This past weekend I made English Muffins...at home...from scratch. I am starting to amaze myself, actually. I can't believe that a year or so ago I was terrified of yeast breads and now...I'm dreaming about being chased down dark alleys by baguettes and buns...hmmm...just re-reading that makes me think that perhaps I still am terrified. Anyway...while I might be subconsciously terrified I am very much consciously loving making my own bread and discovering just how good home baked breads are.
Enough of that...and onto the muffins. English Muffins (so as not to be confused with those pesky cakey-muffins) are one of my favourite breakfast breads. I don't know if it is the slightly fermented taste, or the way they toast up...or how lovely they are topped with poached eggs and hollandaise...I've just always really loved english muffins.
The recipe I used comes from Dan Lepard's Short & Sweet. Of course I went into baking these with the utmost faith in the recipe...but...if you are going to attempt these...make sure you set aside a good deal of time to make them. The dough is mixed up the night before and left in the fridge to slowly prove. The next morning the dough is brought back to room temperature and then cut into discs and then left to rise...again. It is all a very slow process....totally worth it...but slow. My advice? If you want these for brunch (or even breakfast) you are best making the dough two days before you want them and baking them the day before.
Once the muffins have risen they are browned on both sides in a large pan with a lid and then transferred into the oven to finish baking through. I was honestly surprised at this stage. I mean the muffins had risen to about 2cm tall but the combination of heat and steam in the pan made them really puff up.
Out of the oven and cooled...although I ate the wonky-end-bits one right out of the oven slathered in butter. My only adaption? the recipe calls for cider vinegar, which I replaced with malt...making the muffins taste especially tangy. Totally perfect in my opinion since I love a good sour tasting loaf.
Waitrose apricot and apple sausages, spicy plum sauce, tomato and lettuce Muffin...devoured.