I’ve never thought twice about buying English muffins from the grocery store. For years I’ve opened that store-purchased bag, sliced one open, dropped it into the toaster, and been content with what popped out.
But the first time I looked through the Dahlia Bakery cookbook and saw pages of English muffins topped with ham and eggs, Hollandaise, and fruity jam, I wanted to try making them myself. This project required waiting for a Saturday that I could commit the time for all the steps involved with resting and proofing the dough, but let me tell you, it was worth the wait.
As suggested by the authors, I prepared the dough the first day, then shaped and baked the muffins the next day. I won’t lie; the shaping part turned out being pretty messy. When the instructions said to divide the dough into equal pieces, I reached for my food scale as I always do when making dinner or hamburger rolls. But that wasn’t going to happen. The dough was much too wet for that, and I couldn’t be tempted to add more flour. I used a bench scraper to finish dividing the dough, and they may not have all been the same size but I was okay with that.
When the muffins finished baking and I pulled them out of the oven, they actually looked like I hoped they would. I cut into one and saw the beautiful, craggy holes that are perfect for soaking up endless varieties of toppings. And then I took a bite. You know when you spend a decent amount of time on something, and it actually meets all your expectations? Yeah, that’s totally what happened. [Read more...]