Sunday, 14 June 2009
English muffins are said to date back to the 10th century but became paticularly popular by the 18th century. The Muffin Man rhyme is about exactly this kind of muffin and describes a door-to-door seller of the delicious hot cakes. Am I the only one that would quite like a modern muffin man? Hmm...
Anyway, I had never made muffins before. They always seemed somewhat elusive and slightly complicated but with a bread machine they are so easy. There is a bit of hands on time towards the end but to start with all you need to do is add the ingredients to the bread pan and put it on the Dough setting. Not exactly hard work.
1 cup tepid water
2 tbsp skimmed milk powder
2 tsp honey
3 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups of white bread flour
1 tsp yeast
Once the machine has finished you knead the dough lightly for a couple of minutes and then roll it out to about half and inch thick. Using a 4" cutter (although mine was 3 7/8" for some obscure reason) cut rounds from the dough. Re-knead, re-roll and re-cut the dough until it is all used up (this recipe made 8 muffins for me). Sprinkle some fine cornmeal onto the muffins (both sides) and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.
Heat up a large heavy based frying pan or skillet (cast iron is meant to be the best but use whatever you have to hand) and cook the muffins at a moderate heat in batches for 7-10 minutes turning once during this time. I felt that our muffins were still a little doughy in the middle so I'd probably cook them at the longer end next time.
You can enjoy these hot from the pan (they were delicious) or allow them to cool on a rack and then split and toast them later (I did that too and they were still delicious). I hope you give these classic treats a try and I will definitely make them again.
This recipe comes from Vicki Smallwood's One hundred Bread Machine Recipes. It's my go-to book for anything from the bread machine and has a wide range of treats. It is available from Amazon.