The Fresh Loaf

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Help me design a recipe: whole wheat muffins

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Help me design a recipe: whole wheat muffins

Here is what I would like:


 


sourdough whole wheat English muffins - with a nice, muffin-like crumb


 


If I was Txfarmer, I would be able to come up with a recipe, but...  I am not!   ;)


 


Can anybody help me out?  where do I start?

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

The english muffins at wildyeast.com may be a good starting point. they are about 32 % ww. You could just start replacing the white flour in the dough with ww, and/or feed the starter with ww, up to your desired levels.


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/09/11/sourdough-english-muffins/


Guess you would just have to keep in mind that as the ww increases, the fermentation times may decrease.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I thought about that recipe, which I made in the past, but it did not work very well for me, my English muffins were a bit dense.   I think that if with white flour I had problems, it could get worse with whole wheat....


Unless I had other ideas, I might have to give that one a try...


 


 


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I tried it too with similar results. I think it may require longer final proofing than instructed. As I was frying only 2 muffins at a time, I noticed my first muffins were quite dense, but my last few were much fluffier.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Good point - when I made it, I did them all at the same time, using my griddle which is quite big


 


perhaps it does need longer proofing


 


I'll keep that in mind, maybe I should try it with white flour first - I do have some starter all bubbly...

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

And I recommended it below. :P


 


For EM, "Laurel's Kitchen" book, as well as several other books, suggests to "nearly" over-mix and over-proof to creat those "nooks and crannies". So when I made wildyeast's EM, I mixed a lot longer than suggested, and proofed a lot longer too. Mine was't dense, had pretty good crumb with holes, but not as many as the Alton Brown recipe I mentioned below. However, flavorwise, it's the best one I have done so far.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

were delicious with a lovely open crumb...I made them without the added yeast,  whole wheat flour would be very nice added...but I'm not sure if you are looking for a 100% WWEM formula.


Sylvia 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

... I will search for his recipe, and see how it goes


 


Thanks!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

EM with levain 


Sylvia

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Well, for a first time attempt at designing a recipe, I'd say we are on the right track...


 


I made his recipe, but used 166 g white flour + 100 g whole wheat.   I was afraid of making them with  a higher proportion of ww in the first attempt, so I decided to take baby steps.


 


Also, because I wanted to have leftover starter, I made my levain built with 80g of each component (water, flour, starter), and was quite surprised to find out that I needed almost all of it to come up with 202 g


So now I am not quite sure if when the recipe states 202 g   he is simply implying that you will use ALL of the levain made, but in fact you don't need to weigh it.  If that's the case, my dough had a higher proportion of sourdough in it.


After the first rise (1.5 hs), I formed them in 6 pieces, and placed them immediately in the refrigerator.  This morning they went at room temperature for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, then cooked on the griddle as instructed in the recipe.  I have no doubts now  that muffins can be retarded (well, how about THAT for a beautiful statement? - bread bakers are  very special people... :-)


 


ANYWAY, it was a very nice dough to handle  -  wet, but manageble.   The crumb is better than my previous attempts (even with all white flour),  I just think that they would be better with a final baking in an oven, the griddle doesn't cook them all the way through well enough.  


 


I would appreciate some feedback - what do you guys think?  How could I tweak the recipe further?  Could I increase the WW amount?    


 


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Great work  Sally, these look excellent.   Did you use Larry's base recipe?


Regards problems with the griddle, I don't think you should look to put them in the oven.   The whole point is to do them on a hot plate.   That said, I know of a highly respected bakery in my local city which does all their muffins in rings on baking sheets in the oven, and flips them halfway through.


I did post on Larry's great thread to give an ideal plate temperature.   Perhaps you can get the plate a bit hotter to cook through?   The oven might be a solution, but if you can correct the griddle thast would be better.   Also, maybe you have too much water in the formula?   72% would be my maximum.   But, I don't know how much water you used, as I'm not sure of your final recipe choice.


Is it coarse corn meal you used as a dust?


Best wishes


Andy

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Hi, Andy


 


I used the exact recipe posted by Larry - with the difference that I included full 202 g of levain in my dough, but since it's equal parts flour and water, maybe it doesn't make much difference.    THe only other change was the substitution of whole wheat flour. 


I could get my griddle a little hotter, but it won't go higher than 475F


 


I am also thinking that making slightly smaller muffins could help - they might cook through more efficiently on the griddle.


 


You got it right - it is coarse corn meal - I was hoping no one would notice, but should have known better.  Obviously, when I go to grab some corn meal to coat the parchment paper, there's not a single crumb left in the pantry.... (sigh)


so that's how my English muffins ended up coated with the wrong type of flour...


 


 

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Sally,


Scale your muffins at 65-70g; have you seen my post here: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/15953/crumpets-and-muffins ?


I'm sure the cornmeal tastes lovely.   We use rice cones most commonly in the UK, but I prefer to use the lovely coarsely ground semolina from my local flour mill.


