Saturday, 11 April 2015

English Muffins

English Muffins, ideal for breakfast, or for Eggs Benedict, are known in the UK, or certainly always were as muffins.  That name has been hijacked somewhat by the rather delicious sweet muffins these days. 

So for the purposes of this post I shall talk about English Muffins, even though it sticks, slightly, in my craw to so do.  

I love English Muffins, there is nothing nicer than tearing one open, toasting it and then heaping lashings of butter on it.  Not particularly healthy I know, but still irresistible.

The recipe I used was from Chefsteps.com and is quite complicated. It also uses lactic acid powder, which is not too easy to obtain.  I bought mine online. A simpler recipe can be found at The Bread Kitchen, from a lovely lady called Titli Nihaan.  She also does a very nice video.  Just as an aside I often watch Titli's videos, she does a variety of different ones and is well worth a look.

Now to the English Muffins that I cooked, they worked out quite well, though I got 8 rather than the 7 that the recipe said I would.  This is probably because a couple of mine were not as thick as I would usually expect. 

English Muffins
Ingredients:

  • 18g Instant yeast
  • 7 g Sugar
  • 100g Milk
  • 325g Bread flour
  • 5g Lactic acid
  • 4.5g Salt
  • 1.5g Baking powder
  • 155g Water

Method:
  1. Warm milk to 100 °F / 38 °C.
  2. Dry blend yeast and sugar. Add milk to dry ingredients, and whisk to mix.
  3. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to hydrate.
  4. Combine flour, lactic acid, salt, and baking powder in a sifter. Sift into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  5. Place bowl of dry ingredients in stand mixer with paddle attachment.
  6. On low speed, add the yeast mixture, and mix until incorporated.
  7. Add water, and mix until incorporated.
  8. Remove paddle attachment, and insert dough hook.
  9. Mix on medium speed for 30 minutes.
  10. Transfer dough to a floured surface, and form into a ball.
  11. If dough is too tacky to handle easily, dust with flour.
  12. Line a tray with one linen sheet, and lightly dust with flour.
  13. Place dough on linen and roll dough to 10 mm thick.
  14. Cover, allowing enough room for the dough to double in size.
  15. Let stand in a warm environment, 90 °F / 32 °C, until double in size, about 90 minutes. Times will vary, as temperatures affect fermentation activity.
  16. Lightly dust the second linen sheet with flour, and lay on top of the dough.
  17. Cover with a second tray. Without placing pressure on the dough, flip the dough over.
  18. Remove the linen that is now on top.
  19. Lightly coat a ring mold with cooking spray, and punch out the dough.
  20. Fill a spray bottle with water.
  21. Warm a dry skillet over low heat. Place a muffin in the pan. Turn up the heat to medium.
  22. Lightly mist the muffin with water. This helps prevent a skin from developing, allowing for more rise in the muffins while cooking.
  23. Cook until a golden crust has formed, about 5 minutes. The muffin will stick to the pan at first, but it will release once the crust has formed.
  24. Once golden brown, flip muffin. Cook to an internal temperature of 194 °F / 90 °C.
  25. Immediately transfer to covered container.
  26. Repeat to cook remaining muffins, returning the heat to low for each muffin.
  27. Around the side of each muffin, poke a row of holes by inserting a fork a half inch.
  28. Pull the two halves apart, and serve.

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