Tuesday, December 7, 2010

English muffins

The female half of this blog has sent me to Michael Ruhlman's website for his English muffin recipe. I've tried making EMs before, but never been very satisfied, so trying these seems like a worthwhile hour or two.

They certainly look like EMs, don't they?

The recipe flows as advertised - it's pretty easy to follow and the batter comes out pretty much the way I expected. The cooked product had a decent rise, though I would have liked a little more rise. Lacking an electric griddle, I cooked them in a big cast iron fry pan. The problem I had is getting the temperature right. Ruhlman says to cook on medium to medium high heat. I found that the temperature was too high - the muffins nearly burned before they were cooked thoroughly inside. I tried medium high, medium low and the lowest setting our gas range offers. I finally decided to finish them in a 300 F oven after cooking them to deep brown in the skillet on the low setting.

The making, then, is kind of a pain. But the eating is a different story. Toasted, these muffins are very tasty. Ruhlman suggests using a sourdough starter and that sounds like a good idea to me. I might try buttermilk in place of the whole milk as well, though that make require some experimenting with the baking powder.

Are they worth the effort? (Even Ruhlman suggests that Bay's EMs are a worthy substitute for homemade.) I think so - but let me try them a few more times. We'll see.

Check out the directions and recipe at Ruhlman's website

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