English Muffins are one of my faaaavorite bread things. They’re so versatile. You can put annyyyything on them, but they seem more special than regular sandwich bread. Just think about it… Peanut butter, cream cheese, jam, honey, veggie burgers, eggs, cheese…ANYTHING works.
My go to meal in college was always a fried egg on an english muffin with melted cheddar and a handful of spinach. Fast (for when I rushed home to have lunch between classes), hearty and delicious. Gosh, I want one now. Just look at all that yum…
Breads are definitely an area of baking I need to work with more. There’s something that makes me feel so accomplished when I make bread things. I mean, don’t get me wrong. Making a beautiful cake or a perfect batch of French macarons is totally validating enough. But it’s just so cool to be able to make your own things that you eat all the time.
This probably sounds totally stupid and weird. But there’s something so magical about making bread things. It’s like…the kinds of things that people have been eating since we cultivated agriculture thousands of years ago. Baking bread things are so awesome cuz it’s like whoa. People all over the world eat these things. Not just to satisfy a sweet tooth (umm, nothing wrong with that), but to have on a regular basis.
And don’t even get me started on buying bread. The looming shelves of bread things at the grocery store. There are just way too many options, and more than half of them are stuffed with preservatives and way too much sugar. Yuck. And uh duh. We should all make our own bread things. Always.
Ingredients: (Adapted from King Arthur Flour)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon dry active (or instant) yeast
1 cup fed sourdough starter
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 tablespoon salt
cornmeal or semolina for dusting
If doing by hand, combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Knead together with your hands until a shaggy ball forms (can be done in a stand mixer as well, with the dough hook attachment).
Pour out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, soft and somewhat elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover.Refrigerate overnight to allow for a full sour flavor to develop. If you don’t want it so sour, skip this step and just let the dough proof for an hour and a half before rolling out and forming.
The next day, gently deflate the dough and pour onto your floured work surface. Prepare two sheet pans with parchment, and sprinkle with cornmeal or semolina. Cut the dough in half and roll each portion to 1/2 inch in thickness. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, slice into about 24 muffins (you can re-roll the scraps) and place on your baking sheets. Sprinkle the tops with cornmeal.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 2 hours if you did the overnight fermentation, or 1 hour if you skipped that step. Prepare two skillets by preheating them over medium low heat. Also preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cook the muffins until golden brown on each side (takes 5-10 minutes depending on how hot your pans get) and then bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes to ensure they’re done. Let cool on a wire rack, and store in an airtight container for several days or the freezer for months.
There ya go. There are definitely non-sourdough recipes out there that I will be trying eventually. And as promised before, look forward to more bread things experimenting in the upcoming weeks. It’s just so much fun, and wonderful to have at home. Vehicles for all the best kinds of toppings. Can’t be happier. 🙂