I try really hard not to buy a lot of cooking gadgets. I would like to say it is because I am old school and like to do things the old fashioned way but the truth is I don’t have a lot of money to spare for gadgets and even less space to store the gadgets I am only going to use once. My rule of thumb is if I can’t think of at least two things to do with it before I get to the till, I put it back.
However, rules are made to be broken. While I was on vacation a few weeks ago, I bought English muffin rings. English muffins have been on my to try bread list forever. I just couldn’t find the rings to shape the batter like dough. Some of the recipes I have found say you can use tuna cans with both ends cut off for rings. With all the talk of BPA and other chemicals in cans, it doesn’t seem smart to use them for something they weren’t designed for, like baking. It is an option if that doesn’t bother you.
The English muffins were the first bread I have ever made that I didn’t immediately love. It wasn’t that the muffins were bad. It was more like the muffins weren’t at all what I expected, the homemade English muffins are so totally different then my favorite store bought English muffins. It was hard to compare them, even side by side. Would I make English muffins again? Yes. I did eventually like them enough to put them here. The muffins freeze beautifully. If you want the traditional English muffin nooks and crannies make sure you pull the muffins apart with a fork, not cut them with a knife.
By the way, when I got home I thought of another use for the rings. They make fabulous molds for bean and veggie burgers.
1 1/2 cups water
1 TBS granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 TBS unsalted butter
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups all purpose flour
In a big bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy. Add butter, salt and flour. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, beat the mixture together for 8 – 10 minute until a smooth dough is formed. This mixture will be very loose, more like a batter then a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside, for about an hour until doubled in volume.
Heat a griddle over high heat. If you can sprinkle a little water on the grill and it immediately sizzles and evaporates, the griddle is hot enough. Put the muffin rings on the griddle and fill them half way with the batter. Cook until the muffins are browned on bottom, 5 minutes. Flip the muffins using a spatula or tongs. Cook another 5 minutes. Let cool completely before toasting and enjoying.
Adapted from The Everything Bread Cookbook