The Fresh Loaf

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English Muffins and Pagnotta

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weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

English Muffins and Pagnotta

English MuffinsEnglish Muffins

After seeing proth5's muffins I had to try them hoping to get the nooks and crannies. I messed up totally when I tried to convert the recipe to kg so ended up guessing. After several stretch and folds I let it rise for about 1 1/2 hour. It was full of big bubbles by then and I thought I want lots of holes so why should I deflate this thing and roll out all the air bubbles. I just gently turned it out on a floured board and gently pulled it out till it was about 1 1/2 - 2" high and just cut with an inverted drinking glass. I put them on cornmeal and then right onto the hot skillet still full of air bubbles, no rise time. I didn't use rings. I was happy to see all the "butter bowls" inside. I hope I can repeat the whole thing, mistakes and all. I ended up with 18. I doubled the recipe but should have ended up with 12. Oh well. Thanks proth5 for the inspiration. They toast up great.

 

My photo is very bad.

 

 

 

PagnottaPagnotta

 

 

 

Bill Wraith's Pagnotta

Today I also made Bill Wraith's Pagnotta. This bread always works well. I was on the phone when these were proofing and they went too far. I was worried they would deflate but they didn't, they just baked into each other so I'll have to pull them apart when they cool. The recipe can be found in the SEARCH. Hope you see these Bill so I can say thanks for your recipe.

Comments

proth5's picture
proth5

Oh, me and my pounds and ounces.  I should do better.  The formula in grams:

Levain build

18 gms 100% hydration starter, 27gms water, 27gms flour

Muffins

All of the levain build

262 gms flour, 262 gms water, 4gms salt, 36 gms dry milk, 15 gms sugar, 15 gms vegetable oil

Hope this helps the metrically inclined, although the improvisation looks lovely.

My spreadsheet can handle the conversions easily.  But my tiny mind - not so much so.  It's like learning a new language - it can be done, but if you are not surrounded by it in everyday life - it is difficult to become fluent.  

Happy Baking!

 

 

 

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

Actually I'm measurement impaired, doesn't matter metric or otherwise! When I checked my conversion with yours in the above post I see I had it right so I must have done something else goofy or my scale needs a new battery. I'll go with that. Anyway, they were great for toast this morning and thank you again. weavershouse

bwraith's picture
bwraith

I have proth5's blog entry sitting in my inbox, and now I am checking out your photos and experiences, weavershouse. Thanks for these posts on muffins. I have to try them. It reminds me of watching the discussions on bagels a while back that tempted me for quite a while before I finally went for it.

I'm out in Montana for a few summer weeks, and I've fully revived my starter (refrigerated here since I came out for a little spring skiing). Some good basic semi-whole-wheat sourdough has been made already with the wonderful Wheat Montana flour that is on the shelves at the grocery store even in this fairly remote area, instead of having to get it mail order. Then, I made some of Mike Avery's SD pancakes, too, which were a hit as always - loaded with blueberries this time (thanks Mike).

We have a load of family out here now, and maybe sourdough English muffins should be the next hit after the pancakes for the morning routine.

I'm glad that pagnotta is working for you, weavershouse.

Bill

proth5's picture
proth5

Bill, 

I'm still feeding two different levains to see if the feeding routines make a difference.  Will post full results when canning slows down...

Likewise with a sample of home ground for ash measurements.

(My word is my bond...)

Have a good rest of the summer.  I'm going to fool around with the tandoor this weekend to produce the "daily bread" - too hot to bake in the house.

Pat

 

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

You must have a powerful starter sitting there just waiting for your return. Glad you're still keeping the family in good bread though we miss your posts here. Have a great vacation.                             weavershouse

holds99's picture
holds99

Weavershouse,

The muffins look great and the interior looks perfect.  Nice job...and ditto for the Pagnotta. 

Bill Wraith, good to hear from you.  Missed your postings and sound advice since you've been away.

Pat, thanks for posting the metric measurements for the English Muffins.  I made note of them in your original recipe (which I copied) and plan to make them as soon as I can round up some muffin rings.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I hope you make these because I'm sure you'll do a great job on them. I used Wheat Montana's all purpose flour and I'm wondering how a softer flour would work. I don't think anyone ever discussed different flours for english muffins. Also, I would recommend cooking these very slowly on the griddle to be sure they're baked inside. I put them in the oven after the griddle at 350ºF for 8 min. A few of them were still a little bit undercooked on the inside. Toasting takes care of that but still....                 

