Oh So English Muffins
Now that I live in France, I find it amusingly à propos that I should want to make English muffins 😉 The truth is, we had just moved here in mid-December and in the unusually hectic run-up to Christmas I had forgotten to buy the English muffins for our traditional Christmas day breakfast of Eggs Benedict. Or rather, English muffins are not readily available in French supermarkets and the nearest Marks and Spencer is a mere 90-minute drive away. And while I consider myself lucky to have access to a Marks and Spencer in France, alas it is closed on Christmas Day – and I am mighty glad it is.
But never fear, Thermomix is here and so is the World Wide Web and its millions of happy Thermomix cooks who blog their recipes and creations. So on Christmas morning I searched the web and found an interesting English Muffin recipe on The Opies: Family Food blog. It looked pretty good so I decided to take advantage of the hard work and research that the author had already done – so grateful, many thanks! – and use this recipe. I looked at it long and hard and there was something puzzling me about the first two steps of the recipe so I simplified it by combining the first two steps into one. Lo and behold, I made the most amazing, light, delicious and authentic-looking English Muffins that were even better than store bought. They are full of the wonderful nooks and crannies that typify English Muffins and they are marvellous when split with a fork. ThermoHubby John loved them and they solved our Eggs Benedict problem quite nicely, thank you!
Because there are only two of us and it looked from Mrs Opie’s photos that the recipe made quite a few muffins I actually halved it quite successfully and still made 12 beautiful English Muffins – well, ok then, eleven beautiful and one mutant muffin. But all delicious, rest assured!
So with renewed thanks to Mrs Opie (Andrea) and to my Best Friend in the Kitchen, here is the simplest yet recipe for Thermomix English Muffins!
Simplest Yet Thermomix English Muffins
I have simplified this delicious recipe for lazy cooks like me, and also halved it. I used extra strong bread flour instead of plain flour and the muffins turned out beautifully. Makes 12 muffins.
120 g milk
15 g sugar
1 sachet (7 g) instant yeast or 20 g fresh yeast
120 g water
25 g butter
375 g plain flour or extra strong bread flour
1 tsp. salt
- Place milk, sugar, yeast, butter and water in TM bowl and heat 37°C/5 minutes/Speed 1 to activate the yeast. Leave for about 10 minutes (go make yourself a cup of coffee or even take a quick shower!) then whisk 2 seconds/Speed 5 to froth it up.
- Add the flour and salt and mix 20 seconds/Speed 3 or until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Set the speed dial to the lid locked position and knead for 2 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with oiled cling film or a clean tea towel and let rise for about 30 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Here I was wrapping the final Christmas presents and setting the table.)
- Punch down, then roll out to about ½ inch thick. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter, drinking glass, or empty tuna can (what a wonderful idea, Mrs Opie!) and place on a sheet of waxed paper/baking parchment sprinkled with cornmeal or polenta. Dust tops of muffins with cornmeal/polenta, cover and let rise ½ hour. (This is where I opened the Champagne on Christmas morning and I’m sure you can find something to do for 30 minutes or so!)
- Heat a greased heavy-based frying pan or flat skillet. Cook the muffins for about 15 minutes in total – the first 5 minutes with the lid on (this helps them to rise and reduce the density of the muffin) – then flipping them every few minutes until cooked through. Using a simmer mat on a gas hob will allow enough heat through to get a good rise but prevent the bases burning. I used an induction hob and watched them carefully. When cooked, place on a wire rack to cool, then split and enjoy.
In New England we have a thing about “fork split” English muffins and to me that’s the best way to serve these beautiful babies. Insert the tines of a fork all the way around the edge of each muffin and then gently break apart to reveal beautiful nooks and crannies that will catch the lashings of butter that melt into them. This to my mind is infinitely superior to slicing English muffins open with a knife!
We ate our English muffins fresh from the pan as Eggs Benedict with poached eggs, smoked salmon and Thermomix Hollandaise Sauce (of course). If you and your guests can resist these homemade delights and there are any left over, they can be stored in plastic bags and then fork split and toasted to a crispy golden finish.
Many, many thanks again to Andrea Opie for her brilliantly clear recipe and for rescuing our 2013 Christmas Day breakfast. It was very comforting to be able to respect our family traditions so soon after moving to our new home in France.
ThermoHubby John and I wish you all a fabulous end to 2013 and a brilliant New Year in 2014, filled with fast, easy, healthy, economical and creative Thermomix cooking!
Bon appétit !
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