I'm sure many of us here already know that English muffins are not the little cakes but a type of bread leavened with yeast and cooked in griddle or frying pan. They are usually split, toasted , put some spread on it or as sandwiches and one interesting thing that i just knew about these English muffins is that they are better not to cut with a knife when serving but rather fork split it. Yes, fork split. The reason of doing so is likely to have that kind of rough and jagged surface like this /\/\/\/\/\/\. In Peter Reinhart's book, the 'Bread Baker's Apparentice', he said that we can do so by running the tines of the fork into and around the edge of the bread, fork split it and those high and low points of the surface , they call it 'nook and crannies '( i just know this term today) which are very much of a part of the english muffins characteristics will be created. Cute, eh?
|'fork splitted 'muffins and its 'wanted' rough surface|
Recipe ( from Bread Baker's Apparentice )
makes 6 English muffins
10 oz unbleached bread flour ( i used ordinary bread flour)
1/2 tbsp granulated sugar ( i used caster sugar)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp (0.5 oz) shortening/unsalted butter, at room temp ( i used butter)
3/4 cup to 1 cup milk or buttermilk, at room temp ( 1 used milk )
cornmeal, for dusting
1. Stir together flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl. Stir in the shortening or butter and 3/4 cup of milk mix in low speed with paddle attachment until the ingredients form a ball. If there's still loose flour in the bowl, add in the remaining 1/4 cup of milk. The dough should be soft and pliable, not stiff.
3.Divide the dough into 6 pieces of 3 oz each and shape the pieces into ball. Line a sheet pan or baking pan with parchment paper, mist the parchment with some oil and dust with cornmeal. Arrange the dough each spacing them 3 inches apart. Spray them lightly with oil and sprinkle them with cornmeal. Cover the pan loosely with a clean towel. Let it proof for another 60-90 minutes until nearly double its size.
4.Heat a skillet and also preheat the oven to 350F/177C with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
5.Gently transfer the muffins to the pan, 1 inch apart from one another. Cook them for 5-8 minutes minutes or until the bottom of the dough turns rich golden brown, they will brown quickly but will not burn for a while, so resist the temptation to turn them prematurely or they will fall when you flip them over. Flip them over and cook the other side for another 5-8 minutes. You can use your spatula to flatten them a little.
6. Transfer the pieces to a sheet pan and place it in the oven and bake for another 5-8 minutes to cook the inside. ( dont wait for the uncooked pieces or the ones just out from the pan will not respond to oven stage ( i did 3 at a time, fry them in pan and bake them in oven, then continue with the balance 3 )
7. Transfer the baked muffins to a cooling rack and cool for at least 30 mins before slicing them.