English Muffins

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. 

English Muffin Pile
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. 

English Muffins 3

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.

English Muffins 2

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…]

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Bacon Cheddar Biscones

 I think I’ve found my favorite basic biscuit recipe.

I just can’t decide which flavor combination I like to bake into them. I’ve made this recipe several times as a sweet breakfast treat with cinnamon chips and drizzled with cinnamon glaze.  But this version with aged white cheddar cheese, crispy chopped bacon, and green  onions is just fabulous.  I used the best aged cheddar I could find and it paired so well with the tangy buttermilk and freshly ground pepper.  Don’t expect gobs of melted cheese inside though.  It bakes right into the dough, and that is just fine by me.

I don’t know which I like better, but there is no need to decide.  They’re both delicious. [Read more…]

Cinnamon Chip Biscones with Cinnamon Glaze

What, you may be asking, are biscones?  Oh, they’re just possibly my favorite thing to stick in the oven on a Sunday morning, ever.  The word may look like a typo, but this baked treat is a tasty combination of a biscuit and a scone, and easier than either of them to prepare.  They come from Back in the Day Bakery, the same book that I found this savory Sunday morning turnover.

 

I’ve made these biscones several times now, and each time after I finished mixing the dough, I didn’t expect them to turn out well.  The process is so different than making scones or even the easiest biscuits.  There’s no rolling, patting, or cutting out scraps of dough.  Instead, everything is dumped into a bowl and combined with an electric mixer, scooped out with a cookie scoop, and baked into soft and tender pastries.  [Read more…]

Easy Ham and Cheese Brunch Pastries

I love to spend time in the kitchen on Sundays.  I might wake up early when it’s still breakfast-time and throw together a batch of muffins to bake while I read the newspaper and peruse the sales ads.  Lately, it’s been more likely that I’ll wander in just after noon and spend the afternoon preparing dinner.  And sometimes it’s nice to spend the morning being lazy and then put together a quick brunch.

These pastries are perfect for just that.  The only real planning involved is remembering to leave the frozen puff pastry in the fridge overnight to thaw.  I combined Black Forest ham from the deli with some shredded mozzarella that I already had, and after tossing in the spices, they were in the oven in less than ten minutes.
[Read more…]

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