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english muffins

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isand66's picture
isand66

Since I had some leftover Durum YW starter from my last bake I decided to make English Muffins again.  I followed the same recipe I used the last time but this time the starter was 100% Durum flour and I used my European style flour from KAF for the main dough.  Similar to last time I used Greek Yogurt (2%) and I added some Cheddar cheese as well.

The end results were exactly what I expected with a nice open crumb and flavor as good as any English Muffin I have had before.

English Muffins Main Dough

165 grams Wild Yeast Water Durum Starter (you can use your regular Sourdough starter at 65% hydration instead if desired)

620 grams European Style Flour (KAF or use Bread Flour with a little Whole Wheat)

300 grams Greek Plain Yogurt (I used Fage 2%)

235 grams Water (85-90 degrees F.)

50 grams Cheese (I used grated Cheddar.  Add in final mix)

26 grams Sugar

10 grams Salt

12 grams Baking Soda

Semolina or Cornmeal for Dusting

Directions

Mix flour, starter and yogurt in your mixing bowl and mix for 1-2 minutes to combine.

Cover the bowl and let it sit out at room temperature overnight or for at least 9-10 hours.

The next morning add the rest of the ingredients and mix for a minute.  Knead the dough either with your mixer or by hand for around 4 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary.  Next roll out the dough to about 3/4" thickness on your work surface.  You will have to put some bench flour on the work surface to prevent the dough from sticking.  Using  4" biscuit cutter or can, cut the muffins out and place on a pan lined with parchment paper dusted with corn meal or semolina flour.  You should end up with 5-6 muffins.  If necessary you can combine the scraps and roll out again but you may need to let it rest before rolling.

Cover the muffins with a clean misted or floured towel and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Heat your griddle or heavy skillet to medium or around 350 degrees  and when ready to cook spray some cooking spray on the cooking surface before placing the English Muffins in the pan.

Cover the pan to create some steam and let cook for around 5 minutes or until the bottoms are nice and brown.  Flip and cook another 5 minutes and remove to a baking rack to cool.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Whew!  All of the planning, all of the strategizing, all of the preparation, all of the anticipation, and poof!, it's all history now.

Thirteen wonderful students showed up a few minutes before 9:00 this morning for a class on breakfast breads at the KC Culinary Center, ready to learn about kolaches and sourdough English muffins.  With the support of my able assistant, Kay (who somehow managed to stay out of the photos), I was able to get through all of the material in the allotted 3 hours.  Along the way, we talked about flours, sourdough starter maintenance, dough texture, the differences between sticky/tacky/dry doughs, how to adjust dough moisture content if it was too sticky or too dry, the advantages of weight measurements over volume measurements, why English muffins are better fork-split than sliced, how kolaches can play sweet or savory, and a other life-altering topics.  Flour flew, laughter rang, dough got onto all kinds of surfaces, muffins and kolaches were consumed.  I think just about everyone took a chunk of starter for further experimentation at home.  All in all, it was a fun morning.

Several students said that they will return in December for the Christmas breads class, so I'm not the only one who thinks things went well.  And Kay, who has seen a bunch of classes and instructors, said it was a good session.  She is excited that the classes I have scheduled for this term feature breads that no one else has taught at KCCC.  

I did manage to squeeze in a few photos when the students were busy and I could step back for a moment.  There aren't as many as I would have liked but, hey, I was just a bit busy most of the time.

First up, 3kg of sourdough starter on Friday evening, ready to go into the sponge for the English muffins.  This is the result of two builds, one Thursday evening and another Friday morning:

If that sounds like a lot of starter, take a look at how much sponge it launches:

The Coke can gives an idea of the scale.  All of this had to be transported this morning from my house to the culinary center.  I might try a different strategy next time...

Next up, some English muffin consumption:

Yeah, they were good!  This group thought so, too:

And then it was time to go to work on kolaches:

And another table of kolache bakers (the young lady at right front will be heading off soon to the Johnson & Wales culinary school in Denver):

And the third group of kolache bakers:

As you can see from the photos, the students really focused on what they were doing.  They asked lots of good questions and made sure that they understood the answers.  It's fun to work with a lively and interested group like this!

