The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

English Muffin Wrap-Up

  • Pin It
holds99's picture
holds99

English Muffin Wrap-Up

As some of you are aware, I have been experimenting for the past few weeks with various English muffin recipes in an attempt to determine what I think is the recipe that truly creates the closest thing to an authentic English muffin.  The exercise has been quite interesting and productive.  So, here's my opinion, for what it's worth.  Dan Lepard's recipe has no equal.  Mr. Lepards recipe is easy to prepare, produces terrific results and is far and away the closest to what I believe is an authentic English muffin.  I previously posted his recipe with some of my comments and measurement conversions.  The photo below is of my second batch from Mr. Lepard's recipe.  Here are some tips that I used during my second baking itereation of his recipe. 

I doubled the recipe and made something like a dozen slightly larger size muffins.

I cut the rounds for the muffins 4 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.

Use lots (I mean LOTS) of flour on the towel they sit on in the baking tray to proof.  Don't skimp on the flour or they'll stick to the cloth and at that point they're fully risen and very fragile, so use lots of flour.

Slide your hand under the floured towel to flip them onto your (floured) hand and place them in the skillet or on the griddle.    DO NOT try to pick them up with your fingers, spatula, etc.  REPEAT: Flip them onto your floured hand.

I reduced the cider vinegar (50ml single batch or 100ml for doubled recipe) by half (25ml for single or 50ml for double recipe) making up the difference in liquid with water and it worked great.  Just a hint of vingar, which really works well to contrast with the butter, marmalade, jelly or jam.  Incidentally, Charlene checked the Thomas English muffins package in the supermarket and they also include vinegar as an ingredient.

When cooking them, set your electric skillet or griddle at 300 deg. F. Cook the muffins covered (if possible) to capture the steam and hold the heat as they cook.  "Dry fry" them (no oil in skillet) for 10 minutes on side 1 and 5-7 minutes on side 2, longer if necessary.  Take a temp. check with a thermometer.  They should read 200-210 deg. F. internal temp. You can cook them in a skillet on the stove just be extremely careful with the heat under your skillet.  Otherwise, you run the risk of scorching them.
Let them completely cool on a wire rack (or they'll be gummy in the center) before serving them and split them using a fork, don't cut them with a knife.  That way you get the nice holes and great texture, as you can see from the photo below.

If you like English muffins I sincerely hope you'll try Dan Lepard's recipe... and let us know how it goes.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

 

  Dan Lepard's English Muffins - Second Baking

Dan Lepard's Cider Vinegar English Muffins Second Batch

Comments

proth5's picture
proth5

Lookin' good.

Did you get involved with this last spot of weather?  Hope all goes well.

 

Pat

holds99's picture
holds99

No problems from  Gustav, it went through the Gulf side and on north to New Orleans.  But we're watching Hanna trying to figure out what she's going to do.  Hope all is well with you.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I made all the changes you suggested from the start and was very well pleased.  Thanks for doing all the experimentation, I for one, highly appreciate it. 

I do have one itty bitty Q.  Why is the "Wrap up" not with the other thread? 

Mini O

holds99's picture
holds99

So glad you tried them and were pleased. 

Re: "Why is the "Wrap up" not with the other thread?"   No particular reason.  Just wasn't thinking about it and went ahead and posted it.  But you're right, it would have made more sense to put it with the original thread. 

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

holds99's picture
holds99

I went back and posted this link on the original thread.  That should take care of the continuity problem.  Thanks for waking me up...I almost missed my turn.  :>)

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

absolutely perfect! I didn't get a chance to try them again. The last 3 weeks I've been playing around with rye bread. I spent this weekend making and freezing batches of Ratatouille. Our garden is overflowing with veggies and I'm trying to make use of what I can. I've frozen 8 - 14 cup containers. Next is oven roasting tomatoes. I did have these english muffins for breakfast from my stash in the freezer. I do like the vinegar flavor, so I don't think I'll cut back. These would be really yummy with fresh garden tomatoes, a slice of cheese and broiled. Thanks again Howard.

Betty

holds99's picture
holds99

You're welcome.  I really envy you with all that ratatouille.  It's my absolute favorite.  I do the same thing, make it in a large batch and freeze it.  Now you've got me thinking about making a batch.  When I make it I use a wok and olive oil and cook each of the vegetable seperately and then mix them together at the end.

As for the vinegar in the English muffins, I like them both ways.  This last batch was only half the vinegar and it was good.  But they're very good either way.  YES, garden tomatoes and cheese under the broiler.  Sounds great and I have a dozen muffins in the freezer.  So, tomorrow morning I know what I'll be having for breakfast. 

 Howard

MaryinHammondsport's picture
MaryinHammondsport

Oven roasted tomatoes?

Please tell me more!

I too am overflowing with them, and don't have the slightest interest in getting out the hot water canner or the Squeezo or any of that stuff.

To make it pertinent, I am sure they are good on sourdough?

Mary

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Hi Mary..

