A year of baking flatbreads – on the griddle. That’s what I want to do this year.
Part of my inspiration was the reading this
And that inspired me to pick up this….
Which begs the questions:
- When did bread become perfect?
- When did the country loaf become the ideal?
But I digress…
I’ll start with English muffins and move on to oatcakes and farls, to tortas and testa and spend some time with Johnnycakes – these are my jumping off points, the beginning, so it’ll be interesting to see where this will go.
I’m starting with English muffins because I’ve made them before, and I have a variety of recipes for them. Some call for more of a batter and muffin rings, which I’ve pretty much left behind, and others call for rolling and cutting with a biscuit cutter, which I can easily live without, and most of the rest are a dough that is cut into pieces that are rolled into individual little loaves that are them cooked up.
And then there’s the griddle issues…..
mine is cast iron
Even if it weren’t perfectly fine and familiar, the temptation for a soapstone griddle…
is tempered by the expense of something new, and expense in time as trying to figure out how it works, and how to make it work better, as well as the cash outlay – and then there’s whatever the shipping would be to move a hunk of stone to my doorstep….all expenses I can well do without for the now, and for a good piece of now to come.
And this is the first English Muffin recipe I”ll be trying. It may be the first English muffin recipe I ever tried.
The Better English Muffin
1 C milk
2 Tbl and then 1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbl butter
1 ¼ C warm water
2 packets dry yeast
2 ½ C whole wheat flour
2 ¼ C AP flour
¼ C wheat germ
- Scald the milk and add 2 Tbl of brown sugar, the salt and the butter. Put aside and cool to lukewarm.
- Stir the 1 tsp of brown sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir again and wait for it to bubble and froth.(about 5 minutes)
- Mix the flours together with the wheat germ in a large bowl.
- Gradually mix in the lukewarm milk mixture and then the yeast mixture.
- Knead until it forms a soft dough. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour.
- Put the dough in a covered bowl and let it rise in a warm place 15 minutes.
- Punch the dough down and divide into 16 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball.
- Place each little dough ball on a cornmeal sprinkled baking sheet.
- Press down on the dough to flatten them, about 3” diameter circles. Cover and let rise for another ½ hour.
- Heat a griddle on high and grease lightly with butter.
- Place dough circles on hot griddle and cook for 5 minutes each side.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Before serving, split each muffin in half with a fork, toast thoroughly and butter.
Ruth Ann Manners and William Manners. The Quick and Easy Vegetarian Cookbook. M. Evans and Co: New York. 1978. Pp.118-9.