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English muffin was my first chosen option for the letter E, followed by Emirati Khameer Bread. However I was Keen to make English Muffin only. English muffins are small, round, flat yeasty leavened breads which are cooked on stove top and is most commonly sliced horizontally and are toasted and buttered , topped up with some sweet or savory fillings. They can be enjoyed as a toasted breakfast bread or enjoyed as a sandwich with some lettuce and vegetables or egg.
My first try of English muffin was a flop, as I over enthusiastically changed a lot of the recipe. I did replace the flour with extra course whole meal flour and then since I was running short of time, did not give it enough time to rise. I was literally losing hopes on this, when I remember the real Renu. I cannot give up.
So I searched a complete different recipe and I followed it to the core except for the cooking part. I did some steam cooking to it, i.e. when I added the muffin to the pan, I even covered it and let it cook so that the inside gets thoroughly cooked. The result can be seen in the below pic, perfectly cooked English Muffin’s.
There are a couple of key points to remember while making English Muffins. They taste better and rise perfectly when they are given a slow rise. So the first thing I did was create a starter and let it bubble for 1-12 hours, depending on the time you had. I left it overnight. The next day then I made a dough from this and let it slowly rise in the fridge. You can keep the dough for up to 4 days as per the original recipe. I did use it on the third day. The longer the duration the better the flavor. You can make it immediately too, i.e. after the dough has risen to double its size, but I would suggest you to let it slowly rise. Another thing to remember is that it needs to be cooked on slow heat, or else your muffins will get brown quickly and it won’t cook from inside.
We enjoyed it along side our pasta and also as a breakfast by slightly toasting it and slathering it with my Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. It tasted yum. All was gone and I am definitely going to make this again. It is said that this freeze well for up to 3 months. I have yet to try that.
Recipes in this series of A-Z International FlatBreads
They are small, round, flat yeasty leavened breads which are cooked on stove top and is most commonly sliced horizontally and are toasted and buttered , topped up with some sweet or savory fillings
- 1/2 cup 3 1/3 ounces all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups All Purpose Flour/Maida/Plain Flour
- 1/2 cup Lukewarm milk (more or less might be required)
- 1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Cornmeal/Semolina for dusting
- Butter for Shallow frying
Mix the flour, water, and yeast for the starter in a small mixing bowl. Beat until the batter is smooth and glossy.
Let the starter sit for 1 to 12 hours. The longer you keep the starter m it would be increasingly bubbly and better the flavor. I wrapped the bowl with cling wrap and let it sit in a warm place
In a stand mixer or a larger mixing bowl, combine the milk and yeast for the dough. Do not over heat the milk or else the yeast will be killed.
Add in the dough starter and mix it into the milk mixture until it becomes frothy.
Add the sugar, butter and salt to the bowl and whisk to combine. Add 1.5 cups of flour and stir with a spatula.
With a dough hook on a stand mixer knead the dough well to a smooth ball for 5 to 7 minutes.
Alternatively once can knead by hand on the counter until it forms a smooth ball and springs back when poked. If the dough is too sticky one can add a bit for flour but be very cautious of adding.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and let it rise overnight for up to 3 days. One can do this immediately too, i.e. after 1.5-2 hours once the dough has double in size.
Turn the risen dough into a lightly floured surface. Divide it into equal size pieces.
Roll each into smooth, round balls.
Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina on a baking sheet and arrange the balls on top spacing evenly.
Let the muffins rise until puffy. If the dough was in fridge it will take more time around 1-2 hours and if at room temperature it should take less time.
Warm a skillet and melt some butter. Add 3-4 muffins and cook it on slow on each side for 8-10 minutes. One can close the lid and let it cook. This will help the muffin cook inside out. Do not be tempted to cook on high as the muffins will get brown quickly but will not be cooked thoroughly.
Cook on both the side. If one feels the muffins are browning too quickly or it is not getting cooked from inside, bake it in the oven at 180 C.
Transfer cooked muffins to a cooling rack and continue cooking the remaining.
Split the English Muffins with a fork, spread butter or jam and serve. Or One can make a sandwich by adding some veggies or meat or egg. I toasted them slightly in a toaster and enjoyed it with my Home made Mix Fruit Jam.
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Day 5- International Flat Breads – Letter E
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