Friday, 23 December 2011

Recipe XXXVIII - English Muffins: Christmas Breakfast

There are several glories of the English kitchen: the puddings, pies and pastries being three, the good old English fried breakfast another, but for its simplicity, taste and convenience, nothing comes close to the English muffin. It is the highlight of my year, as I hold them in such high esteem, that I have them but at this time.

About 280g of flour
1/4 of a teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 of a teaspoon of dried yeast
1/2 of a tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of shortening / butter, at room temperature
somewhere between 180ml and 240ml of milk

Take a large bowl and put together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
Mix in the milk and butter, knead for about ten minutes, remembering to start with 180ml of milk and then add a little more until the dough is consistent.

Transfer the dough to a surface which has been covered in flour and leave it for one hour to rise. Make it into a sausage shape and divide it into six pieces of an equal size.

Roll them into balls, flatten them to about 2.5cm in height and cover them in parchment paper or plastic foil and allow them to further rise for about 30 minutes.

Now preheat the oven to 180°C and switch on the frying pan to a medium strong heat. Brush the frying pan with oil, then brush one side of the muffins with oil and sprinkle a little light flour on top, and place it with the oiled side facing downwards into the frying pan, repeating the oiling and flouring process on the other side.

Fry until both sides are browned. Theoretically, they should get flatter as they cook.

Finally, put them in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes then let them cool for 30 minutes. To preserve them, put them in the bread bin or a Tupperware container overnight, but as I've done, put them on a cake rack ready for consumption in the morning! When serving, slice them in half and toast the inside for a short time. Serve with butter, a nice young Cheddar, a Maasdamer or jam.

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