Griddle should be well pre-heated and as close to 200*C as you can get.   So you can definitely raise it hot enough.   Work like you would with hearth bread, and think in terms of stored heat.


But, I think you are onto something with scaling your muffins a bit lighter.


Best wishes


Andy

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Why on Earth didn't I retrieve that post?   OH, well - I have to say I am quite often a bit lost here, it's not the site's fault...  I just cannot seem to keep up with all the things I read, little advice, tips, recipes 


 


I KNOW I've seen that post before...    Crumpets might well be a future adventure - I have only tried the store-bought version, and already love those, imagine homemade!


 


(I did not have semolina flour either....    in my defense, since we are about to move, I've been avoiding getting stuff I won't be able to use up until the end of this month)

jlewis30's picture
jlewis30

This is the formula I came up with after longing for light and fluffy English muffins rather than dense ones. They are done with white flour but I can get to 50% WW fairly easily by soaking the WW flour overnight, I would love to know if you can get a nice result with 100% WW. I will try one of these days, but now running out of these at our house is like a famine crisis so I have not taken the time to experiment lol.


The key to the lightness is a very hydrated batter, so you will need to play that by feel (but that is kind of the fun bit). I do not think you can get as lofty with whole wheat as with white, but you can get close =) I add cinnamon and raisins when I do them wheat style.


http://www.tetzfiles.com/jeannette/EasyEnglishMuffins.pdf
http://www.tetzfiles.com/jeannette/muffinNooks.jpg


(replace the commercial yeast with wild yeast as you please, these days I use both)

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

 


 For 100%, I would take a page out of "Laurel's Kitchen" book (you said you have it right?). I remember she has a English muffin recipe, you just have to convert it to sourdough.


 


For just ww, I "think" KAF whole grain book has a english muffin recipe, again, you'll have to convert it to sourdough.


 


Or you can start with a good sourdough EM recipe. I like this one: http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/09/11/sourdough-english-muffins/ - use some ww flour instead


 


OR if you are really into expreimenting, then I will refer you to Alton Brown EM recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/english-muffins-recipe/index.html


I've done it before. Very good crumb with plenty of nooks and crankies. However you do need to modify it to sourdough AND change some flour to ww. Oh, if you do use this one, my trick is to add some baking soda right before baking, it adds a lot more holes in the final product.


Boy, now "I" want to make some EM!:P

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

No, unfortunately I don't have that book


 


I will check out all the info you guys gave me, and decide a plan of action - I REALLY want to get this to work, as I'm having commercial whole wheat muffins for my breakfast and lunch too


 


thank you all!

wassisname's picture
wassisname

Long name, but straightforward recipe.  A basic, overnight WW SD "rustic" type dough adapted from PR's WW rustic bread, but makes surprisingly good English muffins.  I'm addicted to them.  Obviously they are a bit heavier than a white flour version, but they're still nice and craggy on the inside, chewy on the outside.  This is a bare-bones recipe, but it's forgiving enough to allow all sorts of tinkering.  I ate my last one yesterday, so no pics.


200g whole wheat flour


150g whole white wheat flour


200g whole wheat starter @75% hydration


290g water


1 1/8 tsp sea salt


1-2 Tbsp olive oil


Mix all ingedients except the oil


Knead 3-4 min.  Rest 5 min.  Knead 3-4 min, add oil.  Knead 15 sec.  Rest 5 min.  Knead 1 min.  Dough should be sticky.  Note - I knead this with wet hands, so if you prefer kneading with flour you may need to increase the water at the start.  Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hrs.


Remove from refrigerator.  Divide and shape into 8-10 balls, dough will still be sticky, flour as needed to make it manageable  Place on sheet pan (well-floured with semolina), cover and let rise until puffy, 45-60 min.  I pat them a little flatter when I put them on the pan because thicker one's can be tough to cook through completely.


Cook on griddle, flipping about every 5 min or so, 15-20 min total.  Be quick and sure with the spatula when transferring from pan to griddle, the dough is wet and things can get ugly in a hurry!


Cool on a rack then split and store in a plastic bag.  Even better the next day, toasted and topped with a hefty pat of good butter!  They also work well straight from the freezer to the toaster.


-Marcus

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Thanks, that is looking mighty good!


 


I will let you all know what I come up with

wassisname's picture
wassisname

 There was no "edit" link on my previous post for some reason, so here's the pic


ehanner's picture
ehanner

Have any of you tried retarding SD English Muffins and frying/baking them right out of the fridge? For me the timing of mixing fermenting, shaping and baking would mean I would have to get up at 4 AM to get my daughter out the door at 6:30 AM for school.


I suppose I could make ahead and freeze them also.


Eric

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I will be trying just that, Eric


 


If everything goes according to plan (knock gently on wood), I hope to be able to bake a batch tomorrow morning, after overnight rest in the fridge (the dough, not me)


 


Will report back

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Nothing went according to plan today.


 


Reviving PLAN B - which includes one more feeding of my sourdough, and will be attempting to make it tomorrow, to bake on Saturday


 


Life is difficult....     ;-)