English Muffin

This was originally posted on November 18, 2013. It has been reposted due to a catastrophic back up failure by my web host.

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I love English Muffins but the ones you buy in the store have the texture of cardboard. So, I went on a search for a decent English Muffin Recipe. I found this one by Alton Brown of the
Food Network.

The link to the recipe is:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/english-muffins-recipe/index.html

Although it is a good recipe, I found a couple of issues. One, I could not use tuna tins as the muffin rings. The tuna tins in our stores have a rounded bottom and you can’t take it off with a can opener. However, persistence prevailed and I found English Muffin rings in a kitchen store.

The next problem is the cooking time. When I make these, it takes 9 or 10 minutes a side to brown the muffins and cook them through the centre. I don’t know if it is my electric skillet or what but I would suggest you go by the colour of the muffins and take the internal
temperature of the muffins (they should be at least 190 F) to make sure they are done.
Lastly, don’t try and measure the dough to put in the rings. It is a slack dough that is hard to get in a scoop. Just spread it out among six rings.

Following is my productions of these English muffins.

I started by mixing the powdered milk, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt (the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon but only uses 1/2 teaspoon here), shortening (I used margarine) and hot water until the salt
and sugar were dissolved. The shortening may still have a few chunks. Don’t worry about it.

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Mix the yeast, warm water and sugar together. Let it sit for several minutes until it gets a little foamy.

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While the yeast mixture is sitting, I measure my flour. I use one cup of all purpose and 1 cup of whole wheat. I just like the taste of whole wheat. However, if you use all whole wheat, you will not get the nice texture. The recipe talks about 2 cups of sifted flour. I hate the sifting and careful measuring that is needed to get accurate flour measurements. So, I weigh my flour.

One cup of sifted white flour weighs 120 grams (4 1/4 ounces) and one cup of whole wheat weighs 113 grams (4 ounces).

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When the yeast mixture was foamy, I added it to the dry milk mixture. I then added the dry milk mixture to the flour in a large bowl and beat it well. The mixture then has to sit in a warm
place for 30 minutes. It is a little cold here. So, to make sure there is a warm place, I turned my oven on and let it heat for 2 minutes. I then let the oven sit open to cool for a couple of minutes
and I turn on the oven light as it gives off some warmth. The dough gets covered with a towel and goes into the oven for 30 minutes.

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A few minutes before the 30 minutes rising time is up, put the rings in the skillet. Spray them and the skillet with vegetable cooking spray. Preheat the skillet to 300 F.

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Take the dough out of the oven. Beat in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt into the dough.

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Spread the dough out roughly evenly between the rings. Don’t worry about spreading the dough evenly, it will fill the rings as it rises. After six minutes, check the underside by lifting one ring to make sure they are browned. As I said, it took ten minutes in my skillet. You’ll note how the dough rises and fills the rings.

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When the bottoms are nicely golden brown, carefully flip them with a spatula and cook the other side until golden and the internal temperature is at least 190 F. Then take the muffins out and put them on a rack to cool.

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The Verdict

These muffins are not chewy like the store bought. Rather, they have a nice texture. They don’t have the huge holes like the store bought but they are airy enough to let the butter melt throughout them. The recipe says to pull them apart with a fork. That does give a rougher surface that toasts darker but it is just too much hassle for me. I cut them, toast them and they are delicious.

I like these much more than the store bought.

The Old Fat Guy

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