you're having a something simple like eggs and baked beans.  (Oh my!  Saturday brunch,  "egg and bicken muffin".)  The uses for little palm-sized 'rolls' are endless but unfortunately the ones you buy in the shops always have nasty preservatives. 

Making these is easy,  but set aside some time to stand at the stove.  You're going to be flipping these  over every few minutes several times.  You might like to have a couple of frypans going at once. 

I googled around and this is almost exactly this recipe at The Opies: Family Food  I've just tweeked it ever so slightly.  You might tweek it to suit yourself as well.  This recipe makes about 34 muffins using my 7.5cm scone cutter.

Ingredients:
  • 240g Milk
  • 25g Sugar
  • 50g Butter
  • 240g Water
  • 7g instant Yeast
  • 750g Plain Flour (I have used both Bakers Flour and Plain Flour and prefer the stronger bakers' flour,  but both work well)
  • 1tsp Sea Salt
  • Extra Plain Flour in a small bowl to dip dough circles into
Method:
  • Put Milk and Butter into a microwave-proof jug and warm on high for 60 - 90 seconds
  • Add Sugar and stir to dissolve in the warm milk mixture and set aside
  • Warm the water in the TMX on 50ÂșC for 1 minute Speed 1
  • Sprinkle the yeast on the water and leave for 10 minutes
  • Give the milk mixture a stir up (the butter will be cooling on top by now) and add to the TMX jug
  • Add half of the flour  and mix on Speed 6 for 15 seconds
  • Add the rest of the flour and the salt, mix on Speed 4 for 10 seconds and then knead for 3 minutes
  • Leave the dough to double in size (about 30 minutes) 
  • Punch down, and roll out on a floured surface to about 10-15mls thick
  • Cut circles, dip into the extra flour on both sides and set aside (I like to use a huge tray so I can move them about the kitchen easily)
  • Allow to sit for another 10 minutes
  • Very lightly oil your fry pan (I mean LIGHTLY, with a brush) and set up on the lowest heat.
  • Place a few into your fry pan so you can easily maneuver them about with a spatula.  (My fry pan fits 5 around the edge and 1 in the middle.)
  • Pop a lid onto the fry pan and let them cook for 3 minutes.  The lid will help the muffins rise beautifully.  Flip them over and do another 3 minutes with the lid on
  • Flip them over again every 2 minutes without the lid now (yes, I set a timer so I don't forget when I'm doing other stuff at the same time) until you're satisfied their done.  About 3-4 turns for each side.
  • Pop them onto a rack to cool and start over with the next batch.  
  • Store in the freezer in bags or sealed container.  If you're feeling keen,  cut around each muffin with a sharp knife (like is done with commercial ones) so that you can just easily split them with your fingers later on.
Verdict:  "Just like a bought one." said Mr frillypants.  Woah!!!  That's big words right there!!  Just like a BOUGHT ONE.  

Tweeks:  Using 2 fry pans or some sort of large hotplate would be best because the last few have risen again while waiting and I end up denting them as I pick them up.  Then they don't have beautiful bottoms anymore.  :(   I definitely use a timer because that frees me up to do other things at the same time.  Today I mixed up some yogurt and wrote this blog post while cooking the muffins. Without the timer,  I'd forget where I was at and I'd have black muffins.  Ewww.

Non-failsafe additions.  Regular muffins are dusted with polenta...  but that's HIGH in Salicylates and Glutamates.  But,  if you're not concerned about that,  then use polenta where I've dusted with extra flour.  (That's what's happened in the photo above)  Fruit muffins:  add 200g sultanas/raisins/currants and a tsp cinnamon or nutmeg with the last of the flour.  NOT failsafe.