i’ve finally got the hang of my brother’s digital camera and so i am now able to post pictures and blogs again. which is fine, except my own precious camera, Lloyd, is still lost and i am quite upset over the whole situation. to back track, i lost my digital camera in the woods while on a wood cutting expedition with my husband. and it was purely my own stupidity that caused it to be lost. your dumbass blog leader here left it on the hood of my car and didn’t remember to get it when we packed up and drove out to a different location. ::smacks self in forehead:: but amidst my despondency over all this, i made myself feel better (mostly) on Sunday by finally trying out the recipe for those english muffins that i’ve been yammering on about for a couple weeks now … and i’m very pleased to report that they are everything you want in an english muffin and so much better than the store bought brands. and exceptionally easy. it’s a good weekend recipe because it does take time for the dough to rise twice, but really, nothing to it at all. this recipe made a lot and that’s probably because my largest biscuit cutter is quite small. i’d like to buy some bigger ones and see what that gets me. but if you happen to have a lazy weekend ahead of you, do try these out. you’ll never buy them again, trust me.
English Muffins (from allrecipes.com)
1 cup milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 envelope of active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup melted shortening
5 1/2 cups flour (i used only a little less than the original measurement, which was 6 cups. you’ll have to add it in a little at a time and make your own judgement on how much to use)
1 teaspoon salt
warm the milk in a pan until it bubbles. remove it from the heat. stir in the sugar until it dissolves. let this concoction cool to lukewarm. in a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. let it stand together for about 10 minutes. in a bowl (or your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook) combine the milk, yeast mixture, shortening, and 3 cups flour. beat this until it’s nice and smooth. add salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. i had to add 2 1/2 cups more flour, you might need all 3 remaining, it’s up to you. knead this together until it’s smooth and elastic. place in a greased bowl (turning to grease the whole dough) and let it rise an hour or so until doubled in size. it should look like this risen:
punch the dough down. put it on a lightly floured surface and roll it to 1/2 inch thick. cut rounds with a large biscuit cutter. line some cookie sheets with waxed paper, spray these lightly with Pam, and sprinkle fine-ground cornmeal over the paper. lay the cut out dough onto the paper (and place them a couple inches apart so when they rise again they don’t stick together). dust the tops of the muffins with cornmeal. cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise again, another half hour to a full hour, depending on how big they get and how fast.
heat a griddle and spray it down with Pam. place your muffins on the griddle and cook each side about ten minutes for both sides, browning them nicely.
when they’re all done, i let them cool and store them in a plastic bag. split them and toast them and eat them. i think they’ll probably freeze pretty well – i have a full bag i have yet to eat so i’m going to try to freeze them this week.
cooking music: Carla Bruni, Que’quequn Me Dit (the album)