Thanks for the compliments.                                                                               weavershouse

holds99's picture
holds99

Weavershouse,

Your and Pat's English Muffins looked so good I decided to commit to making them.  So, yesterday I ordered a set of muffin rings.  I bought the 4 inch rings.  The shipping cost is nearly as much as the rings.  C'est la vie.  Before I ordered the rings I was wondering if emptied and washed tuna fish cans would work, but decided the diameter was too small and the sides were too high.  Anyway, I'm on-board with the English muffins...or crumpets as they say in l'Angleterre :-) 

If this works out I'm thinking about going down to the local welding shop and having some 12 inch rings made and open up a Texas Size English Muffin Shop here in St. Augustine.  Heck, the 12 inch muffins could be used for Texas sized Lancastershire burgers (2 pounders) served with mooshy peas on the side.  This could be "VERY BIG".  As I see it the applications for the 12 inch English muffins are endless :-)

I'll let you know how it goes with the 4 inch muffins.  Hang in there and keep the oven light lit. 

Howard

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

for burgers are awesome..but I don't know about 2 pounds...just a bit much!!?? There is a restaurant back home housed in an old train station. My fav was their "Station Burger" built on an oversized English muffin. Thomas' English Muffins make a sandwich sized muffin, but I can't find them here in Oregon.

I think scaled down to about 4 -5 inches would be just right. Let me know when you're ready for business..we'll be there!

PS..I know you already bit the bullet and ordered the rings, but Weavershouse said she made them without rings so I'll be interested to hear if you think they're necessary.

holds99's picture
holds99

Paddyscake,

I was joking about the 12 inch muffins and 2 lb. burger.  (Weavershouse, I hope you undestood that I was kidding).  Although, when we were in Mexico a few years back there was a restaurant outside Guadalahara that sold a family burger (Mexico's answer to the Big Mac) that was as big as a bread plate, which was supposed to be shared.  They served it on a bun that tasted like it was made from white corn and flour meal.  Even the pizzas down there, at least the one or two we ate, were made using a crust that was akin to a giant soft white flour tortilla.  It's always interesting to try new things. 

I did notice that Weavershouse made her English muffins freehand, without using rings.  Hers looked great.  I should have taken her cue and tried it freehand before I ordered the rings.  But I've never made English muffins before and, besides, I'm a real sucker for gadgets...and worse, a true pack rat.  Even if a gadget is broken I have a hard time throwing it away.

Regarding the English muffins, maybe I'll make half of them freehand (approximating the 4 inch ring size) and the other half using the rings, and post the results. 

Howard

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

but there are restaurants out there selling 4 and 6 pound hamburgers. You eat it, you get it for free...but why would you want to??!!

You mentioned tuna cans and if you used the larger sized can it would be the perfect size. Only problem is the fact that : 1. you have to LOVE tuna a whole lot and 2. the way they shape the cans now a days, makes it impossible to open the bottom with a can opener.

I've made English Muffins before and they lacked the nooks and crannies..I thought because the dough wasn't slack. Looking forward to seeing how your experiment goes. I'm frugal..but there are some tools that I feel you just have to have.. brotforms, a good baking stone, good knives..you get my drift.  

holds99's picture
holds99

I think I read that they do the 6 pounders in Alaska...I think I also read there's a huge demand for cardiologists up there :-)  Hey, Alaska, if you're out there I'm just kidding....

I'm just waiting for my rings to arrive so I can swing into action and get moving on the recipe...as Bill Cosby used to say: R-I-G-H-T!  Seriously,  I agree with you about brotforms (AND quality linen lined bannetons), GOOD Knives are a must and definitely a good baking stone.  I bought two baking stones and had one of them cut to size at Home Depot so that with the full size one and the cut one I have the entire rack covered with stone. 

As soon as the UPS shipment arrives with my Tiffany muffin/crumpet rings I'll get to work on that recipe.   

Howard

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

It was funny, especially the mooshy peas.

 

How do the muffin rings work? Are they used to cut the muffin and then transferred, ring and muffin, to the griddle? Looking forword to seeing your results. I'm going to make them again soon just because they are kind of fun to make. And taste good.  

 

I know what you mean about gadgets. I'm constantly talking myself out of something. I'd love a food dehydrator even though we have a home made one that works pretty good. I love the red le creuset 3.5 qt covered casserole that I've seen so many of the TV cooks use and I think I would get a lot of use out of a food processor. So, it's fun to look but I'll pass. So far!                

 

Happy Baking.                                      weavershouse

holds99's picture
holds99

Glad you knew I was only kidding about a trip to the local welding shop.  Sounds like you know about mooshy peas.  My wife sometimes thinks my humor is a little, as she good humoredly: "sardonic". 

