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yourmyboyblue

Baking English Muffins - The Topic

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I've never seen a recipe that called for warming the flour before. I assume we'd want the liquid at about the same temperature?

Now, if I only I can find a "tavlespoon"?

SB (notoriously poor speller and typist who loves the chance to correct others) :wink:

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OK this is a breakdown of ED's 'most successful' recipe:

1 lb strong plain flour

1/2 oz yeast

1 level tavlespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons of fat (butter, lard or olive oil)

~3/4 pint (420 gm) of milk mixed with water

rice flour for dusting

Weight out flour place in an oven proof bowl and put into a low oven to warm (285F) for ten minutes.

When the flour is warm stir in the salt and creamed yeast,

What is "creamed yeast", or how do you cream it?

She thinks that it is the pre-warming of the flour and the oil that gives them there correct texture. The dusting with starch (in this case corn flour) is essential as it dries out the surface.

Good luck!

There's no corn flour in the recipe. Did you mean rice flour?

I've been looking for an English muffin recipe, too, as the ones in Japan suck. I found a recipe several months ago on rec.food.baking, the ingredients of which were:

1 ¼ cup water

2 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking soda

3 cups bread flour

3 Tbs. milk powder

2 tsp. yeast

The guy who posted it suggested cooking (can I still call it "baking"?) the muffins after the first rise. Is it possible to say how this recipe might compare to ED's, just based on the ingredients? Hmmm...I might have to make more than one batch...such a pity this baking thing is! :biggrin:

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Yes you can use either rice flour or corn flour for dusting. Or even fine semolina I guess.

Creaming the yeast is just mixing the fresh yeast with a bit of water, sugar salt to loosen it up. I pop it in a warm spot for half an hour to activate as well.

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I have yet to make crumpets but on a past trip to London, remember purchasing them at both Tesco and Sainsbury's. I believe it was the flavor of the Tesco crumpets that I preferred and, looking at the ingredients, saw that they they included vinegar. Would this affect anything but the flavor of the final product?


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Made sourdough English muffins yesterday.

Here's the formula I used:

1/4 cup starter

1 cup warm water

2 T. instant dry milk

1 T. sugar

1 T. corn oil

2 1/2 cups flour (half bread flour, half all-purpose flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Combine ingredients in mixer.

Knead dough on floured surface until smooth.

Rise - 1 hour in warm place, covered.

Divide into 9 pieces (approx. 3 oz. ea.)

Shape into balls, then flatten to 3/8" thickness.

Place on sheet pan scattered with semolina.

Allow to rest 3 hours in warm place, covered.

Bake in preheated 450°F oven for 8 min., turn over and cook another 6 minutes.

Remove and cool.

After 3-hour rise...

gallery_9294_1833_32186.jpg

Fresh from the oven...

gallery_9294_1833_35584.jpg

Fork-split and toasted...mmm...

gallery_9294_1833_25741.jpg


~Amy

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Gorgeous!

What I wouldn't give for a few of those with my morning tea!


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Thanks guys, for all the feedback! I tried again yesterday and discovered a couple of things, which appear to be confirmed by KitWilliams's great pictures.

First, "English muffin Bread" is an oxymoron. Despite the fact that most EM recipes say you can make the dough into loaves, it doesn't have the same texture.

Second, a bit of sourness is essential for flavor---I made both a sour dough (not exactly, but the starter was 3 days old) and I tried with a bit of vinegar, and with buttermilk.

Third, I added 2 tsp baking powder to the dough (1.5 lbs flour).

Fourth, after forming the dough disks (I patted the dough about 1/2 inch thick and formed 3-3/4" rounds with a cutter, rolled the scraps into balls and patted), you must let the muffins overproof and rise.

Fifth, I baked the muffins on a griddle for about 8 minutes per side and finished in a 350F oven for 10 minutes. It's essential not to turn the muffins too soon on the griddle, or they'll collapse.

Finally, "fork split" isn't just an advertising gimmick---to get the nooks and crannies, it's necessary to split 'em with a fork. If you slice them with a bread knife, you just get a normal crumb.


He who distinguishes the true savor of his food can never be a glutton; he who does not cannot be otherwise. --- Henry David Thoreau

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Thanks guys, for all the feedback! I tried again yesterday and discovered a couple of things, which appear to be confirmed by KitWilliams's great pictures.

Wish I could take the credit, Jay, but those are Schnitzel's great pictures. I was simply drooling over them!


kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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Wow, Schnitzel, beeyootiful muffins.

I have depended upon Jane Grigson's recipe in English Food for years with good results (there is a egg in hers, the main diff btwn. it and ED's which Adam cited). And I always bake them on a griddle. Not to mention being a neophyte sourdougher.

However I think I'll be trying the sourdough/oven combination right quick here!

