English Muffins recipe
PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 July 2015
Muffins, or English Muffins are very popular in the Unites States and having met an American on a visit to the UK, he was incredibly disappointed that all English people did not eat muffins at every breakfast. In fact he was surprised how difficult they are to come by.
Muffins are great on their own, with butter, jam or topped with smoked salmon, poached eggs, hollandaise and Formby asparagus as Eggs Royale. Our recipe this month uses an overnight sponge, which gives a greater depth of flavour and improved texture, but you can make the dough in two hours or so just by using active yeast and increasing the flour and water ratios proportionately.
35g wholemeal flour
115g strong white flour
3.6g fresh yeast (2.5g dried)
Overnight sponge mix
350g strong white flour
100g wholemeal flour
Vegetable oil and semolina for coating
On the afternoon or evening prior to your bake, mix the ingredients for the overnight sponge with a spoon and leave covered in a large bowl to rise and ferment at room temperature.
The following day, mix the overnight sponge, water and butter. Combine the flours and add the salt and knead until the dough becomes smooth and silky. The dough maybe a little softer than you expect but this helps with the proving process, working with the methodology that the softer the dough the better the bread.
Leave to prove, covered with a damp tea towel, for about 1 – 2 hours (depending upon the ambient temperature) or until doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 10 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place on baking parchment on your baking sheet about 3 centimetres apart, cover with baking parchment and leave to prove for about 15 minutes. Ensuring your baking parchment does not stick to the dough, press down each ball to the required muffing size of about 5cms. If your parchment sticks you can complete this stage with floured hands.
Again, cover the flattened balls and leave to prove until they have risen and the dough springs back when lightly indented (30 minutes – 1 hour).
Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan and set to a medium heat on your hob.
Gently coat each muffin with vegetable oil and sprinkle with semolina. Using a scraper or palette knife remove each ball from the baking sheet and place top (coated) side down in your frying pan. You may need to work in two batches of five at a time.
Once you have the first batch in your pan coat the upper side with oil and sprinkle with semolina and gently cook the muffins turning half way through the process. The muffins should rise but be flat on both the top and bottom. Make sure the heat is regulated to ensure they do not over brown.
The cooking process should take 8 – 10 minutes. Afterwards, leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Best served fresh and warm!