English Muffins

I'm pretty sure I've taken this recipe from some magazine over 10 years ago. Shuffling through one's handwritten recipe book sometimes brings back memories like reading a diary. I remember making these in my student apartment in Hervanta, Tampere. And then I remember my fellow students and student life in general.

Nowadays I don't much write recipes to that book but instead here. A blog is great as it keeps every recipe more organized but for me (the former bookworm) there is just something appealing about a real paper book with its smooth covers and pages slightly curled in the corners.

This recipe is very simple, but maybe that makes it so tricky to get right sometimes. The original recipe is somehow "not right" and I always have to add more flour. (Maybe the original is supposed to be baked in a crumpet manner and then the Finnish author didn't understand that). These are perfect to be served toasted with your morning coffee or afternoon tea, slathered with butter or jam.

Oh, I forgot to mention that if you didn't know already, English muffins are not those sweet cake-like muffins but more like bread. Contrary to my usual habit of posting recipes in grams, this is in volume-based measurements. The dough should stay quite soft and sticky, don't use too much flour. 

English Muffins

makes 12 muffins

1/3 package (50 g/3 = 17 g) fresh yeast
250 ml milk
1/2- 1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
450-500 ml bread flour (the original recipe says 400 ml)
2 Tbsp melted/soft butter or shortening

For handling the dough use coarse wheat flour or semolina.

Warm up the milk to 37 C (slightly warmer than your fingertip). Crumble the yeast to a bowl and dissolve it to milk. Add salt and sugar. Knead in the flour to obtain a suitably soft but workable consistency. Knead in the butter/shortening. Let rise for 45-60 min in a warm place. Roll the dough on coarse flour/semolina floured table to 2 cm thickness and cut rounds with a glass or cookie cutter. Sprinkle some more coarse flour/semolina on top and let the muffins rise covered for appr. 30 mins.

Meanwhile heat up a cast-iron skillet (or frying pan) on mild heat (I used 2-3 on my 6-range stove). Cook a few muffins at a time on each side under a lid. The greasing of the pan is optional: the result will be different but good either way. Halve the rolls with a fork (that way the surface will not become too even: plenty of nooks and crannies for the butter to cling to). Toast and serve with butter or jam (or both!).

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