Sweet or savoury? A thin layer of strawberry jam or silky smooth lemon curd topped with a dollop of cream or simply served with lashings of melted butter on a toasted English muffin. Best served in bed with a piping hot cup of tea. This is the epitome of weekend ‘breakfast in bed’ kind of spoils! While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying store bought, which I love doing, but when I stumbled across the recipe on Delicious UK, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it out for myself! Remember to make the starter a day before the time. For the savoury filled muffin, I made creamy mashed potatoes with roasted pork bangers and made a honey mustard glaze to drizzle over the bangers, roasted for 20 minutes on 200 degrees C until golden brown. Toast the muffins and serve. For the sweet inspired muffins, I poached a few figs in earl grey tea until the flavour has taken to the figs, or simply roast the figs in a balsamic glaze until macerated, them serve with store bought ricotta cheese with some of the liquid from the roasted figs.
For the starter:
-50g strong white bread flour
-2g dried active yeast
For the dough:
8g dried active yeast
400g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp caster sugar
30g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease
Vegetable oil for greasing
* Make the starter at least 12 hours, or up to 24 hours, in advance. Mix the 50g flour and 2g yeast in a large bowl, then stir in the 50ml milk to form a thick paste. Cover with cling film and leave somewhere fairly cool (but not cold) and dark (the mixture will expand a little and bubble up).
* For the dough, heat the 250-300ml milk in a pan to just steaming. Leave to cool till lukewarm, then stir in the 8g yeast and set aside. Put the 400g flour in a large mixing bowl with the salt and sugar, then stir in the starter. By the time that’s done, the warm milk should be frothy. Add it to the bowl with the melted butter, then stir to bring it together into a dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes until elastic and smooth (or use a stand mixer and dough hook for 8-10 minutes).
* Transfer to a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size for 1 hour (or leave overnight in the fridge). Once risen, knead the dough again on the work surface to redistribute the air bubbles (also known as knocking back), then roll out using a rolling pin until 2-3cm thick. Use an 8cm round cutter to stamp out 8-10 discs from the dough, re-rolling the dough. Put the discs on baking paper, scatter with a little flour and cover loosely with cling film. Leave to prove (rise) for 25-30 minutes until puffed.
* Heat a wide, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and grease with a little butter. Carefully transfer 3-4 of the muffins into the pan using a broad spatula, turn the heat down to low-medium and cook for 6-7 minutes, making sure they don’t burn on the underside. Once golden on the bottom and the sides are starting to look cooked, carefully flip the muffins and repeat. Transfer to a wire rack while you cook the rest. Split in half, butter and eat straightaway or cool completely before toasting.
*If kneading by hand, add 250ml warm milk in step 2, and use as little flour on the surface as possible. Too much extra flour will make them hard. If you’re making the dough in a stand mixer, use 300ml milk. The softer the dough, the better. Keep an eye on the dough while it’s rising and proving (step 3).If it rises too quickly, make them before the allotted time.
You should get 10 muffins out of the dough (step 3). If you find you have to re-roll the dough, the last couple won’t be as uniform as the first batch, but they will still taste as great.
For more guidelines you can visit Delicious UK for a great step by step tutorial on how to achieve the perfect English muffin.
Happy weekend! x