Baking, Bread Hoarders Anonymous, Breads, Breakfast, Brunch, Easy, Lactose Free, Late Night Snack, Muffins, Sandwiches
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Bread Whore ~ The Modern English Muffin

The other week, out of the blue, Jane says, “I’ve been trying to think what this thing is called…”

“What thing..”

“Breakfasty, brunchy kind of thing”

“What’s in it”

Poached eggs and an English muffin…”

“Oh, it’s an Eggs Benedict.”

She thanked me – obviously it had been nagging at her head for days.

A couple of days later…. a repeat of the initial Q & A.

Then, last week… “What’s that thing again?”

“Eggs Benedict… Do you want one?”

“Well… yes. If it’s not a lot of trouble.”

Trouble…

considering the hoops I have to jump through navigating Jane’s growing food allergies, something like an eggy thing shouldn’t be very high up on the difficulty list. However, all English Muffins contain either soy… or unsafe dairy… or an unrecognizable oil… or a combination of all three. So, getting to the Benedict was going to take some work.

Trouble…

I poked around several recipes.  There are ones that sound and look like thick, doughy pancakes. There are a couple that have you making your own starter – covering the kitchen in workspaces, flour, bowls, cutters… There was even one that started “a week before…

meh

This past week, I stumbled on one from Honest Cooking  – and while it is the perfect combination of – easy – “looks like an English Muffin” – and not terribly time-consuming;  it is still laden with unsafe dairy things.

It was time to get to work. I’ve altered the recipe to accommodate our severe lactose intolerance and other dietary issues

Alterations:

A couple of things about the muffins –

While they are wonderfully crisp (with plenty of those nooks and crannies everyone is all crazy about) they are decidedly more tender than a store-bought muffin. Which in my world isn’t all that bad of a thing. They make a perfect foil for a sandwich bun or using on Jane’s Eggs Benedict – with a good flavor and bite. They just wont break a tooth if you leave them too long in the toaster and over-crisp them.

For our recipe we have replaced: lard instead of butter /substituted  1/2 Buttermilk & water for milk / reduced the baking soda and added baking powder / increased the salt /  altered the proof and cook times.

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The Modern English Muffin

Adapted from – Honest Cooking’s adaptation of a King Arthur Flour’s Recipe

Makes 16 (3 inch) Muffins

Ingredients:

4 1/3 Cups Unbleached Bread Flour

3/4 Cup Whole Cultured Buttermilk

3/4 Cup Water

1/4 Cup Lard

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 Large Egg

2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Cup Flour for Rolling

1 Cup Corn Meal for Dusting

Tools of the Trade:

Large Cast Iron Skillet

Baking Sheet

Stand Mixer with Dough Hook

Spatula

Scraper

Pastry Roller

3″ Ring Cutter (You can cut the top & bottom off a large tuna can if you don’t have a cutter)

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Place all the ingredients in the stand mixer – set the speed to 4 and the timer to 18 MINUTES. Let ‘er rip. Scrape the sides down initially until the dough begins to pull together. Cover with a dry cloth and allow to proof for 30 minutes

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Spread a coating of corn meal on the baking sheet. Flour a work surface and roll out the dough into about 3/4″ thickness. Using the cutter – cut out your muffins, place them on the prepared sheet and dive them another dusting of corn meal. Cover with a cloth and proof for 40 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 325. Place a dry skillet on the burner over medium low heat (2 or 3 on electric). Cooking on small batches, cook the proofed muffins for 3 to 4 minutes on each side – or until the bottoms are lightly browned and crisp. Place the browned muffins back on the corn mealed baking sheet.

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When all the muffins are browned, place the sheet in a preheated 325 over for 15 minutes to allow the muffins to continue to dry out.

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Cool the muffins completely on racks before using or storing. Finished muffins can be stored in the fridge up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to a month.

And, while we haven’t gotten to those Benedict… yet, I have been putting them to good use…

covered in butter (cultured… of course)

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stuffed full of some leftover Key Lime Roast Chicken and Avocado…

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… and as a bun for some Chicken Parm Sammiches  (you can blame that Nationwide Insurance Commercial for that….)

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6 Comments

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  3. Since we don’t have any particular food allergies at my house, I wanted to know, would the recipe work the original way with the same proportions? Or do you reduce amounts of lard or buttermilk to compensate for any differences in baking?

    • If you don’t have the food problems we have, then Honest Cooking’s recipe would work just fine – I still would use our Proofing & Cook times – it gives the yeast a little longer to work and develop those deeper flavors. (I found the HC recipe a little flat tastewise)

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