English Muffin Muffins

I am finally settling into new at home routines that complement my new at work routines. I am really excited about that. I have a sleep disorder and disrupting my routines can make it very difficult to sleep. Its not just going to bed and getting up at the same time everyday. I need a routine that lets me find time to cook everyday because if I eat garbage, I sleep like garbage. That means having a routine that allows me to get to the grocery store on a regular basis plus finding time to do things I enjoy doing like binge watching Outlander, trips to the library and writting for this blog. And after 10 weeks of complete and utter chaos, I am fially getting there. HURRAY!!!

English Muffin Muffins

Adapted From Breakfast with Beatrice Cookbook

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp rapid rising yeast

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup very warm milk

Grease 6 regular sized muffin cups with nonstick spray. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the milk and beat with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes.

Spoon the mixture, equally, into the muffin cups. Let the dough rest, uncovered for 30 minutes or until the dough fills the muffin cups.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minute or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for one minute; then remove from the muffin tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool or a basket to serve warm.

Grant Bread

People never believe me when I tell them that making bread from scratch doesn’t have to take all day. Granted, making yeast bread will never be a 30 minute or less kind of project. However, I can have a lovely loaf of bread on the table in 90 minutes. Don’t believe me? Head over to My Favorite Pastime and check out her recipe for Grant Bread, (No kneading Required).

The first time I made this loaf, I made it just as written and used all whole wheat flour. The result was exactly what I expected a whole wheat loaf to be. A slightly dense, slightly bitter loaf that was good with a smear of butter and a bit of honey for a midnight snack or toasted with a couple slices of cheese melted on top for breakfast. The next time I make an all whole wheat loaf I’ll add a little more sweetener. The slight bitterness isn’t unpleasant it just might not work for all the things I like to do with bread, like French toast or bread pudding.

The second time I made the loaf, I used all purpose white flour and, again, it made a very nice loaf of white bread. It was moist and light. I can see myself making this bread and experimenting with the different kinds of flour I have in my pantry. The next time I make this bread I am going to try a rye version.

One baking note, if you have made bread before you will be tempted to add more flour to this dough. Don’t do it. Unlike traditional yeasted bread, this dough is supposed to be a shaggy, soft, sticky, hard to handle mass.

An Introduction to Making Your Own Bread

I have been making my own bread by hand for several years. I think learning to bake your own bread is one of the most important kitchen skills you can ever learn. However, because it isn’t small batch and it is one of the few things I don’t think are worth adapting to small batches, I wasn’t going to post my favorite bread recipes to this blog.

However, last night, two things changed my mind. The first was a post where the poster went on and on about how hard it is to make bread and how long it takes. The next post by a different poster, made the statement “if you aren’t going to use your bread machine often, you are probably better off buying your bread”. If I had read these posts and had never made bread, I probably wouldn’t even think about giving it a try now.

I won’t deny that making bread takes time. Some recipes can take days to make starters, for long rises and the like. The vast majority of recipes I have found only take a couple of hours from start to finish and even that time can be manipulated to fit into your schedule.

I will deny that you need any expensive or fancy equipment to make bread. Human beings have been making bread for thousands of years longer than the bread machine has been around. It is quite possible to make a delicious loaf of bread with nothing more than your bare hands. I know this because I have been doing it for years.

I started baking bread because someone told me I couldn’t bake decent bread in my own kitchen. I keep baking my own bread because there is something very satisfying about creating something with my own two hands. The time it takes to slow down and make bread has become a peaceful, stress free time in an otherwise hectic week of work and in my personal life. I hope you will try baking your own bread just once. If you do I think you will like it.

Over the next few months, I will post recipes and other information I have learned about making bread. The first bread recipe I am going to give you is for Baker’s Dozen Yeast rolls from A Taste of Home Magazine. I think this recipe is a good example of how you don’t need fancy equipment or a lot of time to produce bread.

Baker's Dozen Yeast Rolls

2 to 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 TBS sugar
2 ¼ tsp rapid rise yeast
½ tsp salt
¾ cup warm water (120-130 degrees)
2 TBS, melted
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add water and 2 tablespoons butter; beat on medium speed 3 minutes or until smooth. Stir in cheese and enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 4-6 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place 10 minutes. Divide into 13 pieces. Shape each into a ball. Place in a greased 9 inch round baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 11 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool. 13 rolls

From A Taste of Home Magazine