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English Muffins Katie Style

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bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

English Muffins Katie Style

COMMENTARY: I made Katie's English Muffins this morning after starting the dough last night and letting it sit out over night. I mixed up the rest of the ingredients this morning and cut them and let them rise then used my cast iron skillet (too lazy to get the cast iron griddle out). I made 3 at a time and it was pretty easy. Woulda been faster with the griddle since it straddles two burners.

I will never buy english muffins again. The flavor and crumb were beautiful. The dough was so easy to work with as well. I'm about ready to admit I need different flour because I don't think my sourdough starter is strong enough. It makes for very mild flavor. It's still not doubling in 4 hours it's still not doubling in 12 hours but it seems to be doing a pretty good job of making the dough rise and ferment so I don't really understand it. I have so much to learn with it. I'm making the Sourdough Pagnotta today to test it on hearty bread. I figured I would repeat this recipe because I know how it performs yeasted but don't know how it will turn out with sourdough. So it should be a useful test of the starter.

PHOTOS AND RECIPE FOR KATIE'S ENGLISH MUFFINS:

Katie's English Muffins

 Katie's English Muffins

Katie's English Muffins From A Different Angle

 Katie's English Muffins From A Different Angle

Katie's Sourdough English Muffins

 

Makes about 12 

1/2 C starter (mine is a 100% hydration white starter) 

1 C milk

2-3/4 C AP flour

1 TBSP sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Semolina or cornmeal, for dusting

METHOD: 

Combine starter, 2 C of flour and milk in a large bowl.  Stir to combine,

cover with plastic wrap, and leave out for 8 hours or overnight.

After the overnight rest, add remaining flour (I didn't add any), sugar, salt

and baking soda and mix well.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead

for 4-5 minutes.  Roll out to 3/4" and cut with a biscuit cutter into rounds. 

You can re-roll the scraps, but you may need to let the dough rest before

cutting more muffins from them.  Place muffins on a piece of parchment

dusted with semolina and let rest for 45 minutes.

Spray griddle or skillet lightly with spray oil.  Heat griddle to medium and cook

muffins for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until browned on the top and

bottom and cooked through.  These have great griddle spring and rise quite

a bit during the "baking".

Split with a fork and enjoy with your favorite topping!  I don't even toast them

if I want to eat them right off the griddle--they don't have that raw taste that

storebought english muffins have.

Enjoy! 

 

NOTES: I prefer the muffins toasted because it adds to the flavor. I missed the instruction 

that said to spray the pan with oil. I used a dry heated cast iron skillet and they cooked

just fine and that way I didn't have as much smoking as I would if I added oil. Also, I cooked

these about 5 minutes per side in the skillet and finished by baking them off at 450 degrees for 

about 4 minutes. Also I used cornmeal to dust the parchment that I set these on and it was great.

These are a winner recipe. 

Comments

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

Don't tell anybody but I am thinking I prefer working with yeast! I just don't have that lovin' feeling for my sourdough starter and doughs so far (only 4 things baked with it). I MISS that smell of delicious yeasty goodness...you know?

Where do you live ed? 46 in June, yikes!!! It's hotter than hades here already (Houston). Raisin bagels sound great! I haven't gotten the nerve up to try bagels yet but I will soon! Maybe do a homemade gravlax with bagels, onion, tomatoes and capers! OMG. TDF!

You should MOST DEFINITELY try the yeasted pagnotta. OMG. The crumb is sooo creamy. It's divine! I actually prefer the olive version (I used Kalamatas that I pit myself. Very easy to pit: simple take the side of your chef knife or cleaver and gently press down on the olives. They will kinda "split" and then you just pick out the pit and tear the olive in half the rest of the way. Takes only a couple of seconds to do that amount). The olive bread sliced for sammys is great. My fav is avocado arugala and tomato (or if you don't have arugala then baby spinach, water cress, spring mix or romaine works great too!).

I can relate to the sourdough angst and desire for immediacy. My little guy still isn't performing like he's sposed to. Don't quite know what to do about it. He seems to be performing well in a recipe though even though the flavor isn't very strong.

I think you can make a yeasted version of most sourdough recipes. From using Bill Wraith's help here's kinda what I deduce from it. Take whatever the starter quantity is for the recipe...like with the english muffins it calls for 1/2 cup of starter. So just take roughly 4 oz as the starter: 2oz would be flour, 2oz would be water and that's your equivalent amount for the starter...but the quantity is sooooo small on the english muffins, I would take a shot and try making your preferment a larger % of the recipe. Meaning I would look at your other 2-3/4 cup of flour and take 3/4 cup of the flour away and 3/4cup of the milk away and I would add that to the amount of your preferment starter amount. Sounds confusing I know but it would look like this:

YEASTED VERSION OF KATIE'S SOURDOUGH ENGLISH MUFFINS

Preferment: 100% hydration

2oz flour + 3/4 cup flour

2oz water

3/4 cup milk

1/8th tsp of yeast

Mix all together well and cover. Let sit at room temp for 8 hours or overnight.