The format for the class involved some "TV cooking" to make sure that we covered all of the bases in the amount of time that we had.  We actually worked backwards, beginning with shaping prepped dough for the English muffins.  That was followed by shaping the kolaches, also working with prepped dough.  Then we came back to the English muffins, cooking them and taking a short break to eat some muffins, answer questions, and talk about what we would do next.  I demonstrated a cheese filling for the kolaches and used it to fill some of the kolaches.  Since we were time-constrained, I used canned cherry pie filling to fill the rest of the kolaches.  The kolaches then went into a preheated oven.  Then it was back to the work stations to mix the final English muffin dough, using the prepped sponge.  Once that was mixed and kneaded, each student bagged his/her dough and put it into the refrigerator to griddle at home later.  Then we shifted to the kolache dough, with each student preparing, mixing, and kneading the dough from scratch.  That, too, was bagged and refrigerated to take home.  We finished with some questions and answers, much of which focused on how to use the starter that I handed out (which was at 50% hydration) if they were to make another batch of the English muffins at home, given that the EM recipe calls for 100% hydration starter.  That gave a good opportunity to underline measuring by weight and to explain how adjust quantities of flour and water to achieve a specific hydration level.  I never said "bakers math" out loud but that was effectively at the core of the discussion.  Once that process was clarified, we were at the end of our session.  Everyone gathered up their doughs and their starter samples and headed home.

I stayed to debrief with Kay and go through the student feedback forms.  One of the things that she noted was how there was lots of chatter among the students as they were leaving, which was a good sign.  Kay said that if people slide out without saying much, it usually indicates dissatisfaction.  The feedback forms confirmed what she had observed, with complimentary comments from the students.  I say that with a sense of relief, not braggadocio.  Some of the students are effectively "frequent flyers" at KCCC, so I don't want to do anything to drive them away.  Nor do I want to develop a reputation as someone to be avoided.  More importantly, bread should be fun and I want my students to walk out the door knowing that they can do exactly what we did in class and have it turn out well.

After some cleanup and gathering up what I had brought with me, it was time to go home, which is where my wife snapped this photo:

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

We ran out of English muffins and once again used a variation fop the one at KAF.  We use YW in conjunction with a SD Desem starter to make EM;s that are very similar to Wofferman’s but 16% whole wheat.  They are light, fluffy, airy and just plain delicious.  We make them all the time and never want to run out of them in the freezer

 

After 8 hours the dough had more than doubled and stuck to the plastic cover to reveal the airy structure beneath. 

The method is simple enough.  Build the SD and YW levains over 6 hours in one stage each.  After the levains have doubled, mix everything except the salt, sugar and baking soda together and let sit out overnight or for 8 hours on the counter.  Make sure the bowl is covered in plastic and well oiled and at least 3 times the size of the dough ball.

 

See the 2 free form ones made after cutting out 7 on the first pass?

After the overnight proofing add the remaining salt, sugar and BP and knead on a floured work surface for 4-5 minutes.  Let rest for 10 minutes and then press out into a circle that is ¾ “ thick.  No need for a rolling pin.  Use a cutter to make 3”-4” rounds – I used a plastic drinking cup.  Move to a corn meal or semolina sprinkled parchment paper covered cookie sheet and cover with plastic to final proof 45 minutes on the counter.

 

We managed 9 large ones but you could get a dozen smaller ones.  Dry fry in a seasoned cast iron skillet on medium low heat about 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.  Move to a cooling rack.  Eat while warm with butter and jam.  Yummy!

   

SD YW English Muffins - 16% Whole Wheat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed Starter

Build 1

Total

%

SD Starter

10

10

2.46%

Yeast Water

31

31

9.39%

WW

31

31

9.39%

AP

41

41

12.42%

Water

41

41

12.42%

Total Starter

154

154

46.67%

 

 

 

 

Sd YW Starter Totals

 

 

 

Hydration

100.00%

 

 

Levain % of Total

21.12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dough Flour

 

%

 

Whole Wheat

30

9.09%

 

AP

300

90.91%

 

Dough Flour

330

100.00%

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

7

2.12%

 

Milk

238

72.12%

 

Dough Hydration

72.12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour

407

 

 

Milk & Water

315

 

 

T. Dough Hydration

77.40%

 

 

Whole Grain %

16.22%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Weight

729

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Ingredients

 

 

 

1 T Sugar

 

 

 

1 tsp Baking Soda

 

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

We just love kjknits English Muffin recipe and make it all the time.  Well, we make them when we run out of them - without fail.  We just can’t stand not having them in the freezer. It is just not done.

We always tweak the recipe a little bit.  This time we used 1 ½ C of AP, 1/4 C each of Durum Atta and White Whole Wheat. 

 

We also used 20 G of  multi grain starter (33% each desem, rye and durum atta) that has been in the fridge for at least a week at 65% hydration and 20 g of our yeast water too.

This time we hand formed some of the Muffins and cut some with a plastic glass.  See if you can tell which is which in the pre dry fried and after dry fries shots.

We actually made them the same size as Thomas EM’s (don’t ever look at their ingredient list) by rolling the dough ½” thick this time – ours muight have been a tad taller.

The spring was at least 100% on these fine English Muffins that come out just like Wofferman’s, where I worked as a sack boy what seems like only a couple of years ago when it was really nearly 50.

