Week 2. Bread week. All change.
Bread week always mixes the pack doesn’t it?! This series did not disappoint. Rob and Howard fell down the pack a little and Ruby really proved why she should be in the competition.* If it were up to me, I would have given Kimberley the accolade of star baker: excellent breadsticks, perfect muffins, and a showstopper that looked and sounded amazing. Lucy just didn’t keep up with the rest of them and while I loved the simplicity of her breadsticks, she really had to execute them perfectly, which unfortunately was not the case.
Baking along with others over at Baker Anonymous, this week I opted to bake (or rather griddle?) a batch of English muffins. Perfect breakfast fodder.
Ingredients (makes 8 using a 7.5cm round cutter)
450g strong bread flour
7g fast action yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
300ml milk (many recipes will advise the use of full-fat milk, I tend to always use semi-skimmed (i.e. what is in the fridge) with no adverse effects)
Polenta to dust
Butter to cook the muffins
Round cutter of your choice (depending how large you want your muffins) and griddle or heavy-based frying pan
- Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl, making a well in the centre.
- Warm the milk until it is hand-hot, pour into the dry ingredients.
- Knead by hand or using a dough hook until the dough is smooth and elastic (with an electric mixer this took me 7 minutes).
- Shape into a ball, pop in a mixing bowl and cover. Leave to prove for at least one hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently roll out to a thickness of 2cm. Leave to stand on the surface for about 15 minutes to stop the muffins from shrinking.
- Dust two baking sheets with polenta.
- Cut eight muffins out of the dough. Pop them on the two prepared baking sheets. Lightly dust the tops with polenta.
- Leave to prove for 30 minutes.
- Heat your griddle/heavy-based frying pan over a very low heat melting a little butter in the pan.
- Cook each muffin for 5-6 minutes on each side.
- Split and give the cut side a cook for about 1 minute.
- Devour. I recommend with scrambled egg and smoked salmon.
*Excuse the pun, it was too easy.