Main Body of Dough (add the next morning):

1-1/2 cup flour  (That leaves you with an additional 1/2 cup of flour from the recipe. Use this amount to sprinkle on the counter for kneading. That way your dough stays wetter.)

1/4 cup milk

Preferment made the night before (approx 2 cups: 3/4c flour, 3/4c milk + 2oz flr + 2oz water)

1 Tbsp sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp yeast

METHOD:

Mix all together well until it forms a mass. Do the fold in the bowl method. Set aside and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Come back and turn out onto counter. Knead for 4-5 minutes with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. If necessary, dust with a bit more flour as needed to keep from sticking.

Press or roll flour out to about 1/2 to 3/4" thick. Use a biscuit cutter and press down straight through dough to the bottom then twist. Do not twist as you cut because it will interfere with the rising. Place cut muffins on parchment lined baking sheet that has been dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Recipe will make between 10 and 12 muffins depending on size. You may need to re-roll or re-press your remaining cut dough to make the remaining muffins.

Warm griddle or cast iron skillet over medium to medium low heat. Transfer muffins to the hot pan using a spatula. Do not move them once they are placed until that side is set or they will stick to each other and to the pan. Turn once halfway through and let cook on the opposite side.

Cooking: Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side then turn to the opposite side. Cook another 3-4 minutes on opposite side. Turn again to opposite site for another 3 minutes till you reach the desired color. Do the opposite for the same color effect. If the crumb is still too moist on the inside place muffins on baking pan and finish in the oven at 450 degrees for 3-5 minutes.

Note about Yeast Conversion: Mike Avery suggests his general rule of thumb is 1 cup of active starter for 1 package of instant dry yeast (2-1/4 tsp or 1/4 oz). Since this is using 1/2 cup of starter I'm trying 1-1/8 tsp of total yeast addition. My thought would be that it may not be necessary to use all of the 1tsp of yeast in the main dough.

edh's picture
edh

ok, look at a map of the northeast US, follow the coastline aaalll the way up until you hit Canada, then back up about a 1/16 of an inch. Yup, that's us up there in the fog...

I'm going to have to try the english muffins soon, with or without s.d. Or maybe the pagnotta. Right now, I think I just agreed to bake all the bread for a family reunion in a month. A month in which I have not one minute to spare already. Oops.

I haven't the nerve to try what Eric did for his family's get-together. I think I'm just going to start baking and freezing madly!

edh

kjknits's picture
kjknits

So glad you liked them, BZ!  I will have to try the yeasted version sometime.  I love the flavor of these, too.  I just need bigger cutters, because my husband had to eat THREE muffins this morning to get enough.  He is a tall fella, but still...

Katie in SC 

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

that I estimated was the size of a muffin cuz my round cutter is more shortbread cookie size! And I don't have any larger rings.

I figured if all our lives we grew up cutting biscuits with "jelly glasses" which were empty jelly jars that another type of glass would work for the muffins! I have no idea if this yeasted version will work or not. I was trying to think out of the box for ed but just have no idea about it!

It sure is an easy no pain recipe though as a sourdough!

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi BZ,

Well I made it back in one piece, but I didn't get close to edh land. I'm hoping to make it up that way, but so far this spring has me stuck down in Camden, not that it isn't absolutely beautiful there, too.

Meanwhile, how's ol' stinky going. I hear these rumblings about how you like yeast better, and maybe sourdough is not so good.

I have a couple of ideas. First, you might want to split your starter in two and keep feeding one in a 1:2:2 and hope for the best, though it should be doing better by now. You can take the other one and feed it 1:4:4. It may help to get some dilution. You can let it rise a long time at 1:4:4, until it has peaked and started to fall. Then feed it 1:4:4 again. It may make a big difference. Try to get the temperature up around 80F for both of them. If you don't want to work on two, then just switch to feeding 1:4:4 a few times, and see how it goes. Another thing is to start over with some pineapple or OJ in the early going and see how that goes. I've heard many people who throw their first one out and try again with good results the second time.

Another idea is get some starter from somewhere else. Although it's always interesting to start your own, if you just want to bake sourdough recipes, the whole thing of starting your own starter isn't really necessary if you can get a good one from somewhere else. Sourdough International sells them, or you can get fresh starter in a paste form from King Arthur, or you can get one from Carl's Friends.

So, don't give up on sourdough just yet. You'll enjoy the variety. I like yeast baking from time to time also. Still, sourdough has a special and interesting flavor you don't want to miss.

