Monday, April 22, 2013

Sourdough English Muffin recipe

  • ½  cup Sourdough starter (this can be replaced with 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup water and a teaspoon of instant yeast if you don't want the sourdough taste or don't have a starter)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups flour, I mix mine about ¾ all purpose, ¼ whole wheat
  • ½  cup homemade instant potatoes (how to) or sweet potato powder (same thing, just sweet potatoes instead of potatoes). This can be replaced with either additional flour or ground up oatmeal 
  • 1/3 cup instant dry milk powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup flour
  • Handful of cornmeal to coat the surface when ready
  • I sometimes (read, when I remember) add in some flax seed, think ¼ cup, this doesn’t really affect anything.

This is an overnight project, I usually start this on a Friday night for Saturday brunch.

Combine the first 4 ingredients; mix well, about 5 minutes.

Cover and let stand over night.

The next morning, uncover and stir in the dry milk powder and the pinch of salt.

This is where you will use either the water or the flour. The consistency you are looking to attain here is somewhat drier than oatmeal, but still fairly wet dough. Something that you can roll out and cut, but not a dough that will hold its shape.

Roll out onto a floured surface, about ¾ inch thick. This makes a nice, thick muffin, which is how we like them; if you prefer yours of average thickness, roll out to no more than ½ inch thick.

Using a round cutter; cookie cutters work well, but I use an empty tuna can to do this; cut out your rounds, transferring them immediately after cutting (no cutting all, then transferring, this is sticky dough and you want it to be) onto a cookie sheet that has been covered with cornmeal.

Do not let the rounds touch, they will form an unholy union and you will have to go in there with a knife. Save yourself! Leave space. 

Sprinkle corn meal over the tops of the proto yum.

Cover and let rise in a draft free, warm space until they have doubled in thickness, somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour. I usually set my timer for 45 minutes, and then start to heat up my skillet.

In a well seasoned, lightly greased cast iron skillet (sorry, I have no advice for any other type of pan, apparently I’m a purist snob) you will cook these muffins for about 5 minutes on each side.

Here’s the rub: I can’t tell you what temperature to cook them at, I have no clue, I would say somewhere in the middle of the temp range, but I cook these things over open flame, so no adjustments for me. The trick is to look at the side of the muffin, there is that golden moment when you see the dough change. You'll know it when you see it, trust me. It's this translucency and slight lifting. That’s when you flip them. Sometimes that takes 5 minutes, sometimes it takes 3. Expect your first batch not to look perfect. They’ll taste fantastic, though :D and the burned bits scrape off...I read that in a book, yeah.

Another thing I simply cannot tell you is how long they last. No clue. And you will likely also never know ;)

Why English Muffins you ask?

Well, several reasons:

We love them, there’s a reason you are not seeing any pictures. (I promise solemnly to try to remember to take some the next time I make these and add them to this post. Not promising anything without bite marks, this dough goes like frozen cookie dough in this house)

They are actually really easy to make

It’s a sourdough breadlike substance I can make without using the oven, so they are pretty much what we eat in the summer

I can pop a pan onto the rocket stove and cook them outside, so I don’t heat up the house and use up twigs from our trees instead of gas from our gas company for fuel (guess which one we pay for)

Have I mentioned we love them?

They are better than anything you can buy

This dough travels well and there is something about going camping and making these over the open fire in the morning that just can’t be beat :)

They are pretty darn cheap. Delicious and cheap. 

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