Sunday, August 20, 2006

English muffins

There is cornmeal all over my kitchen... an acceptable consequence of making English muffins from scratch.

Since you can buy decent English muffins at the grocery store, they're not something that people make at home very often. I was curious to see what homemade ones would be like; this was my first time making them, and results taste much different than the store-bought ones I'm used to. The homemade muffins are more substantial, with more noticeable butter and yeast flavors.

The recipe I used came from The 'Good Enough To Eat' Breakfast Cookbook by Carrie Levin, chef/owner of Good Enough to Eat in NYC. GEtE is known primarily as a breakfast/brunch place, and this cookbook is full of all the typical yummy breakfast foods: eggs, pancakes, muffins, waffles, and so on.

Since this was a first attempt, I followed the recipe pretty closely, even the parts that seemed odd. For example, you scald the milk, add it to the flour, and then add the bloomed yeast. I thought that perhaps the scalded milk might be hot enough to kill the yeast. Turns out that I had nothing to worry about. Here's the before and after:

English muffins before rising English muffins after rising

Risen English muffin

Yes, the yeast was functioning just fine.

I did have to fudge a couple of things. I do not own a biscuit cutter. The recipe says that you can also use a clean tuna can... except that I've never bought a can of tuna in my life (seafood allergy). So, my makeshift biscuit cutter: a clean glass.

I also don't have a griddle, but I do have frying pans, so I used one of those for the actual cooking. And although the recipe doesn't say to do this, I cooked the muffins in a little bit of butter. Just sticking the muffins in the hot pan with no oil whatsoever felt wrong. And since butter helps with browning, they came out looking kinda pretty:

Cooked English muffins

And once they were done, I opened one up (in proper English muffin fashion, with just a fork). Nooks! Crannies! They have the official English muffin texture. I immediately had one with some butter and honey.

Cooked English muffin

I normally skip breakfast, but I'll make an exception for these. Yum.

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1 comment:

snowdrop said...

Snowdrop here... Wow! There's something I've never made from scratch! I had to comment... They look delicious! And sometime I'll have to try making them...