So soft and tender on the inside when nicely browned on the outside.  Make sure you get them this dark too.  Use a cast iron skillet for best results.

When toasted, buttered and lightly covered in our Dragon Fruit and Prickly Pear Tuna Combo Jam – just delightful for a Sunday morning breakfast.

Try them and you won’t ever buy Thomas’ fine EM’s ever again.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

The last time we made English Muffins the kjknits way we took her SD version and added yeast water.  gmakaing made some for her grand daughter and also fried some as donuts!  What a great idea.  Her grand daughter really liked them and they disappeared fast.

Look at that color and the nice DO we got at the Estate Sale down the street.

When I told gmabaking I was doing another EM batch today and was going to fry some as donuts, I asked if she had glazed the donuts or put powdered sugar on them.   She said that they were gone too fast but thought that an apricot glaze would be nice.  Well, that sounded pretty good to me and a nice outlet for our home made apricot, nectarine and ginger jam.

The 100 g of combo YW and SD starter was pinched off a larger amount I was building for some WW Semolina bread.  It used  that nice Joe Ortiz cumin, WW SD starter and the now richly purple Apple, Minneola YW that has gone beautifully colored due to the addtion of fresh cherries inspired by Ian at isand66.  It matches my place mats which should be a requirement for any serious home baker - or possibly dumb luck :-) 

The starter was built with duram atta, whole soft white wheat and white whole wheat.  The muffin dough had 2 C of AP and 1/4 C of Duram Atta.  So these EM's were to be a healthy whole wheaty, semolina variety.  The rest of the recipe can be found at kjknits blog at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3241/sourdough-english-muffins/  We love this EM recipe and it has turned out to be easily modified and versatile too.  Always very tasty no matter nhow my apprentice butcher's it.

The starter, flour and milk (I added 2 T more than the Cup of milk due to the extra 1/4 C durum atta in the dough flour) are allowed to sit out overnight for 8 hours.  In the morning the rest of the ingredients go in.  Then knead for 3-4  minutes and  roll them out 3/8" thick for cutting.  After cutting, place them on parchment paper dusted in semolina top and bottom and rest for 45 minutes covered in plastic.  The EM's are then dry fried in a 12" cast iron skillet.

We made 6 flat donut shapes by hand by using the bagel forming method of ball with afinger poked through it and then using two fingers opening the hole in a cirular motion.  Then we squished (another fine baking term) them flat.  Why we squished them flat I have no idea and it doesn't make much sense now, since they were going to puff up in the hot nearly smoking Crisco anyway.

These EM are explosive with the YW and baking soda working with that vigorous Ortiz SD starter.  We made the EM's larger diameter this time (same as Thomas) and increased the thickness a little to 5/16" thick.  Will make them 3/8" thick next time because, even though these babies really spring,  they still were only a little over an 1" high after cooling .  We made 11 EM's and 6 donuts instead of the 24 mini EM's made the last time.

The EM's came out as usual but were more tasty with the WW and semolina flours.  Not quite as open as the all AP flour ones, but still pretty good like Wofferman's in KC where I worked as a sack boy nearly 50 years ago.  Best job I ever had too.  The donuts were a hoot to make and fry up.  Fried them 1 at a time to save on the oil since we don't fry much around here except Crab Rangoon's,  Egg and Spring Rolls and a few other appetizers.  Will make some dry fried or baked bagel ones next time too.

The donuts fried up nice and brown and the spring on them was very good.  The crumb was very open, light and moist.  The crust was chewy just like a fried English muffin would be so, these donuts aren't like the cake or glazed donuts you are used to but they are tasty none the less.

We mixed some of our apricot, nectarine and ginger jam with some powdered suger and a T of milk to make the glaze for the donuts.   We dipped them twice to get an extra thick coat.  Butter and this tasty jam were have too's for the warm EM's.  Just delicious.  I personally had 3 of each for breakfast and can attest to their addictiveness!

Thanks to gmabaking for her great donut and glaze ideas for these fine EM's

.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

After getting back from Houston where it rained cats and dogs, I had to bring it back to Phoenix since we have been dry for a year.  It has rained just about every day since returning.   It is monsoon but yesterday, we had to get nearly 1.5" of rain at home where we only get 7" a year.  The clouds were ominous.

Then they got orange in a pinkish way as the sun set.

Looking back to the sunset across the lake it was clearing for a nice sunset.

Nice to wake up to some home made bagels and mini English Muffins .

isand66's picture
isand66

I have been meaning to make some English Muffins for a while now and wanted to try to use my fairly new Wild Yeast Water Starter as the levain instead of yeast.  I tried a recipe I found on The Fresh Loaf last week and unfortunatley it resulted in hockey pucks.  I decided to try a sourdough English Muffin recipe I found on The Fresh Loaf and convert it to using WYW as the starter.  Since I decided to make some extra starter with the WYW I figured I might as well try changing it up a bit and used some Durum flour instead of AP flour and also use some greek yogurt instead of milk as well as some cheese.