Bill

bluezebra's picture
bluezebra

I read about your adventure with sea bread and the trip. Sounds like divine times! I do miss sailing quite a bit and miss the sound of total stillness except for the snap of wind in the sails and the lap of water against hull. So peaceful! The bread of course looked beautiful. How can anthing you bake not look beautiful though! LOL! You are a master. Very interesting about the bitter aftertaste. Did you by any chance have any left over flour that you brought home and could make a loaf there to see if it was the flour or the sea water/"other salts"?

As for Sir Stinky, I went back in your absence and was re-reading through your threads trying to get my head wrapped around this thing called sourdough and I think you helped me quite a good deal! I had a lightbulb moment when I read the scientific explanation behind lowering your sample to a 1:4:4 ratio from say a 1:1:1 or even a 2:4:4 ratio, in one of your posts. You explained that the pH balance of the yeasty beasties and lbs was somewhat precarious and that at a higher ratio say 1:1:1, the pH lowers quicker and that inhibits growth. Bingo! Suddenly made soooo much sense to me. I had been afraid that in it's "weakened state" that it wouldn't have enough yeast to reproduce in a 1:4:4.

So yesterday morning I did a 1:4:4 with him using a 1oz sample of starter so 1oz:4oz:4oz. I felt like you're advise was the right track because SS has performed "fairly well" in the recipes I've used him in (for levening the dough). It was simply operator error not sodo starter error that produced the less than stellar results. Katies muffins were quite delicious with SS. A real winner there. He rose to almost 100% last night in 12 hours. He was at about 90% I would say. When I stirred him, he still seemed gooey so I went ahead and left him at 1 feed for 24 hours. This morning he was back down to about 1-3/4 cup and was still frothy but was more runny than gooey. So I have fed him again 1:4:4 and this time I have him in the oven incubator with a cup of warm water and like Motel 6, I'm leaving the light on for him. That should get the temp up around 80 to 82 today. (I took the knob off the oven, brilliant tip, can't for the life of me remember who posted that here). Will let you know how it goes.

I also think you are onto something with your experiments with using less starter per recipe as well. So am reading everything I can on that too. I Made your sourdough pagnotta - plain yesterday or I should say baked it. I got the notion to try putting them in little 6" round springforms that I use for my appetizer cheesecakes. I make Mike Avery's cardinal mistake of overfilling the pan though and what happened is a real testiment that loaves in close proximity of each other really negatively affect their neighbors. I had loaves turn out that I shall call Pagnotta proboscum or maybe in honor of your sea trip Pagnotta pseudopodia. I will post pictures shortly to give you a good laugh! (The free form loaves have a much better texture and crumb than these do.)

Anyways thanks Bill and have a great day!

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Hi BZ,

Pagnotta pseudopdia pretty much gives me the idea without any photos! I'm laughing here reading your descriptions of the situation, which I can well imagine, given some accidents I've had myself along the way.

I'm glad to hear you're continuing on with the starter. If it's almost doubling from a 1:4:4 feeding in 12 hours, I bet it'll do better if you continue that way. I know it sounds a little crazy, but you could try 1:9:10 and see what happens. Maybe what it needs to come into balance is a high ratio feeding or two. What you're doing sounds reasonable, i.e. letting it ripen before feeding it, but I'm guessing 1:9:10 will work for you every 24 hours. Or, you could go to 1:6:6, as an in between measure. Starters don't all rise at the same rate. Both kjknits and Zolablue have starters that rise faster than mine seems to these days, but I get good bread out of mine too - just have to wait a little bit longer than they do or use a little more starter, maybe. If yours starts to speed up, it would be in line w/mine to rise by double in 8 hours after a 1:9:10 feeding and be ripe and ready for another feeding at around every 12 hours. Also, if it seems to be doing better with a higher ratio feeding, it may also do better with a thicker consistency. That's another thing I've tried recently, split my starter into two batches and make one a firm consistency by feeding it 1:3:5, "Glezer Style" - after some excellent consultations with my firm starter guru, Zolablue.

And, I've had much better luck with starters coming to life at 80F than 70F, so the incubator sounds good, too. Just be cautious, as I've heard a few tales of woe and made a mistake myself with accidental inadvertent overheating. Sometimes those oven lights are hotter than you think. Just be careful it's not getting too close to 85F or higher, but 82F or 80F sounds perfect if you can keep it there.

Good luck with it. I look forward to hearing more about it after your next feeding.

Bill

kjknits's picture
kjknits

...I could mail you some of Stanley, BZ!  I have taken to drying some of his "remains" on parchment.  He is raising dough very nicely these days.  I have a batch of BBA basic sourdough rising right now and I think I'm going to make some bagels.  Anyway, I have plenty of dried flaky bits o' starter, if you're interested in trying mine.

Katie in SC