Thursday, 15 March 2012

Baking challenge #6: Mary Berry's English muffins

Mary Berry's english muffins, as baked by EJ

As much of a cake fiend as I am, I actually think these English muffins might be one of my favourite things I've ever made. Totally off the usual profile of icing clad monstrosities I'm typically drawn to, these simple English muffins were actually just good ol' fashioned wholesome-ish awesomeness. You can't really go wrong with that. 

Mary Berry's English muffins were super easy to make and rewarding, every part of this recipe worked as it should have (probably because none of it required a piping bag, as per the Viennese fingers, which while wonderful and conceptually simple, actually required some pretty tough muscle action). 

Having never attempted English muffins, I assumed they would be a little beyond my remit. Not being a natural bread maker, I tend to shy away from recipes containing yeast, assuming that the result will be a totally mis-shapen version of whatever it's supposed to me (a little insight there into my bread making history failure). The recipe was really simple - just a case of combining all of the ingredients, mixing into a dough, rolling out and cutting out circles, covering and leaving to rise in a warm place, then gently frying over a low heat. 

The result, fluffy, slightly doughy delicious muffins. MB's recipe says it makes 14 muffins, somehow I made 18, so after an initial muffin feast, we froze the rest and will be enjoying them over the next couple of weeks. Result! 

I have a tip for anyone who has previously failed while baking with yeast. One of the things I never felt I got right was finding a warm place to leave the dough to rise - Owen suggested I put the oven on a low heat and rest the covered baking trays on the stove- the heat rising up then helps to activate the yeast and therefore aids the rising process. It totally helped.

Have you made English muffins before? How did yours turn out?

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