So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday's Menu

This past weekend, I decided I wanted to make English muffin breakfast sandwiches for breakfast. I saw on the last part of an episode of Dr. Oz that an egg, ham, and cheese breakfast sandwich made on an English muffin is actually the same calories as a bran muffin (but better for you because it has protein but not as much sugar). And ever since seeing that thing sitting on its plate, I had been thinking that I'd like one for breakfast the next day or two.
In order to do that, I needed English muffins.I have never made English muffins before so I thought, "why not?" I looked up a recipe and decided to give it a try.

As it turns out, the King Arthur flour website had a recipe. I really like their recipes. My favorite loaf bread recipe is from there and they seem to take time to test and retest what they post so that it is a good quality recipe. Much like their products.

So I was pretty excited to give them a try at this point. And, as it turned out, they were a hit. We have had breakfast sandwiches all weekend.

I was thinking I might put about as many as are usually in a package you buy in the freezer so I could just pull them out as if I had picked up a package for something at the store. Plus, that way we don't have to eat English muffins until they're gone.

These can be made either manually or in a bread machine. It's up to you. Also, it is best to use a fork to split them open rather than a knife (like their store bought counterpart). Several people claimed that they should always be toasted to eat but we haven't been doing that.

Hope you give them a try.

English Muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups lukewarm milk
  • 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast 
  • semolina or farina (I just used regular white cornmeal for mine)

  • 1) Combine all of the ingredients (except the semolina or farina) in a mixing bowl, or the bucket of your bread machine. Set to dough. Start the cycle. This will make a very soft dough, probably quite sticky. Go ahead to #4.
    2) If not using a bread machine:  This is a very soft dough, so you'll need to treat it a bit differently than most yeast doughs. If you have a stand mixer, beat the dough using the flat beater paddle until it starts coming away from the sides of the bowl, and is satin-smooth and shiny; this will take about 5 minutes at medium-high speed. When you lift up the beater, the dough will be very stretchy.
    3) Scrape the dough into a rough ball, and cover the bowl. Let the dough rise until it's nice and puffy; this will take 1 to 2 hours or so.
    4) Prepare your griddle(s). Using two griddles allows you to cook all the muffins at once; but since you probably don't have two griddles, you'll need to cook the muffins in shifts. Whatever you use — an electric griddle, stovetop griddle, frying pan, electric frying pan — sprinkle it heavily with semolina or farina. If you're using a griddle or frying pan that's not well-seasoned (or non-stick), spray it with non-stick vegetable oil spray first, before adding the semolina or farina.
    5) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, then flatten the balls until they're about 3" to 3 1/2" in diameter.
    6) The easiest way to handle and cook these muffins is to lay them right onto the cold surface you'll be frying them on. That way, you don't have to move them once they're risen; and they won't mind cooking very slowly as you fire the griddle up to its desired heat. If you don't have enough griddle space to do this, sprinkle a baking sheet heavily with semolina or farina, and place the muffins on the sheet; they can be fairly close together. Either way, sprinkle the tops of the muffins with additional semolina or farina.
     7) Cover the muffins (a piece of parchment or wax paper works well), and let them rest for 20 minutes. They won't rise like crazy, but will puff a bit.
    8) Cook the muffins over low heat for 7 to 15 minutes per side, until their crust is golden brown, and their interior is cooked through. When done, the center of a muffin should register about 200°F on an instant-read thermometer. If you find the muffins have browned before they're cooked all the way through, no worries; simply pop them into a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes or so, or until they're thoroughly cooked.
    9) Remove the muffins from the griddle (or oven), and let them cool thoroughly before enjoying. Remember: use a fork to split, not a knife to cut. Fork-split muffins will have wonderful nooks and crannies; knife-cut ones won't.
    Yield: 16 large (3" to 3 1/2") English muffins.

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