Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Making English Muffins Is Not Hard


I will say that if you can't do without a specific brand or a specific taste... go to the market and buy them.  

But I'm finding that to make something that resembles a good and fresh English Muffin, it is probably one of the fastest way to get dough to become bread out there.

The wrinkles are simple.  This is all about the process, not the recipe.  Last time I made these, I used a "Jewish Rye Bread" recipe that was a vigorous rise due to the Bread And Butter Pickle Juice that was added to make them tart.

After I eat some of this Rye Bread that I have been enjoying, I will piece together the recipe and pass it on but...

First find a dough that you like as bread.  The typical recipe that we all expect with Nooks And Crannies is a Sourdough recipe.  You will want a recipe that has a long rise time which means you make the dough today, place it covered in your refrigerator, and then make it later.  12 hours to a day later.

Then the next day, shaping and rising happens.  The commercial muffins are approximately 60 Grams in weight after cooking.  That's about 2.1 ounces 'Merican.  Get a cookie sheet, cover it with parchment paper.  Then oil that sheet well.  You won't be using it to bake, merely to rise the dough.  Open your oven and make sure you took everything out there and then close it.  Turn on the light.  Leave the light on.  Close the oven door.

 If your oven is like mine, it will maintain a 100-110F 40-45C temperature just from the light bulb.  Think "EZ Bake Oven".  Great place to get your Yeasties to have a good start!

Get a dough ball of around 60 Grams and flatten it to a palm sized disc.  Place that disc on your oiled cookie sheet.  Repeat as needed.  You will end up with a cookie sheet coated with about a dozen discs that are ready to go into that oven for the rise.  My rise took 2 hours with a room temperature dough, colder doughs from the refrigerator will take longer.

... But they do taste a lot better and more complex!

Check in on your dough every half hour, and you are ready to bake when they double in size.

The cooking process is a bit different.  Under your stove where the skillets and dome lids live, find a large skillet with a matching lid.  A 12 Inch/30 CM skillet would be fine.  These muffins need room around them to cook.  

Oil the skillet generously, and dust the oil lightly with either corn meal or flour.  

Preheat the skillet on Medium Low Heat.  

When the skillet is up to temperature, place a few of the muffins on the skillet with room to roam, and cover with the dome lid.  The muffins-to-be should be gently removed from the cookie sheet so that they deflate as little as possible.  

Begin to check the muffins after 2 minutes, and every 30 to 60 seconds thereafter.  When the one side looks golden brown and toasted, flip them and repeat.  I found that the first batch took a lot longer (about 6 minutes) per side than the last batch (3 minutes) per side.

Golden Brown is perfect.  The picture was from the last batches I made.  

The basic theory is that you're browning the crust and steaming the entire muffin with the lid covered.  

It is very similar to the Hotteoks (Korean Donuts) that I make from time to time which are basically just English Muffins filled with a little jelly.  In fact, I'd suggest for a little treat just make one or two of these into Hotteoks for later.

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