Ron wanted English muffins, so I decided to try these. Same as any other bread, right? Not really. The two biggest things I noticed was first, that the rise time on these English muffins is really short, so you have to really be around the kitchen – or at least the house – once you begin putting the ingredients together. Second, English muffins aren’t baked in the oven; they’re cooked in a skillet on top of the stove.
Both these things – short rise times and cooking on top of the stove – means that you have to set aside the entire time it takes to make these and you have to pay attention to what you’re doing. Not always easy for me to do. I now fully realize that one reason bread making appeals to me is that I can intersperse many, many other activities in and around the bread preparation.
But, no matter, today I made English muffins from a recipe I adapted from the English Muffins recipe I found in The Bread Bible by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter, page 144. Here is the recipe as I adapted it.
½ cup warm water
½ tsp blue agave
½ tsp yeast
4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 ½ tsp salt
1 cup warm almond milk (found in my local grocery store)
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
rice flour for dusting
Makes 9-12 muffins
Combine warm water, blue agave, and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Thoroughly mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Make hole in center.
Combine almond milk, olive oil, and yeast mixture. Pour into center hole of flour mixture.
Stir until a dough forms, then knead for 5+ minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic. It won’t be sticky (the way rye doughs often are). Form into a ball, cover with a lightly oiled clear film. Let rise for 60 minutes or until double in size.
Knock back dough and then turn out onto rice flour covered surface. Roll to about ½ inch thick.
Using a floured plain cutter, cut out 9-12 rounds (depending on size of your cutter).
Dust with rice flour and place on parchment paper dusted with rice flour. Cover with lightly oiled clear film and let rise about 30 minutes.
Cook at medium heat in lightly oiled griddle or frying pan. I sprayed Pam in a cast iron skillet and that worked beautifully.
Cook for 7 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
RESULTS: These are really tasty. Light on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. A bit of a bother to make (I can’t help it if I’m lazy!), but worth it. Great with plain butter or jam. We tried it with Lingonberry preserves – yummy.