Or, as Dan Lepard described them, “traditional English muffins with a neat twist.” They have the exact same look of the regular English muffin, similar texture, but a slightly more complex taste due to the addition of cornmeal to the dough. Since they are leavened by commercial, fast acting yeast, you can have these tasty treats ready for brunch in less than 3 hours. Making bread first thing in the morning always makes me feel good, and gets the weekend started with a great vibe!

(detailed recipe found at The Guardian website)

The dough is made with soaked cornmeal, bread flour, yogurt, vinegar, and commercial yeast.

One important modification: I used only 350ml of water instead of the 425ml called for in the original recipe, after the advice of two friends (Celia and Joanna) who recently made these muffins and felt they did not hold their shape well if the full amount of water is added.

After three cycles of quick kneading, the dough rises undisturbed for an hour and a half, then is rolled 1/2 inch thick, and cut in circles. Initial cooking on a very hot griddle, 4 to 6 minutes per side, produces a beautifully golden crust on the surface…

They go into a 400F oven for 10 more minutes to make sure the crumb is fully set, and after patiently waiting for them to cool down, the baker might be lucky enough to hear her partner saying “can I make a little sandwich for you”?

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting….

ONE YEAR AGO: Cornish Hens for a Sunday Dinner

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Our nano-kitchen is no longer a bread virgin! This morning I baked a batch of English muffins, my favorite breakfast item. I used a recipe found in Susan’s Wild Yeast blog, that calls for a mixture of whole wheat and regular flours, and baked them on our electric griddle. It was wonderful to feel the smell of freshly baked bread in our new home.

(adapted from Wild Yeast blog)

For the sponge (make the day before baking)
110 g sourdough starter (at 100% hydration)
160 g bread flour
100 g whole wheat flour
276 g milk

for the dough
all the sponge
75 g bread flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp honey

Combine all the ingredients for the sponge in a medium bowl, cover and keep at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

Add the dough ingredients and mix to combine. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, then knead by gently folding a few times in the bowl. Cover and repeat this minimal kneading two more times over a 45 minute period. Do not add more flour, it will be a little sticky, but with time it will gain body and be easier to handle.

Flour the counter, pat the dough gently over it, cut in 8 pieces and form each one very gently into a flat circle. Place them over a floured parchment paper (dusted with semolina flour or cornmeal if you like), sprinkle flour on top and cover. Allow them to rise for 1 hour.

Cook them on a very hot griddle (450F) slightly coated with oil. Cook them 7-8 minutes per side, but make sure to flip them in the beginning every 2 minutes, this will ensure nicely shaped muffins. Cool completely before splitting them (preferably using a fork).


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I’ve been on a quest for the perfect sourdough / whole wheat muffin, and tried 4 different recipes in the past few weeks. My only change to Susan’s recipe was modify it for minimal kneading, and slightly increase the proofing time. I tried it with a higher proportion of whole wheat in the final dough, but that compromised the texture. This variation gave me the best crumb and still a hearty taste from the whole wheat flour.

I am sending this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting, my first submission straight from the nano-kitchen! So exciting! 😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  Kaiser Rolls

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