Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Not-Quite Nigella: Fork-split English Muffins

There appears to be only two temperature settings in Melbourne at the moment - very cold or very hot. After a Tuesday where the temperature reached 37 degrees, today it dropped to a balmy 17. Brrr!!! So I thought in honour of the change in weather I would make a nice afternoon tea - hot buttered English muffins.

There are heaps of different recipes on the internet and they're all kind of different - some use milk, some water, one even used natural yoghurt! Some need two rises, some three, some use active dry yeast, others instant, others a combination of yeast and baking soda. In the end, I just went with the Home Made Fork-Split English Muffins from Not-Quite Nigella, primarily because I had all of the ingredients and it only had two rises and I was hungry.

The first step is to mix milk, yeast, butter, sugar, egg, salt and flour and knead for eight minutes until the dough is elastic.

I put the bowl in a warm place to rise…and promptly forgot about it! When I remembered I was making bread about four hours later, the bread had exploded.

I therefore ended up with a massive pile of muffins, which I covered in polenta and left for a second rise. I did a variety of shapes and sizes because I wasn't sure what size or thickness will make the most delicious muffins. To prevent any suspense, they all taste the same regardless of the shape, the bigger ones just took longer to cook.

I don't know if I've mentioned this in the past but I have the world's slowest oven. It's a lovely big expensive oven bought by the previous owner who was unfortunately for me terrified of burning herself. Therefore the oven has all of these safety features that mean that a) it is impossible to hurt yourself when using this oven and b) everything takes twice as long as it would to cook in this oven than it would in any other oven in the world (is it wrong that I was just about to crack a joke about how this is the oven that Ted Hughes should have bought? I am a terrible person.)

The beautiful thing about English muffins is that they can be cooked on the stove, meaning that I (wonderfully) do not have to cook them in my oven. All you need to do is pop them in a covered dry frypan for 7-8 minutes a side (about 10-12 minutes for the thicker bigger ones) and you end up with beautiful fluffy delicious ready-for-the toaster English muffins.

Yummo! These are toasted and topped with real butter and jam and were just delightful.  I may never buy another English muffin again.

Lucy decided to help me get over the feeling of fullness from eating too many by lying on my belly.

But she couldn't, because it was too huge, so she just lay next to me and purred a bit. Thanks, Lucy, for trying. I appreciate your help! 


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