Monday, June 10, 2013

the dough also rises

Ha, ha.  Pardon my ridiculous title -- let's just say I've been baking up awesome yeast breads lately!

Yesterday, I made Whole-Wheat English Muffins!  My second time with this recipe was a definite success -- like anything, the more you practice, the better/faster/more efficient you get.  While English muffins are slightly fussy, they are totally worth the extra time and effort in the kitchen.  Far more delicious than store-bought muffins and full of nutritious ingredients you select, at a fraction of the cost!

Step 1: Prepare dough

If you are familiar with how to make pizza crust or any other type of yeast bread, you can easily make English muffin dough.  It is a basic whole-wheat dough, using a blend of whole-wheat and all-purpose flours, enriched with milk, a little honey, and a little melted butter.  P.S. I don't have a big stand mixer, so I do my kneading by hand, which has always worked fine for me.

Step 2: Shape and allow to rise again

The biggest change I've made from the recipe as written has been shaping my English muffins using slightly smaller portions -- I have good success with 3 oz dough per muffin, (yes, I use my scale,) which makes 15 or 16 muffins from the linked recipe, instead of 12.

Step 3: Skillet-browning

The recipe mentions that the two characteristics of an English muffin that make them unique are the dusting of cornmeal, and the turn in the skillet.  Possibly the most time-consuming part of the process, (cooking 5 minutes per side,) this takes a bit if you don't have a large griddle to cook a whole baking sheet-full at once.  I will likely return to using my griddle next time, although I always love using my cast-iron frying pan.

Step 4: Bake!

This recipe suggests a final trip into a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes; my muffins seemed more done after 10 minutes.  They were a little crowded on the baking sheets, and I think my oven runs cool, so that definitely explains it.

Have you ever made English muffins?  What did you think?  I have a feeling these will become a standard piece of my baking repertoire, especially since they freeze beautifully, too.

Here are a few other things I've baked and cooked this weekend:

Buttermilk Scones

An incredibly simple, delicious recipe, using just enough butter for richness without becoming heavy, these scones seem infinitely adaptable, and will be a frequent repeat at our house.  I added some dried cranberries this time; chocolate chips and almonds for sure next time!

Irish Oatmeal Bread

My go-to sandwich bread, I decided to bake up a couple of loaves this weekend, while I had the flour and yeast out for the English muffins, and stock up my freezer with healthy, homemade, whole-grain carbs.

One of our favorite dinners - Quiche!

I rolled out a homemade pie crust and filled it with the above recipe, adding about 2 cups finely chopped fresh spinach.  John and I both love quiche, and it makes such a great, light meal -- perfect leftovers for work lunches, too!

And last but not least, tempeh reubens:

Storebought rye bread, thousand island dressing, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and "Seasoned Tempeh," from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.  A mighty fine sandwich for a cool, rainy Sunday!

And, I better run . . . Monday morning always creeps up on ya, doesn't it?  Hope you had a good weekend, too!

1 comment:

Carrie™ said...

I've never made English Muffins. I've bookmarked the recipe to try. Sounds easy enough. We like quiche a lot too. Looks fabulous!