One of the television shows on Food Network I really enjoy is “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. If you have never seen this show they have all the network chef’s sharing the best food they ever ate and what restaurant they got it at. Well I was watching one episode and they did a piece these English Muffins (Click on the link to see the video clip) and I began to think….How Hard Could it Be?
The idea of actually making an English muffin from scratch had never even crossed my mind. It is one of those things that you just never think of trying to make in your own kitchen, or at least I never thought of trying to make it from scratch anyway. Well I watched this piece on English muffins and I thought I would give it a go.
I did a few minutes of internet research and found an Alton Brown recipe that I thought looked doable. I am not sure if I should label this recipe as baking or cooking. Technically I never turned on my oven so It cant be baking but since it is bread, well I’m conflicted. Baking…cooking let's just flip a coin shall we!
It was a very simple recipe of powdered milk, flour, water, salt, sugar, a bit of yeast, bla, bla, bla….
The batter is very moist and sticky almost the consistency of a very thick pancake batter. Once all the ingredients are assembled the dough needs to proof for about 30 minutes to an hour. The recipe said 30 minutes but I let mine sit for about an hour.
It more than doubles in size!
After the dough has finished proofing a vey small amount of salt gets mixed back in and the dough is stirred down. Now it is ready to begin making your English Muffins.
Alton Brow’s makes the suggestion of using tuna fish cans, well not being a tuna lover I opted for pineapple rings and they seemed to be a passable substitute.
With my electric skillet, I tried a small batch on 300 and I thought that was a bit to hot so I lowered the temp to 250 and I liked that one a bit better. Scoop two scoops of dough into each metal ring and cover with a flat lid or cookie sheet cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
After 3 minutes flip and continue cooking on the other side.
Cool on wire rack.
Split with fork and toast.
Well after making two batches of these I have decided that the appeal of making something from scratch may have worn off a bit.
So how hard could it be?
Well it was really not that hard, however I think it may be one of those thing that I will only do from time to time.
Also I will say that I may see if I can find some real English Muffins rings. I found the metal rings/cans to be to tall. I think maybe traditional English Muffin rings would be wider and not as tall as a tuna/pineapple can and might be a bit easier to handle.
Well any way that’s the scoop for Homemade English Muffins!
On a closing note I will say that I am totally bummed about missing The Model Bakery where those English Muffins were profiled. They looked totally amazing, If I ever find myself back in Napa valley again I will make sure I give them a visit! I mean seriously we drove right through St. Helena while we were exploring Napa Valley, live and learn…..
Let me know if you give it a go and what you think of the process!
(Edit) As Patrice mentioned, I got so wrapped up in laying out the process step by step that I completely forgot to tell y’all how they tasted. They were good. They were a bit more bready that normal English Muffins and I thought they had plenty of nooks end crannies in them. All in all I was very pleased with the taste. They were nice and crispy when they were toasted and they held up to a nice dollop of Apple Butter. The had good flavor even just toasted and lightly buttered. So although a bit labor intensive they were very good!
Maybe I’ll try cinnamon & raisin next time??????