|Toasted and Buttery!|
I wanted to make English muffins, but I didn’t want to do the skillet frying technique. On the other hand, I didn’t want to just cut round circles of dough either. I know that English muffin dough is supposed to be rather wet. More like a batter than a bread dough. If the dough was sturdy enough to roll out and cut into circles, the end result wouldn't have the right texture. Fussy, aren’t I?
I searched through the King Arthur Flour website and came upon a recipe for baked English muffins that did not cut out dough circles. Instead, the loose dough was scooped into traditional English muffins rings lined up on a baking sheet. Then another baking sheet was placed on top of the filled rings and everything baked for a short time. Then the pans were flipped and finished baking in the oven. Sounded like the best of both worlds: the loose batter-like dough of traditional English muffins with the ease of baking.
|Baked and Cooling|
I had only 8 rings, so four muffins were free-form. They ended up thinner than the ones baked in the rings. Still tasty, though. Usually, I try to incorporate some whole wheat flour in my yeast breads, but this time I decided to stick with AP flour to make sure I understood both the target texture and the baking/flipping process.
Baked English Muffins
Read the blog to see the 2-pan baking procedure in action:
2 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder (I use Featherweight)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon yeast
1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk (I use reconstituted dry milk.)
2 tablespoons melted NSA butter
2 teaspoons vinegar, white or cider
cornmeal or semolina to coat the muffins I(I use semolina; it’s not as gritty.)
1.Stir together all the ingredients except the semolina or cornmeal. Beat for 1 minute at high speed of an electric mixer; the dough will become somewhat smooth. (I used my bread machine. I canceled the rest cycle and kneaded for only 10 minutes. Then I turned it off to rise in the machine. The dough is supposed to be quite sticky – very different from regular bread dough.)
2.Scrape the dough into the center of the bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for about 60 minutes, until it's quite puffy.
3.Grease a large (18" x 13") baking sheet; or line with parchment. Grease twelve 3 ¾" English muffin rings, and place them on the baking sheet.
4.Sprinkle semolina or cornmeal into each ring.
5.Turn the dough onto a lightly greased or floured work surface.(I used a Silpat and weighed each piece.) Cut it into 12 equal pieces; each will weigh a scant 2 ounces, or about 54g.
6.Shape the dough into balls. (Because the dough was sticky, I just sort of plopped it around in my oiled hands until it approximated a ball.) Place each ball into a ring, pressing it down to flatten somewhat. Sprinkle with a bit more cornmeal or semolina, and top with a greased baking sheet (or a sheet of parchment, then the baking sheet). The baking sheet should be resting atop the rings.
7.Let the muffins rise for about 60 to 90 minutes, until they've puffed up noticeably. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
8.Bake the risen muffins for 10 minutes. Flip the pans over, and bake for 5 minutes more. Remove the top pan, and bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until they're a light golden brown, and the interior of one registers about 200°F on an instant-read thermometer.
9.Remove the muffins from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Remove their rings as soon as you're able. When completely cool, store muffins in a plastic bag.
10. Yield: 12 muffins.