Muffin Woman

Do you know the Muffin Man?

thomas_muffins_lgThe Muffin Man?

Muffin Man from 1759

Muffin Man from 1759

The Muffin Man?

Muffin Man 18

Muffin Man 18

Do you know the Muffin Man who lives in Drury Lane?

I can’t remember when I didn’t love English muffins. They were my absolute favorite breakfast for years.

English muffin pizza? Been there, done that.Thomas_recipe_PizzaMuffinEM

But making English muffins, the actual bread stuff, proved more problematical.

First, there was the ring or not to ring conundrum.

You can buy these, OR save tuna cans, which was easier before their shaped changed ever so slightly OR you can improvise with canning jar lids or tin foil....

You can buy these, OR save tuna cans, which was easier before their shaped changed ever so slightly OR you can improvise with canning jar lids or tin foil….

After a few attempts, I decided to go ringless….right around the same time I discovered Laurel’s Kitchen.

Laurel does not use rings.

This is the 1976 edition. For reasons I can no longer even imagine, I tossed it out when I got the NEW edition, along with my margin notes and inserts....

This is the 1976 edition. For reasons I can no longer even imagine, I tossed it out when I got the NEW edition, along with my margin notes and inserts….I probably got this at Paperback Booksmith at the Hanover Mall.

This is the NEW Laurel's Kitchen, from 1989, a copy of which now lives in my kitchen and has since  1991. Ummmm - I had a baby in 1991....suddenly the stupid has a  context

This is the NEW Laurel’s Kitchen, from 1989, a copy of which now lives in my kitchen and has since 1991. Ummmm – I had a baby in 1991….suddenly the stupid has a context

Laurel’s English Muffins

1 packet yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt

  1. This is also her basic buttermilk bread recipe. Hers also call for honey, which makes the muffins too easily overbrowned in the cooking, so I save it to put ON the muffins, not in them.
  2. Mix. Knead. Rise.
  3. Divide in half. At this point you can make 2 loaves of bread OR bread and muffins or LOTS of muffins.
  4. FOR MUFFINS: Take 1/2 the total dough and add 1 cup warm water. You are now making a slack, somewhat overworked dough. This is  were the nooks and crannies come from.
  5. Let it rise again.
  6. Sprinkle a surface with cornmeal (you can use plain flour if you don’t have cornmeal…)
  7. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into droopy rounds and plop them on the corn meal.
  8. Heat a griddle or skillet as hot as for pancakes.
  9. Use a spatulas to transfer the dough blobs to the pan  . I can fit 4 at a time on my skillet. Cook until the bottom browns, flip and then brown some more. It will probably take about 10 minutes a side. The side of the muffins  should loose their dough look and just seem pale. Flip over again if it all seems too squishy,if you want to split one open to see how it’s doing, just remember to fork split so you can toast it and serve it later.
  10. Repeat until they are all brown on the outside and cooked on the inside.
  11. Split with a fork and toast and serve with butter and honey or whatever….

from The New Laurel’s Kitchen. Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders,and Brian Rupperthal. Ten Speed Press, 1986 pp. 74-5, 65.

Laurel, Carol and Brown

Laurel, Carol and Bronwen

 

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2 Comments

Filed under Books, Influencers, Recipe

2 responses to “Muffin Woman

  1. Have you read the Elizabeth David book about bread and social aspects of technology? I feel like the English Muffin Pizza, which was such a part of my after-school snacking life, was all about the toaster oven… A most amusing post, as usual…. Best wishes from the land of “muffins”…

    • Elizabeth David’s Bread book was one of my early influencers….although, now that I’ve seen the Hannah Glasse 18th century recipes, they shall be ‘muffings’ to me, with English implied, from now on.

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