The only decent so-called "English muffin bread" I've ever had was from a very good bakery, Gayle's, in Capitola on California's Central Coast, where Gayle's husband Joe Ortiz is the baker (Gayle is pastry), and it was very very good, as are all his breads. Not a muffin, obviously, but slices were nicely pocked with little holes that did what one wanted them to do after toasting.


Priscilla

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Thanks for the kind words. :wub:

Next time I will cook them them on a griddle, just to see how they differ.


~Amy

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Okay, made these yesterday. Used the same formula as before, although this time used all bread flour and kept the dough as wet as possible. Cooked them on a griddle, which is a bit more tricky than just popping 'em in the oven. Lots of nooks and crannies in these, very authentic-looking English muffins. Tasty, too.

gallery_9294_1833_19682.jpg


~Amy

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One of my wife's coworkers came up with what I consider an odd request. She sent my wife home with half of a bag of Wolfferman's English muffins and said she wanted me to make some. A quick perusal of the ingredients told me that I didn't have nearly that many chemicals on hand. Since I am not of the baking persuasion anyway (the old either a cook or a baker, but not both syndrome), I was not sure whether this could or even should be attempted...it's not as though you had to go to England to get them, which would be a pretty sad reason to travel, and after what might be an enormous amount of work, who's to say the home produced version is any better than a commercial product? I am considering repackaging the store-bought muffins and proudly proclaiming the results as my own, but I fear she may not realize the chicanery, and the last thing I want is an impromptu muffin-making class arranged without my knowledge or consent! I would be happy to provide handcrafted bacon or breakfast sausage (with a nod to the charcuterie topic in the cooking forum, but English muffins? Has anyone successfully made them, and was it worth the effort? Thanks for your input, either encouragement or warnings!

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I've made a pretty fair approximation of English Muffins using this recipe.

Just make the batter on the thin side and fabricate "muffin rings" by cutting both ends out of some tuna cans. Fill the rings about 2/3 full and bake them for 15-18 minutes.

SB :wink:

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Just make the batter on the thin side and fabricate "muffin rings" by cutting both ends out of some tuna cans.

Have you tried to do that lately? All the tuna cans I've seen in the last couple of years have one lid that's cuttable, but the other is rounded off so you can't do this trick. I think it's a cabal between the tuna can manufacturers and the exorbitantly priced stainless steel-ring purveyors.

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Just make the batter on the thin side and fabricate "muffin rings" by cutting both ends out of some tuna cans.

Have you tried to do that lately? All the tuna cans I've seen in the last couple of years have one lid that's cuttable, but the other is rounded off so you can't do this trick. I think it's a cabal between the tuna can manufacturers and the exorbitantly priced stainless steel-ring purveyors.

Well, you can buy actual English Muffin Rings, but they only come filled with air!

SB (not as good a deal as tuna? :sad: )

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One big thing I see with trying to duplicate Wolfferman's muffins is the size. One of the reviews of Alton's recipe says it turns out more like a crumpet..which is fine, if you want crumpets. I would think you'd have to 1.double the recipe for the same amount of servings, and 2. cook in a larger (by about half, I'd think) ring. Maybe not so much bigger, but at least twice the height. That said, a ring mold like you use for crumpets would not work. You'd need a higher sided can, without ripples. Maybe something along the lines of a corn can??It's been a long time since I've had Wolfferman's muffins though, I remember them as being pretty big. I do like their crumpets!

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One big thing I see with trying to duplicate Wolfferman's muffins is the size.  One of the reviews of Alton's recipe says it turns out more like a crumpet..which is fine, if you want crumpets. I would think you'd have to 1.double the recipe for the same amount of servings, and 2. cook in a larger (by about half, I'd think) ring. Maybe not so much bigger, but at least twice the height. That said, a ring mold like you use for crumpets would not work. You'd need a higher sided can, without ripples. Maybe something along the lines of a corn can??It's been a long time since I've had Wolfferman's muffins though, I remember them as being pretty big. I do like their crumpets!

I just checked, and they appear to be the same size as a 28-oz can of tomatoes, so I can make sme spaghetti and be in the muffin business.

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I have made English Muffins twice, from (I think!) the New York Times Cook Book. These were made from a stiffer yeast dough, rolled and rounds cut-out. The dough wasn't kneaded much - just enough to pull it together, which kept the texture quite rough. They were very simple to make - the hardest thing was getting them to the right size and thickness. After cutting, they were allowed to rise, then cooked on an ungreased griddle. While I wasn't thrilled with the results, the taste was excellent, and approaching them in a less slapdash way might make my next attempt a little better.

Snadra

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I've made sourdough English muffins, both plain and cheesy, from The Cheese Board: Collective Works cookbook. I had trouble getting them to cook thoroughly on the griddle without burning. The flavor was good, but I never felt inspired to try the recipes again.

