Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Belated Happy Independence Day: English Muffins

Independence Day is a bit of a joke in our house. I'm English and Jack is American, and there's some question here as to whether the Revolutionary War is really over - though it's now more focused on things like process/pr-oh-cess, sshedule/skedule, potayto/potahto, whose political/medical/school system is the stupidest, and who has the best TV programs.

But in general we tolerate, uh sorry, celebrate our differences, and something that perfectly represents this is the English muffin.

As some of you may know, the English muffin isn't at all English. The nearest thing we have in the UK (though maybe things have changed??) is the crumpet, and crumpets are weird. Instead of nooks and crannies they have craters, and a very firm, springy texture like foam rubber.

Anyway, English muffins are a staple of our diet, to a ridiculous degree. We eat them pretty much every day. Jack has his with peanut butter, like a normal American, and I have mine with cheese and pickle or butter and Marmite, like an alien.

It never occurred to me to try making them until this post on Macheesmo. They just didn't seem like something that could be made - they just come in a packet, right?

But Jack would never in a million years expect a homemade English muffin. So I did them as a surprise - which involved hiding the dough, banishing him from the kitchen, etc. The look on his face when he saw them: priceless.

The Recipe: English Muffins

From Macheesmo - great post, with step-by-step directions.


Actually, it wasn't incredibly hard, but I need more experience with yeasted things in general. Like the hot cross buns, they came out a little chewy. Not bad at all, just a little more of a workout for the jaw than necessary.

Any suggestions? Overkneading? Or was it that (like the hot cross buns) they seemed to rise a lot the first time round?

Also, I can't count. Divided the dough into 8, not 6 - doh! So they were a little runty (English mini-muffins?) especially compared with the store-bought version (penultimate pic).

But, as always, it was a lot of fun. So a big thank you to Macheesmo, and a belated Happy Independence Day to my American readers.



After first rise:


...into the wrong number of balls!

After second rise:

In pan:

Other side:


On the left, the store-bought version:

Fork split:


Bob said...

Nice! I have a recipe for english muffins that I copied down some months ago but haven't gotten around to yet. I've been dying to try them though.

Yesica N. Cook said...

Thanks, Bob! Give them a go - it's so much fun to find out how these things work (or should work). Never knew the crumbs on them were cornmeal, for instance!

Marjorie said...

Well done! That's Brit talk, right?

Can't wait to see you next weekend.

Aunt Marge

Kate said...

I would never think to make these! They look delish tho!

MelloWood said...

we need you over here in england -where they don't have "english muffins" - those look delicious!

Yesica N. Cook said...

Thanks girls!! Looking forward to seeing the Mellos v. soon!

Anonymous said...

Cheese and marmite - yes you are most certainly English....I like them like that too (butter too please.)
These look just great. I am inspired.
I like your tips and mistakes section with each recipe by the way.

Yesica N. Cook said...

Thanks, rachel!! We have to hang onto our Englishnesses!