Friday, September 9, 2011

English Muffins

I am always reluctant to call a recipe "The Best" because when it comes to food, preferences are exactly that - preferences.  Very subjective.  

So I'll just say that out of the four English muffin recipes I've made in the past couple of months, this one is the winner in our opinions.  All the recipes attempted were good, very well received by my family and entirely consumed with no problem - but these muffins just took breakfast to a whole new level.  

They're really easy to stir together, don't require any kneading, rolling, or shaping, and cook up in 10-12 minutes on an electric griddle.  And the flavor is just fabulous.  The first time Grant tried one, fresh and hot, his comment was, "You have got to be kidding me.  Is this dessert?"  Not because they're sweet, they're not.  Just because it was so good, you wouldn't even want dessert afterwards.  
Served toasted with scrambled eggs and cheese for breakfast, with a few extra slathered with fruit preserves, they delight my whole family. 

The recipe is written with weight measurements - if you don't have a kitchen scale (which I highly recommend), I've included approximations for the measurements.  

Recipe:  (from Michael Ruhlman)

2 ounces/60 grams butter (1/4 cup)
1 T. sugar
16 oz. milk (2 cups)
1 package instant yeast (2-1/4 teas.)
1 large egg, beaten
16 oz. white whole wheat (or all purpose) flour (about 4-1/4 cups)
1-1/2 t. kosher salt
2 t. baking powder dissolved in 1 T. water
Cornmeal for dusting

Combine the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium/low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and melt the butter.  Add the milk, stir for a minute, and remove it from the heat.  Stir in the yeast and the egg. 
Combine the flour and salt in mixing bowl.  Add the milk mixture and stir till it's all well combined.  Cover and set aside for 1-1/2 hours, or refrigerate overnight (removing it from the fridge an hour before cooking).
Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. (325° on my griddle).   
Stir the dissolved baking powder into the batter.  Dust the griddle or skillet with corn meal.  Scoop-pour about 1/4 cup portions onto the griddle, free form or in rings.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until nicely browned.  Flip them and continue cooking until done, 5-7 more minutes.  
Allow them to rest for at least 10 minutes, pry in half with a fork, toast if desired, and serve with butter, honey, preserves, or with eggs and breakfast meat - however you like them!

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