I made alot of these last year and will be doing so this year. I didn't bother to peel them after roasting..just bagged them and threw them in the freezer. We just used the last of them in Ratatouille, you can use them in sauce, chopped and mixed with cream cheese and garlic for a spread and yes, of course on your lovely sourdough bread..bruschetta? Think sun dried tomatoes with super flavour! Very easy, yummy way to make use of all those tomatoes! 

http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2005/09/day-156-slow-roasted-tomatoes.html

Betty

PS..what's a Squeezo?

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

I just finished my fourth batch of oven roasted tomatoes and i have one or two batches to go. I cut Romas in half, toss in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and put cut side UP on parchment (easier to clean up pan) and bake at 200ºF for as long as it takes to dry. I take them out when they're still soft and I don't peel them. I store in olive oil in the freezer. Sooo good. Like eating candy.                                           weavershouse

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

 Howard,

Nice finish for your English Muffins.  I made 30 sourdough muffins and some are still in the freezer.  They had  nice large nooks and crannies but I'm not to crazy about sourdough so I'm looking forward to making your recipe next batch.

I had a lot of great tomatoes this year so I will also do the slow roasted recipe here...sounds wonderful.  I just finished my second and last batch of Fig Jam today.

Sylvia

holds99's picture
holds99

Sylvia,

Dan Lepard's recipe is as good as it gets.  In the process of experimenting I baked a half dozen different English muffin recipes and did Lepard's twice, to make sure I had it right.  Lepards is far and away the best...and easiest.

Where did you get your recipe for fig jam?  I looked in my cookbooks and can't find anything for fig jam or paste.  Our local supermarket has fresh figs (Mission & Kadota) on sale and I bought 2 baskets and was looking for a recipe.  If you could point me to a book for a recipe I would greatly appreciate it. 

Thanks,

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I have a recipe that I'll post if Sylvia doesn't get to it before I do..I'm at work right now...lunch break...really!!

holds99's picture
holds99

Much appreciated.

Howard

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Howard, I really like the recipe given in my Ball Blue Book of Preserves..no pectin recipe..

5 pounds figs, 6 cups sugar, 3/4 cups water 1/4 cup, lemon juice...

Completely cover the figs with boiling water.  Let stand 10 minutes, Drain, stem and chop (my little red serrated knife came in handy for dicing ) figs...(skin and all, my figs are pesticide free)...remove any stems a little of the bottom and any rough looking skin.  Measure 2 quarts chopped figs.

To make jam: combine figs, sugar and water in a large saucepot.  Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cook rapidly to gelling point..As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking..Add lemon juice and cook l minute longer..Fremove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.  Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Adjust two piece caps...Process 15 minutes in boiling water canner...I process for 5 minutes at my 2000 foot level..I usually do the canner sealing...this time I just inverted my jars for five minutes...to seal. Don't move your jars around till the gell sets up...you probably know this...took me years to figure that out...Im pretty much self taught everything!  I was just handed a batch of apricots at 18 from my mother in laws tree and started making jam from there on...I do have to say my apricot fried pies are the best! : )

Chop up your figs fine if you  want smaller pieces of the skin.  Makes real pretty tasty jam. Use nice ripe figs. 

Some people add strawberry jello for strawberry fig jam...never tried it yet!

Enjoy, Sylvia

holds99's picture
holds99

I have copied your recipe and will use it.  I really appreciate you taking the time and effort to post it.  I have done a lot of cold pack canning, boiling the jars in a hot water bath but have never inverted the jars to seal them.  I'll have to try that next time I do some canning. 

We grow lots of Datil peppers here and I make about 5 gallons of sauce when my pepper plants start producing.  I cold pack the sauce in pint and quart jars.  I give it away to friends as holiday gifts and to some neighbors who really like it very much.  My recipe was given to me by a friend who got it from a minorcan friend. 

The Datils are unique to St. Augustine and besides being seriously hot (right up there with habenaros on the Scoville scale) they, unlike other hot peppers, have a terrific, unique flavor.  As the story goes the Spanards, who settled St. Augustine, brought them here from either Spain or the Carribean.  The Minorcans, who are decendants of the Spaniards and still live around here, grow most of the Datil peppers that are sold in the stores and at the farmers markets.  I grow my own each year for my canning.  They're small peppers, about 3 inches long and green until they ripen and then they turn a lovely orange color and are slightly milder (less heat) and more flavorful.  Making Datil sauce is a cottage industry around here .  Here's a link if you're interested.

http://www.fiery-foods.com/Dave/datil.asp

Thanks again for sharing your fig jam recipe.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

holds99's picture
holds99

Sylvia and Betty,

First, thanks so much for the jam recipe.  I used the basic recipe you provided from Ball Blue Book of Preserves and slightly modified it.  I had 2 lbs of fresh figs (1 lb. Kadota & 1 lb. Mission).  For 2 lbs of figs I prepared them by covering them with the boiling water for 10 minutes and then removed the stems and chopped them coursely (with skins).  I made a simple syrup with the sugar, water, orange zest and port and added the chopped figs.  The alcohol in the port wine evaporates fairly quickly during the cooking process, leaving only the flavor of the port.  Near the end of the cooking cycle, when the jam had thickened sufficiently, I added the lemon juice and used a potato masher and mashed any large remaining chucks into a thick jam with small chunks of figs, further reducing the liquid as necessary.    FWIW, here's the recipe with my additions. 

