Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Whole Wheat English Muffins

As I promised, I am funneling my baking energies into whole wheat breads. I found this recipe on foodpress.com:http://channelingcontessa.com/2011/01/28/homemade-english-muffins/ In the past I would have looked at the recipe and then moved on because it calls for yeast. I have always thought yeast would be a huge pain and to be perfectly honest, I was afraid of it. Has anyone read the children's story "Strega Nona"? Basically, it's about this witch woman who has a magic pasta pot. Her helper, Anthony tries to use the pot but can't figure out how to stop the pasta and the entire town is taken over by noodles. I guess I had visions of similar yeast disasters.

Turns out, it's not so bad after all. Whenever I think of English muffins, I think of my grandparents. I feel like it's an obligatory food for a grandparent's house. Well, you know the food I'm talking about? These are better. First, they are whole wheat so they are significantly better for you. Additionally, they have so much more substance. By no means are they heavy, but they aren't filled with air pockets like the traditional white ones. Anyway, here's how it went:

I started by heating up the milk and then once it started bubbling, I turned off the heat and mixed in the sugar.







Meanwhile, I put the warm water and the yeast in a bowl and let it sit for about ten minutes.







After the milk and yeast mixtures sat for ten minutes, I beat together the whole wheat flour, the melted shortening, the milk mixture and the yeast. I then added a cup of all purpose flour. The recipe called for two cups, but the dough would have been way too dry.


I then kneaded the dough and placed it in a greased bowl. After covering the dough, I let it sit for about 2.5 hours.







This is what the dough looked like after rising. Isn't that amazing how much it grows!







I emptied the dough out on parchment paper that had a little flour sprinkled around. I then punched it down and rolled it out to about a half inch thickness. I had to sprinkle a little more flour on top to make sure it didn't stick. I also had to roll the dough out a few times throughout the cut out process because it gets fatter over time. I used a glass to cut out the circles.

After cutting out all of the circles, I covered them and let it sit for another half hour.







See how cute and chubby they are? I don't know if food can be cute, but if it can, these puppies are. They are so light and fluffy and chubby! (Yes, I know that's a little weird).





I then greased my griddle and cooked about five at a time. The recipe suggested to cook them on medium heat for about 10 minutes per side. I actually used lower heat and only did a few minutes per side. I'm sure everyone's stove works differently, but if I had done 10 minutes per side my muffins would have been super burnt.

This is what they look like when they are done. The recipe suggest an output of 10-12, I actually produced 19.







I enjoyed mine warm with jam, but I think after they cool I'll toast them and add a little margarine. They are delicious!






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