Sunday, 3 November 2013


Hi there, it's been a while, I know... I've been SO busy, you have no idea. Working lot's and spending time with my sister Josefina that came to visit us for some days. And you know how it is when you have house guests: your life gets up side down, at least mine.  The good thing is that the weather here is amazing, the rain hasn't arrived yet, which is great as Im soaking as much sun as possible because soon it will be gone, it's just a matter of time.
To honor my sister, I decided to make the real McCoy english muffins. We spent some time together many years ago in New York, and we used to eat them A LOT. Oh can I forget...(specially the extra pounds I managed to gain in a matter of weeks!). Anyway, this time I decided to use a natural leaven, for which  I used a starter as I did here. It took me a whole week to prepare, but totally worth it. To eat an english muffin right off the oven, oh...theres nothing quite like it.
So, first of all let me tell you that if you don't have the time or you don't feel like waiting all those days until your starter is ready, you can totally replace the natural leaven for comercial yeast.  I rarely use white flour, but for this particular recipe I thought I might do an exception. There's nothing wrong in having some white flour once in a while.
Please allow yourself to read the whole recipe before staring to prepare the muffins so you can calculate the exact time.

English muffins (adapted from Tartine Bread)

200 grs. all purpose flour
200 grs water
3 grs active dry yeast

Natural leaven
1 tbsp of starter (check here)
220 grs. all purpose flour
220 grs. water

400 grs warm water
650 grs all purpose flour
350 hrs bread flour
24 gr. Salt
Ghee for frying

To make the polish mix all the ingredients and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.
To make the leaven, place the starter in a bowl, add the flour and the water and let si over night, covered in a cool place.
The next morning measure 400 hrs of the leaven. Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl, add the leaven, the poolish, the all purpose flour and the bread flour. Using your hands, mix thoroughly until no bits of dry flour remain. Let the dough rest for 45 minutes.
After the resting period add the 24 grs. of salt. Incorporate by squeezing the dough between your fingers. Fold the dough on top of itself, giving it "turns" in the same bowl. Dip one hand in water to prevent  the dough from sticking to you, then grab the underside of the dough, stretch it up,  and fold it back over the rest of the dough. Repeat this action two or three times so that all the dough gets evenly developed. This is considered one turn. Turn the dough about 40 minutes during 3 or 4 hours. 
When the fermentation process is complete, place a kitchen towel on a rimmed baking sheet and dust with flour. Turn the dough on to the towel and let relax for 10 minutes.

Dust the top with flour and press the dough from the middle outward until it is 2,5cm/ 1 inch. Make sure to do it evenly as it is more important that obtaining the exact thickness.Cover with a kitchen towel and place in the refrigerator to complete rising overnight.

Remove from the fridge  about 30 minutes before cooking. Have a ready cart iron skillet or griddle or just a normal pan over high heat.  Add just enough ghee to coat the bottom of the pan. Using a cookie cutter, cut rounds from the dough as you are ready to place them in the pan. The ideal size would be 3 inch/ 7, 5 cm (I used a bigger cutter so my muffins where quite big). Preheat oven 200 C degrees.

Carefully pick up each round and lay it in the pan. Mine one would hold two rounds. After 2 minutes, the muffins will puff nearly 2 inches /  5cm high. When the undersides are golden brown, use a spatula to turn the muffins. Press them slightly with the spatula so that they lie flat. Cook until the second sides are golden brown and crisp and the edges light and soft.

Remove the muffins from the skillet and place on an oven tray an finish cooking for 10 minutes. If you wish you can dust them with cornmeal.

To serve them, split the muffins with a knife and pull apart. The muffins will keep at room temperature in a bread box for 2 or 3 days as long as you toast them before serving. I froze almost all of them in a freezer -proof container and they were great when toasted.

Thank you for stopping by and see you next week.x

1 comment:

  1. AMAZING ENGLISH MUFFINS!! And even better served with eggs and salad ;)
    The pictures look great too!
    Thanks a lot sis, love you and miss you lots.