I haven't received my muffin rings yet.  I'm hoping there will be a users manual included with them :-).  If not I'll have to look in one of my books to figure out how to use them.  As one of the IBM engineers I once worked with used to say: "Don't force it...get a bigger hammer".

As for a food dehydrator, I bought one a few years ago and had grand ideas of how it would pay for itself in a short time.  Well, I don't use it all that much.  I mainly dry datil peppers and some fruits and herbs.  If I had it to do over I would pass on buying one, unless I had a lot of homegrown fruit and such.  I did use it, on very low temp., to dehydrate some herbs and some of my sourdough starter (Nancy Silverton's recipe) which I crushed up and keep in a jar in the freezer for an emergency.  Had to use it once when I let my active starter go over the hill, so to speak.

One thought about Le Creuset casseroles, Walmart sells a Le Crueset look alike.  I have a large Le Crueset I purchased years ago, which was expensive, at Le Creuset's outlet store and I also have one that I bought at Walmart (made in China, of course) that cost about $40, and quality-wise the Chinese manufactured one is about as good as the Le Crueset.  I use it frequently when I bake boules.  The local Walmart only carries them in dark green but if you don't mind green it's high quality and performs just as well as my Le Crueset.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

dougal's picture
dougal

There seems to be some terminological confusion here, so I'll see if I can straighten things out a bit.

 

"American" muffins are cakey, tall things. That's them clear and out of the way. 

Now the confusion...  

 

Muffins (proper English ones) and Crumpets are both disc-shaped, and both cooked on a griddle or pan rather than being baked in an oven -- but they are rather different things.

Muffins are made from firmish dough, which is (usually) rolled out about a half inch thick, then left to proof/rise before being cooked equally on both sides. They should end up about an inch tall. Importantly, they are split before eating.

Crumpets are made from a distinctly liquid batter. A metal ring is used to contain the batter, otherwise you get something much wider and flatter! (But that's the way its sometimes done in Scotland.) They are flipped in cooking, but the top and bottom end up very different. The bottom is pretty solid and brown (surprise - like the first-cooked side of a pancake!) whereas the top is basically white with open holes stretching deep (nearly straight) down into the body of the crumpet. The top is cooked just enough to solidify the whole thing. Crumpets already have an open surface to accept butter, jam, honey, etc (after toasting) so they would never be split. Recipe and pictures here: http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1666#1666

 

Summary:

Muffin - dough (no need a ring) - top=bottom - so split

Crumpet - batter (therefore containment ring) - top≠bottom - don't split

 

Hope that helps!

holds99's picture
holds99

Appreciate your excellent explanation of the differences (muffins and crumpets), as well as the link.  I imagined that the rings were to pour batter into to form the crumpets because King Arthur offers pancake rings on their website.  Anyway, thanks again and I'll give them a try in the near future and post some results.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Hi Howard, I was reading an English bread book this evening and came across this crumpet recipe which reminded me that you were getting some rings? Took a while to find your posting and then I noticed that Dougal had given you an excellent explanation of the difference between muffins and crumpets, AND a recipe. Zounds, late again! Did you ever make them? I'll add this recipe anyway while I have the book out.

Crumpets

225g ap flour

225g bread flour

2tspn salt

2 1/2c milk and water mixed

2tbspn oil

1tbspn sugar

15g frsh yeast (not sure of the instant equiv?)

1/2tspn bicarbonate of soda

4fl. oz lukewarm water.

Mix all but bicarb. and lukewarm water, beat until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Proof about 1 1/2 hours until bubbly and about to fall. Dissolve bicarb. in water, stir into batter and let proof 30 minutes. Place rings on lightly greased griddle over medium heat. Fill 1/2" deep, cook over gentle heat for 6-7 minutes. Tops should be dry with a mass of tiny holes. Carefully remove rings and turn crumpets over, cook for 1-2 minutes until pale golden. Makes about 20. If they don't make the bubbles add a little more water to batter.

We used to toast crumpets on a long handled fork in front of a blazing fire, then spread them with lashings of butter. Guess we didn't know about cholesterol way back then! A.

 

 

 

 

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Annie,

I am still waiting for my rings to arrive but I have copied your recipe and will make it for my first try when I receive my rings.  I'll also post the results.  Dougal was kind enough to explain the difference between muffins and crumpets in his post and it was very helpful.  I also will try his recipe.

Charlene gave me an electric griddle a while back and I'll use it to make your crumpets after my rings arrive.  She really likes English muffins and encouraged me to give them a try.  I think that was one of the reason I got a new griddle :-)

Thanks again for taking the time to search for the previous posting and for posting your recipe.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL