English Muffins

muffins

I love English muffins. I love them slathered with salty butter and honey or stuffed with bacon, eggs, and cheese. The tangy, chewy dough and browned ends make me jump for joy.

muffins-mixer

I had never even thought to make my own until I went on a  baking frenzy recently and saw a recipe for them online. Who knew that these tasty little muffins were so easy to make?

muffins-rising

 

WARNING: Once you make these at home, you’ll have a pretty hard time eating the store-bought ones. They will pale in comparison to yours, I promise.

English muffins

yield: 6
2 1/4 cups flour (I used all-purpose but I bet you could switch in bread flour or whole wheat)
1/2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 cup water, (105-110°F)
1 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk, at room temperature
cornmeal, for dusting
Put the water in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let it stand for 5 minutes—the yeast should look foamy and thicker. If not, throw it out and start over with new yeast.
Once yeast has proofed, stir in the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and 1/2 cup milk and stir the ingredients until it forms a ball. If the dough is too dry and you see loose flour, slowly add more milk. The dough should be soft and pliable.
Transfer the dough to a counter or workspace and knead for 10 minutes. If you need more flour along the way, go ahead and sprinkle a bit in. Just make sure not too add too much! The dough at this point should be a little tacky but definitely not sticky.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl (I used the same one I mixed in) and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled (about 60-90 minutes but it depends on how warm your kitchen is!).
Transfer the dough to the counter and divide into 6 pieces. Shape them into round rolls. Oil a baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Transfer the balls of dough to the sheet pan. lightly oil the tops and sprinkle with more cornmeal. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise again, at room temperature, for another 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
muffins-cooking
Heat your skillet/griddle to medium (also, preheat your oven to 350°F in case you need to finish the muffins in the oven—see below). Lightly oil the pan and carefully transfer the muffins to the pan using a spatula. Cook for about 10 minutes or until you can’t cook the dough any longer without burning. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes.
If they feel like they could use more time, pop them in the oven on a baking sheet.
Let cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before devouring.
Advertisements

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

oatmealraisin

I used to have a serious sweet tooth. I don’t exactly know when it started to mellow out but for the past couple of years I’ve been drawn to the lightly sweetened snacks. This cookie recipe is a bit of an exception. They’re not VERY sugary but it’s definitely a departure from my usual dessert choices. They’re so simple to make and the recipe doesn’t yield too much (24 or so depending on the size) so it’s perfect for our 2-person household with the occasional guest. BONUS—if you’re near my neck of the woods and you’re getting hit with this extreme cold you’ll appreciate the warm oven.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

(yields about 2 dozen)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar (I used a bit of white sugar too—about a 1/4 cup— because I ran out of brown!)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups oats
3/4 cups raisins
1/2 cup walnuts (optional-I don’t usually add them but they can be a nice addition)
Beat butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon. Add egg and mix to combine. Stir in vanilla.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix into wet ingredients to combine. Stir in oats and raisins (and walnuts, if you’re using them).
cookiedough
Cover bowl and put in refrigerator for about an hour. I’ve skipped this step before and it results in a flatter, crispier cookie with a shorter cook time. I personally like the chewier texture that comes with chilling the dough for a bit. Go ahead and try both to see which one suits your taste.
While dough is chilling, preheat oven to 350°F.
I used two tablespoons to shape balls of dough roughly the size of a heaping tablespoon (a little less than an inch and a half across). Make sure to give them enough space around to spread! Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the edges are a bit browned.