Yesterday I finally decided to give them a try and at least then I'd be able to take them off my to do list. It's a very simple yeast raised dough, but it also has baking soda and folded in egg whites... that's a lot of leavening! No wonder there are so many nooks and crannies when you cut one open!
So, now that I've finally made them what's my verdict? I'm kicking myself that I didn't make them sooner. And I'm also kicking myself that I didn't have the confidence to know they would be good and experiment a little. I played it safe and just made a plain English Muffin. Plain like you can buy at any store at any time... boring! Like I said, I was assuming I wouldn't like them and I didn't want to waste any more ingredients than I already was. Now I know better! Next time I'm going to infuse some rosemary in the water and serve them filled with chicken salad... or I'm going to put chives in them and serve them with a scrambled egg sandwich... or I'll put mini chocolate chips in them and serve them toasted with peanut butter... or... well, you get the idea!
They were so good that when The Chef came home and tried one he said, and I quote, "I'm really impressed with these, and I'm not easily impressed." Well, that was a back-handed compliment if I ever heard one, but I understood the sentiment! They were surprisingly good and made the house smell delicious, but when you toast them the nutty smell of the toasted cornmeal just makes your mouth water!
yield: 16 - 3" muffins
- 1 1/4 C Water, 110 F
- 4 C AP Flour
- 2 1/2 t Yeast
- 1/2 t Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 t Salt
- 2 Egg whites
- Cornmeal, as needed
- pour water in a large bowl; add yeast, baking soda and 2 cups of bread flour; mix until smooth; allow to sit for 5 minutes uncovered
- while the yeast is proofing, whip egg whites until they become stiff and moist; when the egg whites have formed stiff peaks fold into dough batter using a rubber spatula until incorporated
- return to the mixer and add in the rest of the flour, a 1/4 cup at a time; after the first 1/4 cup mix in salt
- mix until dough becomes smooth; oil a bowl and place the dough into the bowl, turn dough over till all sides are very lightly coated; cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest till double in bulk, about 1 hour
- afterwards, pour out onto a flour dusted flat surface; gently press to release some of the air from the dough
- using a rolling pin roll out to a 1/2 inch thick; allow dough to rest for 3 minutes to relax; using a 3" cookie cutter, cut out circles; place the cut out pieces onto some cornmeal; you can re-roll the dough scraps; sprinkle the tops with more cornmeal
- cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 45 minutes; about 5 minutes before you are ready to cook the English Muffins turn on your griddle or frying pan to a medium heat; when the griddle is hot lightly oil it; place the muffins on and fry; if you are using a frying pan you may only be able to fry 3-4 at a time; fry on one side for about 4 minutes; then turn over and fry for another 4 minutes; do this once more to a total of 16 minutes