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Saturday, May 7, 2011

English Muffin

    Cornmeal coat gives muffins a rustic feel
    This muffin sandwich 
    It has been a  while since I saw any Gardenia English muffins on sale in the supermarkets. And thus, I embarked on a long  futile search for this classic English breakfast item and landed full circle to the solution in my fridge. My own home grown sour dough starter. 
    Time to take matters into my own hand.
    Before proceeding, there is a conundrum that needs to be addressed. Prior to this, I have interchangeably been calling this a muffin and a crumpet. But a little reading  resolves this and now I am certain what I have made is an English muffin, not quite a crumpet. Here's why :
  1. Crumpets are always made with milk, but English muffins never do.
  2. Crumpets are made only using baking soda, while English muffins are made with yeast or sourdough (maybe with a  little baking soda to help things along).
  3. Crumpet batter is a loose batter. English muffins are made from a  firmer dough. 
  4. Crumpets are dimply, sponge like while English muffins are dense and bread like.
  5. Crumpets are cooked on the griddle only on one side using crumpet rings , so the bottom is flat and toasted while the top is speckled with butter absorbing holes . English muffins are  bread-like and, cut out with a  biscuit cutter and  are cooked on the griddle on both sides. 
  6. Crumpets are served  with the jam and butter spread and never split into halves. English muffins are split before serving.
  7. In the Americanized version of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry and Hermoine ate crumpets instead of  English muffins, much to the chagrin of British readers, since the two are  not  quite the same thing ,culturally and culinarily. Some say the edition compromised certain flavors. Mm, some food for thought.
    (Information from  : and more)
    Now, the how :
    To make a successful English muffin, what you need is some fed sourdough and  lots of time. The sponge takes at least 8 hours to ferment and some planning is needed so that you have it for breakfast, not supper. A tad troublesome, true,  but the results are totally worth it.
    Verdict :  Whichever way to eat it, I like the muffin  best when lightly toasted. I had it with jam for breakfast  and then some more with ham, cheese and an assortment of sandwich condiments for dinner.  Can't say it is not versatile enough! Remember to ferment  adequately at the final stage for a lighter muffn.
    Sourdough English Muffins :
    Makes 10 muffins
    Sponge Ingredients:
    110 g fed  sourdough starter
    160 g plain flour
    100 g whole wheat flour
    276 g water. I used low fat milk 
    Final Dough Ingredients:
    75 g flour
    3/4 t salt
    1/2 t baking soda.
    2 t malt barley ( honey as alternative )
    all of the sponge
    Mix the sponge ingredients until just combined. Cover and let rest  overnight , from 8 - 12 hours for the most flavoursome results due to the optimum level of lactic acid produced by the wild yeast. By this, you will prepare the sponge last thing before you sleep and then wake up the next day to continue the second part , at least 1.5 hours before breakfast.
    Combine the final dough ingredients and sponge. Mix to roughly combine. Knead until dough  surface becomes  smooth, about 8 minutes. I used a bread machine for this procedure.
    Flour the counter   and roll the dough out to a thickness of about  half inch. Cut the dough using a biscuit cutter  and place them on corn meal-dusted non stick pan.
    Cover and let proof for 45 60 minutes. I was impatient  and the dough did not rise as much which caused the muffins to be rather dense.
    Lightly oil a non stick pan and heat it over medium-low heat. Cook the muffins  until both sides are browned and the sides are firm, 8 minutes.
    Cool on a wire rack. Tastes best when toasted.
    Adapted from
    Muffin is not as holey as the crumpet


  1. these look even better than McDonalds'. I like the rustic effect that cornmeal gives as well...looks really good for breakfast :)

  2. It really looks like those in MCD and I bet this is much much yummy then MCD...i like this!