Friday, April 24, 2009
(Photo by Steve at Pulp Kitchen)
Bill asked for Eggs Florentine for his birthday breakfast last weekend, so I made my first-ever-English muffins as the foundation. MAN! The result was so wildly superior to those little cardboard mass-produced things, I couldn't even believe it. Nooks! Crannies! The whole nine.
(They're also incredibly easy to turn out, but please don't tell that to Bill. You just mix everything up and leave it to sit overnight. They cook on the griddle in the same time it would take to make pancakes. Ssshhh...he thinks I did something really fancy...)
(Adapted from the blog "Winos and Foodies")
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (between 105 and 115 degrees)
1/2 cup warm milk (same temperature range as the water)
2 1/3 cups bread flour
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, place yeast, sugar and half the water. With a fork, whisk until yeast is dissolved and cover with a towel for at least five minutes. Mixture should start to foam. Add remaining water and milk and cover for another five minutes.
In a large bowl, combine flours and salt. Add in yeast mixture. With a rubber spatula or your hands (or with a dough hook in the bowl of a standing mixer), gently mix ingredients, until just combined. Pour onto lightly floured work surface and knead for up to 8 minutes, or let the stand mixer do all the work if you are using one. the dough will be very soft.
Place dough into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic and a tea towel. Allow to double in size, at least 90 minutes, or alternatively, overnight.
Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate. Roll into a rope at least one inch thick. You'll want no more than 8 or 9 pieces from the dough. Roll each piece into a ball and roll in cornmeal or rice flour. Place on a baking sheet and top with a second baking sheet for a second rise, about 20 minutes.
When ready to cook, heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease or use an oil spray.
Allow to cook on first side for about 10 minutes; you'll notice puffing and the first side getting golden. Flip onto second side using a spatula, and cook for about the same amount of time. Place cooked muffins in a tea towel to keep warm.
Open with a fork or serrated knife, and toast for best nook-and-cranny action.
These freeze beautifully for later use.