Upgrade Your Breakfast……..
Growing up my mom always made bread from scratch. Aside from grinding her own wheat, she spent hours each week making bread. It seemed like such a daunting, and long drawn out task. Of course she taught me the process, and I found it to be long, boring, and tedious. But it seemed that way with everything she made. Since I’ve gotten older I have learned to make my time in the kitchen more efficient. I love to cook, hated it as a kid, now that I am older, but I don’t want to spend hours and hours on one recipe. To me that is just ridiculous. I never make bread for the reason I mentioned above. Not that I can’t, but I hated the process. Last week I decided I was going to give my hand a try at English muffins, something she never taught me to make, oh my goodness, this is an absolute bread game changer!
I did my research and pondered on if I really wanted to give this a shot and I decided it was time to just do it! And I did. I learned a few things from my first batch, made a second batch, and let me tell you, you will never buy English muffins from the store again! I fell in love with my first bite. I can’t describe why, but the taste was just amazing, and absolutely addicting.
I will admit that my English muffins are a little bit higher in calories than your average English muffin, but they are more filling, and you know exactly what you are putting into them. No funky additives, or weird ingredients. In saying that, their shelf life will be considerably shorter so make sure you freeze them if you won’t be eating them in 4 or 5 days. And one more win for this recipe is it only costs about .25c to make compared to paying about $4 at the store!
The part of bread making that usually throws people into a panic, or a fail, is the yeast. Most recipes recommend that the water for the yeast should be 105 – 110’f. To cold it won’t work, to hot and it will kill it. Up until I made these I always checked the temperature of my water with a thermometer. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn’t. So, I stopped doing that. I have found that the temperature of the water is good if it a little bit warmer than you would bathe a baby. You can stick your finger in it and it is pretty warm, but it won’t burn you. You will know within a few minutes if it is the right temperature or not by the smell and look of your yeast.
While the yeast is working its magic I combined the wheat and white flour, and salt, in a metal bowl that I previously warmed with hot water from the tap. I cracked my egg in a well in the flour and beat it with a fork. Once I was sure that my yeast was working (with the added sugar) I placed the butter into the yeast to melt. I folded the egg into the flour, poured the yeast mixture into the flour and egg mixture and folded it with a spatula until it was completely mixed. (Make sure you scrape the sugar out of the measuring cup you used for your yeast)
Yes, it is that simple! I covered it with a kitchen towel and placed it on the dryer in my laundry room because that is the warmest room in the house. And then I just left it in there for an hour and a half and went on about my day doing other daily tasks.
After the initial rise time the process goes fairly quickly. Separate, 20-minute rise, 5-10 minute stove top time, and 10 minutes in the oven. Don’t let this recipe, or the directions overwhelm you. This is actually the easiest recipe I’ve ever made in regard to bread. I will be checking in the near future, but I’m pretty sure the same recipe can be used for rolls, or loaves, just skip the griddle, and pop it in the oven. Make sure you read through all the directions, and then go for it! Super simple, absolutely worth the small bit of effort it takes, and homemade. Bake up some superior English muffins, sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Easy English Muffins
By Angie Gouchenour
¾ c warm water
2 teaspoons fast rise yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon light butter
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups stone ground wheat flour (I used Hodgson’s mill)
1-2 Tablespoons uncooked buckwheat hot cereal (I liked this, but you can use semolina or corn meal instead)
- Prep a metal bowl by filling it with approximately 2 cups of hot tap water
In a measuring cup or bowl combine ¾ cup of warm water (See tips above), yeast, and sugar
Within 2-3 minutes you should be able to see the yeast bubbling, and smell it. This is how you know your bread will rise (If you don’t see or smell…. dump it and try again)
Dump the water out of the metal bowl and spray lightly with cooking spray. Combine flours and salt in this bowl
In the middle of the flour make a well for you egg, beat the egg well
Add your butter to the yeast mixture and let it begin to melt
Using a spatula combine the egg with the flour
Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and blend well, scraping the sides of the bowl, until completely combined
Cover the bowl with a towel and set it in a warm place (I used the top of the dryer in the laundry room) Let rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours
2. When the dough has doubled in size spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle with half of the buckwheat
Separate the dough into 6 portions and place them on the cookie sheet (They may look small. Don’t let it fool you) Sprinkle remaining buckwheat over the top of the dough (TIP: Wet your hands and the dough won’t stick to you)
Cover with wax paper and your kitchen towel and return it to it’s warm place for 20 more minutes
3. Pre heat your oven to 350’f
Heat a griddle pan on the stove on medium low (Spray!)
Depending on the size of your griddle place as many dough rounds on the griddle as you can with space (I could fit 4)
Brown on each side, transfer back to the baking sheet, and place in the pre heated oven for 10 minutes
Remove and let cool
Don’t forget to split the muffins with a fork when you are ready to eat them so you get all the beautiful nooks and crannies!
204 calories per muffin
Adapted from King Arthur Flour