July 13, 2014

English Muffins

These flat rounds of bread are the perfect breakfast food. In fact, in England, where they're from, they're called breakfast muffins. We only call them English muffins in the rest of the English speaking world to differentiate them from sweeter "American" muffins. These are most commonly eaten split and toasted, with a variety of toppings. Butter, jam, cream cheese, peanut butter, the list could go on and on. Not to mention the endless sandwich possibilities! But they're most often used as delivery vessels for eggs, either Eggs Benedict or as a McMuffin. Bouchon's version is baked instead of cooked on a griddle. These homemade muffins would elevate any breakfast to a gourmet feast. 


I love English Muffins! I vividly remember the commercials growing up, with close up shots of those golden nooks and crannies. And while I never indulged in the fast food version, our local brunch spot makes an amazing breakfast sandwich on an English muffin.

Reading this recipe, there were a few things I needed to get. The mold used in the book I couldn't find and didn't have time to order, so I searched for an alternative. I ended up with paper baking cups, that were 4 inches in diameter, slightly larger than traditional English muffin rings. 

I also had to re-start my liquid levain, since I threw out the old batch when I went on vacation last month. The dough was thicker than I expected it to be, but after scooping into the cups and letting it rise, it seemed fine. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the dough before baking.

The muffins baked for 20 minutes and were definitely deep golden brown. There was some light ridging around the edges from the paper cups, but overall they looked and smelled amazing!

After cooling, I split one open to reveal the glorious nooks and crannies. A quick toast and smear of butter, and yum! Over the next few days I ate one with cream cheese, and even made my own better version of the McMuffin, with an omelet and bacon. If I had jam I'd eat it with jam. 

Since the recipe made 12 muffins, I froze the rest that I didn't immediately devour. I plan on making breakfast sandwiches with them for the week, so I can have quick easy breakfasts. I'd definitely make these again. 


This is my first recipe from the Breads section! I made my own starter for the first time and it's not one of my favorite things. I have had pets and taking care of the starter felt similar. It's messy and smelly. The nice thing is, you can freeze it to use later which I highly recommend if you're already going to go through the work of getting it going for 4 days. As for equipment, I didn't have the requested mold so I used metal English muffin rings which worked beautifully.

English muffins I've made in the past have all been griddled so I was curious as to how baked ones would taste. I did need to use a generous 1/4 cup in order to fill out the muffin rings. When proofed, they rose just over the top and when baked they were about 1" thick. As for taste, I love the crisp, crackly exterior and fluffy interior. My favorite way to eat them is with butter and salt. Read more on my blog.

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