Suzanne Dunaway's No Need to Knead cookbook contains an English muffin recipe. The dough is mixed up with a biga, and after rising, rolled out and cut. I've never tried this recipe myself, so I can't report on it.

Your comment about the chemicals in the muffins may have been tongue-in-cheek, but it's possible that the chemicals may be the reason the coworker likes the muffins so much. For instance, the additives in cake mixes give those cakes a tenderness and texture that homemade cakes from scratch cannot duplicate. (Though I would say that the homemade cakes beat cake mixes in the flavor department.)

You could tell the co-worker that the muffins are made from an industrial formula that can't be replicated by home cooks, and console her with some nice sausage. :wink:


Edited by djyee100 (log)

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Just for a goof I sometimes take lumps of really soft sourdough and make "English Muffins".

Usually its when I cant wait for that last rise, bake, and cool time. I just drop the rounds onto a nonstick pan and cook on both sides. Fun tasty and instant...well have to go through the first rise but....they cook really fast

tracey


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One big thing I see with trying to duplicate Wolfferman's muffins is the size.  One of the reviews of Alton's recipe says it turns out more like a crumpet..which is fine, if you want crumpets.

I'm a little late here... sorry (holidays are distracting!) I make these fairly often, myself, using a variation on AB's recipe, and egg rings... they're far smaller this way, of course, than you're looking for, but I pretty much make the muffins exclusively for use in eggs benedict, and this size is perfect. As for their being like crumpets... I didn't find them much like the crumpets I've ever had, but then again, I've only had the ones that you can buy in the refrigerator case at the grocery store.

Here's a picture I took for my food blog a couple of months ago:

<img src="http://www.amarisse.net/foodpix/englishmuffin.jpg" />

The adjustments I made to AB's recipe are <a href="http://www.homewitch.net/2006/10/03/homemade-english-muffins/">on the blog there</a>, too.

I hadn't thought of using a large can to make bigger ones... I could stand to have 'em larger when I'm making crab meat benedict... great idea!

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I am trying to create a thicker english muffin

After having tested many recipes, I have come up with a satisfactory product both in terms of taste and texture. The only issue is keeping the nice high rise achieved while cooking the first side. I must mention that I am "baking" these on a griddle at a lower than normal heat and not in an oven.

After they are flipped, that beautiful rise deflates and the muffin ends up at about 3/4 inch thick. We want them to stay a little thicker.

Would decreasing hydration accomplish this?

Or perhaps adding a bit of baking powder?

Any input is appreciated.


Edited by Old Timer (log)

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Most recipes seem to use a griddle like you do.


 

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Hey guys,

I just made Dan Lepard's English muffins and they turn out well. But before I can go on, let me tell you that I'm aware that one's not supposed to eat muffins plain, by just biting into them (you'll understand what I'm talking about, do not worry).

gallery_48830_4010_112179.jpg

Ok, so yeah, I made Dan Lepard's English muffins - the recipe, which I found in the Guardian's guide to baking (got it in November along with the saturday edition), totally rocked.

It's got apple cider vinegar and yogurt in it, so the finished muffins have a pleasing sour taste.

gallery_48830_4010_79340.jpg

The dough was fun to work with. Very soft and smooth.

The night before

50g unsalted butter, melted

100g warm water

50g apple cider vinegar

100g live yogurt

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 tsp salt

Melt the butter then mix in the other ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Add 375g flour (Dan class for strong flour, but since I can't find it in France, I used T55) and 2tsp easy-blend yeast.

Mix well then allow to rest for 10 minutes. Then start kneading Dan's way - three times at 10-minute intervals (use some oil to prevent the dough from sticking to both the work surface and your hands). Refrigerate overnight.

The next morning

Oil your work surface and turn the dough onto it. Do the regular stretching and folding (see here for more info) at 40-minute intervals for 2 hours. Roll the dough 1,5cm thick and cut out discs using a 8cm cutter. Lay the discs onto a floured surface, dust the tops with flour and allow to proof for at least 2 hours.

gallery_48830_4010_84541.jpg

Place a heavy-bottomed frying pan onto moderate heat then slide the muffins into the pan. Cook for 3 minutes then flip over and cook for a further 4 minutes. Then turn off the heat, flip the muffins and leave them in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and get on with the remaining discs of dough.

gallery_48830_4010_28300.jpg

So let me tell you one thing. Those muffins. They're out of this world. The taste is fantastic, so is the texture. Yeah, I bit into one. Just to check you know. But then I kept biting and just when I though it couldn't get any better I found that gorgeous pocket of air.

gallery_48830_4010_100255.png

This is a bit of an exclusivity since I haven't posted about it on foodbeam yet, but well, I needed to tell someone about them.


fanny loves foodbeam

pâtisserie & sweetness

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