    1 5/8 cups sugar
    1/4 cup water
    1/3 - 1/2 cup port wine, depending on taste (I used good quality port)
    Freshly grated zest from 1 large, thick skinned orange
    1/8 cup lemon juice

It produced approximately 3/4 quart of really good jam.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

would love it! He loves oranges too. The addition of the port wine sounds like it would add a rich subtle nuance. This one is bookmarked for when we harvest. Thanks Howard!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Betty would love to have your recipe...Im always looking for new recipes...thanks, Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Howard,

Your welcome.  My husband loves hot peppers and salsa.  I cold pack jalapeno's  with a recipe I got from our friend years ago.  Your peppers sound wonderful....I bet they make great salsa.  I'm trying some of those slow roasted tomatoes right now.  I had so many tomatoes in my little side garden just for the two of us....this is a great way to use up the rest of them....I absolutely loved the pickled green tomatoes they serve at a catfish resturant in las vegas, they at little hot and sweet and still pretty firm......I have come pretty close to it....they are just what makes the fried catfish dinner.  The place is called the Hush Puppy in Las Vegas.

Sylvia

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Howard,

Just a note: inverting jelly/jam jars...to seal...is not highly recommended for  getting a sure fired seal...same rules apply here the same if you would use a parrafin seal....you might do a little reading up on it on the internet.  I always make sure my jars have given a good solid POP...saying they sealed...I hold my clean hot sanitized jars in the dishwasher and make sure everythings very hot going into the jars "hot,sanitized,cleaned everything, towels, funnel,lids, ladle.  I usually use this method for a shorter storage period...making sure when opened nothing looks bad....never had a problem yet....but as I said I usually do the hot water canner sealing method...I sure you know the rules of safe canning.

Sylvia

holds99's picture
holds99

I'll continue with the process I have been using, which always gives me a good seal.  I love to hear the lid popping after they come out of the hot water, as they seal.  Music to the ears.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I use the same recipe as Sylvia..:  ) but I did remember I had bookmarked a few recipes for figs (we have a tree and end up with more than we could ever use and they have such a short shelf life!!) Here's one from Susan's Wild Yeast, Red Wine, Pine Nuts and Fig Bread..http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/02/08/red-wine-pine-nut-fig-loaf/ I also have a Fig & Fennel Pizza bookmarked if you're interested..Happy canning

Betty

holds99's picture
holds99

With a fig tree in your yard you're really fortunate.  I can never afford to buy enough fresh ones to make anything in quantity, like jars of jam.  So, I was in Publix supermarket day before yesterday and they had a special offer on fresh Kadota and Mission figs in 1 lb containers---buy one get one free (usually $6.00 per lb.)  I bought a pound of each and am going to make jam.

I'll check out the wildyeast blog.  The fig and fennel pizza sounds interesting.  Is it made with fennel bulbs?  I really like the anise flavor of fennel bulbs.  They're great sliced paper thin in salads.

Howard

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Here's the link in case you're interested. This is one of my favorite blogs. She uses tons of fresh produce. If you like lobster, she has one blog about jumbos, with a video (she's from New England too, where I hail from originally)

http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2007/09/fresh-fig-and-fennel-pizza-and-best.html

holds99's picture
holds99

Absolutely beautiful pizza...and it looks delicious.  I will try it even if I have to eat the whole thing myself, which, come to think of it, isn't a bad idea at all. 

I'll also bookmark her site and check periodically.  Occasionally we get the really huge lobsters but they're not like the ones from New England.  Our Florida lobsters are spiny lobsters, no claws and a bit on the tough side, nothing like the delicious cold-water lobsters from Maine and environs.  I'll check out her blog on jumbos. 

Howard

KosherBaker's picture
KosherBaker

I've been fortunate enough to have had a fig tree in my yard, in the past. Boy they grow like weeds. Very easy to live with. Next time I have a back yard, it'll definitely be one of the trees I plant. Along with Quince and Mulberry.

Also I happen to remember a fresh fig tart, from somewhere. Perhaps from Baking with Julia.

Rudy
-----------------------------
My TFL Blog Page

holds99's picture
holds99

Rudy,

You were right.  I have Baking With Julia, I pulled it down and took a look and on pg. 374 found Raspberry-Fig Crostata, a tarte.  The shell is made with Sesame-Almond dough and she puts a lattice over the top of the tarte.  It sounds delicious.  Now, to find fresh raspberries...

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Gee Howard..too bad we can't have a Star Trek transporter..we just picked raspberries and grapes this afternoon..I could just beam some over!!

holds99's picture
holds99

Betty,

With Capt. Kirk hawking airplane tickets on Travelocity, or whatever, I'm not holding out much hope for a return call from Scotty.  You really know how to hurt a guy :>)

Howard - St. Augustine, FL