Monday, April 5, 2010

Homemade English muffins


Passover finally ends tonight, which means it's time to -- let my people eat bread!

In other words, there’s never been a better time to whip up my latest go-to bread staple -- some fast, homemade English muffins. These are super easy to make, and the recipe does make a lot of them, so get out the freezer bags.

And now that I’m thinking, you know what? Make this sauce, poach some eggs, cook down some spinach, invite the gang over for brunch, and you’ve got the makings of spectacular Eggs Florentine, along with scoring major Brownie points. (Use ham instead of spinach and say hello to Eggs Benny.)

This English muffin recipe comes from one of the handiest cookbooks around, Blueberries & Polar Bears, part of a self-published series by Helen Webber & Marie Woolsey out of northern Manitoba, which has sold more than 100,000 copies through word of mouth. Their books are all about good, stick to your ribs fare with flair, for all those times when you find yourself out hunting polar bears (meaning photo safaris, of course), or building igloos. You know, normal everyday stuff like that.

ENGLISH MUFFINS

(makes 2 dozen)

Ingredients:

2 cups warm water

1/3 cup white sugar

1 tbsp salt

6.5 cups flour

2 tbsp instant yeast

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

some cornmeal

Method:

Combine water, sugar and salt. Add 2 cups flour and yeast. Beat for 2 minutes. Add eggs and shortening. Beat for 1 minute. Work in remaining flour and let dough rest in the bowl for 20 minutes.

Roll dough to half-inch (1.3 cm) thickness. Cut with a 3-4” (7-10 cm) cutter (I used a glass.) Place on an ungreased baking sheet which has been sprinkles with cornmeal. Sprinkle a little cornmeal over the muffins as well. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat an ungreased electric frying pan to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle pan with a bit more cornmeal and cook muffins for 7-8 minutes on each side. They should be browned and sound hollow when done.

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