Can you imagine eating a warm English muffin straight of the griddle. Toasted, spread with butter, jam or filled with a crispy fried egg and cheese. Delicious Right. Now you can stop imagining and get to make your own, because they are so easy, you will never go back to store bought.
Lately we have become obsessed with making and eating these little breads. They are so perfect for breakfast and can be served as plain or as elaborate as you like. Think little English muffin breakfast sandwiches, English muffin pizzas, English muffin burgers …I mean the list is endless. The amazing warm and comforting aroma that fills your home while these are on the griddle is something else. And then as simple as toasting and slathering with butter, these English muffins taste absolutely heavenly.
What I really love about these English muffins is that you can freeze them after cooking. This means great weekend breakfast ideas. I usually make about 12 and then pop them into the freezer. And then on Saturday or Sunday morning serve toasted and filled with fried or poached eggs, a slice of cheese and grilled tomatoes. They taste so good.
MAKING THE ENGLISH MUFFINS
Made with simple and basic ingredients and no fancy equipment required you are ready to serve and eat in an hour. The dry ingredients are sifted and mixed together. The rest of the ingredients added are then combined to form a soft dough. The liquid ingredients like the buttermilk and milk should be warmed slightly so that it works better with the yeast. Just lukewarm is fine.
Kneading the dough well is important as this activates the yeast and helps stretch the gluten in the flour so that the bread can rise well. Stretch the dough by pushing the front half away with the heel of your palm, while holding the back of the dough with the other hand. Then fold the stretched part of the dough back on itself, give it a quarter turn and repeat for about 8 to 10 minutes. The dough is then put back into the bowl and left to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
A great idea which I use to create a warm environment for the dough is by heating up some water in the microwave for a minute. Then quickly open the microwave, remove the jug of water and replace with your bowl of dough. Close the door and leave for half an hour. It is draft free and guaranteed to make the dough rise faster. After rising the dough is punched down and deflated, pressed or rolled and cut into ½ inch/1 ½ cm rounds and left on a tray for about 10 more minutes. It is then transferred to a pan dusted with polenta of semolina.
English muffins are not baked, but rather cooked on a pan, on the stove top for 7 to 10 minutes on each side until golden brown, crisp and cooked through. It is best to use a heavy based nonstick pan. They are then split in half, toasted on a hot pan and then served. However you prefer or plan to serve and eat these you are bound to love them
- 2 cups / 300 g/10.6oz oz. strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
- 6 g instant / fast rising yeast
- 1¼ teaspoons / 6 g salt
- 4 teaspoons /15 g caster sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons /15 g softened butter cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup buttermilk lukewarm
- 170 ml milk lukewarm (it should make a soft dough but you can add up to about 30ml/extra if needed)
- oil for greasing
- 15 g/1/2oz semolina or polenta plus extra for dusting
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on one side the flour and the salt into the other side of the flour. Add the sugar, butter, buttermilk and milk, then mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to10 minutes, or until soft, smooth and stretchy. SEE NOTE 1
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for about ½ hour, or until doubled in size.
Dust the work surface with a mixture of the semolina or polenta
Tip the dough out onto the work surface and roll out to about into ½ inch/1 ½ cm thick.
Using straight-sided cutter or cup cut out eight muffins. Place muffins, evenly spaced apart on each of the polenta or semolina dusted baking trays. Dust the remaining semolina or polenta over the top of the muffins.
Leave to rise for another 10 to 15 minutes.
heat a heavy-based frying pan on the stove to a very low heat. Cook the muffins for approximately 8 to 10 minutes, then flip over and griddle for another 8 to 10 minutes on the other side.
You can now either cut in half, and then toast the insides and serve as preferred or allow to cool, place in a bag and freeze until needed
1 ) Stretch the dough by pushing the front half away with the heel of your palm, while holding the back of the dough with the other hand. Then fold the stretched part of the dough back on itself, give it a quarter turn and repeat for about 8 to 10 minutes