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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

English Muffins

My new breakfast habit is making my own egg sandwiches in the morning. Now that I have discovered you can cook (cracked) eggs in the microwave, an egg breakfast during the work week became much more feasible. I wanted to see if I could make good english muffins at home, so I had control over the ingredients, size, etc. I found a number of recipes that used shortening, which isn't exactly the (healthier) direction I want to go. Then I stumbled upon a recipe that uses egg whites! I was intrigued and decided it was worth a shot (don't they look good?!). I made some alterations in the flour. It calls for 4 cups of bread flour, but I went with 1 cup bread flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, and 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour. Since the pastry flour has a lower protein content than the bread flour, I added a little protein powder and wheat germ to make up a little of the difference.

One of my favorite parts of the english muffin making process was that there is no need to turn on the oven! This will make it easy to continue making them throughout the summer. Due to the additions I made, they had a great hearty, nutty flavor. I think the 3" size is too small, however, so next time I will go with 4" for my sandwiches. I think these would be a great alternative to burger buns for us, as well! (I am realizing just now that I never toasted the muffin! It was still warm from the griddle so I didn't notice!)

English Muffins
Source: Cookingbread.com
Makes 18 3" muffins
Adaptations in italics

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 small egg whites
fine cornmeal

In a large bowl pour in lukewarm ( 110F ) water. Add instant yeast, baking soda and 2 cups of bread flour. Mix till smooth. Allow to sit for 5 minutes uncovered. In the meantime, add egg white into a separate bowl and beat with an electric mixer. You want them to become stiff and moist. Once the egg white have formed stiff peaks; add to dough batter. Using a rubber spatula fold in egg whites till incorporated into the batter. Start to add in the rest of the flour, a 1/4 cup at a time. After the first 1/4 cup mix in salt. When the mixture becomes to hard to mix in the bowl. Pour out onto a flat surface. Knead for about 5 to 6 minutes till it becomes smooth and silky. Add a little oil to a clean bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Turn dough over till all sides are very lightly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest till double in bulk, about 1 hour. Afterwards, pour out onto a flat surface. Press to release some of the air from the dough. Using a rolling pin roll out to a 1/2 inch thick. Allow dough to rest for 3 minutes to relax. Using a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out circles. Place the cut out pieces onto some cornmeal. When you have left over dough just gather together and cut out a few more circles. Sprinkle the tops with more cornmeal. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 45 minutes. About 5 minutes before you are ready to cook the english muffins turn on your griddle or fry pan to 350F or medium heat. Spray with a little oil spray and once the griddle is hot. Place the muffins on and fry. If you are using a fry pan you may only be able to fry 3-4 at a time. Fry on one side for about 4 minutes. Then turn over and fry for another 4 minutes. Do this once more to a total of 16 minutes.


McTatty said...

These look fabulous! And super easy too!

Tracey said...

Wow, they look really amazing! Even better than what you'd buy in the store.

Anonymous said...

OMGOSH looks so good. i want one right now! :(