I have to say the Durum version with the yogurt turned out much better than the plain milk version with AP flour.  It had a much better rise when baking and turned out more tender and flavorful than the AP version.

All in all, I was very happy with the final result and would definitely make these again, but would use yogurt instead of milk.

Wild Yeast Starter Build 1

75 grams European Style Flour from KAF or AP Flour

75 grams Wild Yeast Water

Mix the flour and starter and let sit covered on your counter for 4 hours and proceed to step 2 or put in the refrigerator until ready to proceed to Build 2.

Wild Yeast Starter Build 2

65 grams European Style Flour or AP Flour

65 grams Wild Yeast Water

Mix in above ingredients with Starter from Build 1 and let sit out at room temperature in covered bowl for 4 - 6 hours.  Either use immediately after 4-6 hours or put in refrigerator and use the next day.

Version 1 English Muffins Main Dough

111 grams Starter from above

240 grams Milk

342 grams European Style or AP Flour

13 grams Sugar

5 grams Salt

6 grams Baking Soda

Semolina or Cornmeal for Dusting

Directions

Mix flour, starter and milk in your mixing bowl and mix for 1-2 minutes to combine.

Cover the bowl and let it sit out at room temperature overnight.

The next morning add the rest of the ingredients and mix for a minute.  Knead the dough either with your mixer or by hand for around 4 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary.  Next roll out the dough to about 3/4" thickness on your work surface.  You will have to put some bench flour on the work surface to prevent the dough from sticking.  Using  4" biscuit cutter or can, cut the muffins out and place on a pan lined with parchment paper dusted with corn meal or semolina flour.  You should end up with 5-6 muffins.  If necessary you can combine the scraps and roll out again but you may need to let it rest before rolling.

Cover the muffins with a clean misted or floured towel and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Heat your griddle or heavy skillet to medium or around 350 degrees  and when ready to cook spray some cooking spray on the cooking surface before placing the English Muffins in the pan.

Cover the pan to create some steam and let cook for around 5 minutes or until the bottoms are nice and brown.  Flip and cook another 5 minutes and remove to a baking rack to cool.

Version 2 Semolina English Muffins Main Dough

Ingredients

97 grams Starter from above

310 grams Durum Flour

150 grams Greek Plain Yogurt

100 grams Water (85-90 degrees F.)

6 grams Baking Soda

13 grams Sugar

5 grams Salt

26 grams Cheese (I used a mix of Parmesan, Asiago and Fontina)

Follow same directions as in Version 1 but add the cheese on baking day.

Both versions taste great with some butter, jam or cheese.

Enjoy.

This bread has been submitted to Yeast Spotting here at http://www.wildyeastblog.com/

Version 1 Crumb
Version 2 Durum Crumb
Succulents
Oriental Lilies
Cone Flower
dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

We really like kjknits SD English muffins and have made them several times.  This time we decided to make them circles instead of irregular shapes cut with a dough scraper and we wanted to get some YW working in there too.

Still don't have a cutter so we used a plastic lid from a peanut butter jar.  It worked OK if a little small.  The recipe should make 12 large English muffins but we got 24.  The spring on these things is amazing so we rolled them about 3/16" thick to get about a 1" final height.

These were just delicious as usual they were small enough to eat like candy.  Toasted with butter and jam.... they made a for a fine, if short, breakfast.

Now how did that cheesecake get in there again?  Looks like it has an Oreo cookie crust.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Every so often, I like to make a batch of sourdough English muffins.  My go-to recipe is one from the King Arthur 200th Anniversary Cookbook, which I have blogged about previously.  Today's post is just a series of photos showing the muffins as they cook for your viewing pleasure; something only a bread-head would love.

Up first, the muffins waiting their turn on the griddle:

After feeling the heat for a little bit:

Still growing:

Ready to turn:

And just after being turned:

And yes, they smell good too!

Paul

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Inspired by kjknits EM recipe I decide to try it out.  I don't have a cutter so I just cut them into square shapes with my dough scraper.  They turned out nice.  My wife, who eats the Thomas brand regularly, also seemed to like them too.  Thanks to kjkniots for the recipe.  They came out with holes on one side after slicing for some reason.  Maybe the side that hit the hot pan first got bubbles or cause them to go away?No I don't think I will be buying an EM cutter either - unless I find one at Goodwill.

These are delicious toasted with butter and home made 6P Jam ( prickly pear, pineapple, plum, pear & pomegranate)  Can't buy that at the store :-)

 

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