what? bread?

a blog about making bread at home

Great British Bake Off English Muffins

Very pleased to see that the bread episode was early in this series. English Muffins are a useful ‘frying pan’ bread that is baked on the stove top, so no need to heat the oven. Having just seen last year’s electricity bill I think I’ll be economising a bit more on how much goes in each oven load and looking at other ways of baking. Now, how can I persuade himself to build a wood-fired oven in the garden? There is a method in the back of the River Cottage bread book if you’re looking for one. Moving on, we don’t need that for this.

The recipe is available to download from the BBC here.

The only variation I have made – changing the dried yeast to fresh – I doubled the quantity to 12g. There was talk on the programme about scalding the milk, but as this recipe doesn’t tell you to do it, I didn’t and used cold semi-skimmed milk out of the fridge.

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The mix was indeed soft,

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so I gave it a 10 minute Dan Lepard rest and then returned and kneaded it for about 5 minutes before putting it in an oiled bowl to rest.

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The recipe said for at least one hour to double in size. Which gave me a chance to go and  measure all my cutters to see which is 9cm in diameter, and then find that I have 8.5cm or 10cm. So going with 8.5 cm.

One hour later … dough seems to have doubled so I patted it out and tried to work out how we were going to get 8 muffins out of it. Then it is left for another 15 minutes.

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I cut the muffins, can you see where I had to bodge one? and the misshape bits?

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Then they rested for half an hour before I could start experimenting with the temperature setting. The recipe says low, so I started on 4, after 6 mins the first four were quite pale, so I turned it up to 5 and did the other side, and then flipped the others back again.

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By the time the second batch were ready to go in they’d had quite a bit more rising time. By now I was on level 6, and this was a bit hot as after 3 mins the bottoms were quite brown, so I flipped them and then did the other side and turned it down.

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And by the time the final lot were ready to go in, the last one was rather large!

So, quite pleased, a bit of a faff and because of the different amount of rising time, they won’t end up the same size when cooked unless you have more than one pan on the go or a very big pan or a hot plate! We’re eating these with bacon for lunch.

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6 thoughts on “Great British Bake Off English Muffins

  1. Agree with your sentiments. (And have a similar energy bill!)

    The breadsticks competition was evil. (Well the whole thing is really) I’ve made these and believe they should be plain or rolled in salt or sesame seeds. Turning them into double spirals and such like was just vulgar, as was the “showstopper” octopi etc. I was with the contestant that got slung out for making an honest loaf….

    …but I guess this personal opinion is contrary to the dream factory imperative.

    Nice muffins. Stotters!

    • Hi Mal – Not sure about the breadsticks yet – although the addition of flavours etc is akin to the mucking about with almost everything that goes on these days and ruins things that are great when they are simple and plain – chocolate, hummus, fabric conditioner. I am thinking about having a go at the twisty rye breadsticks and will probably only do a half measure as it looks like a lot. Just got to track down pepperoncino flakes now!

      The octopus was funny! Some of the other efforts were admirable, but the tomato loaf maker hadn’t listened to the instructions and deserved to be fired. It’s only a bit of fun!

      • Hi Icey

        Pepperoncino? Ah yes, one of those Wombles.

        At least they didn’t have a plaiting challenge this time – sponsored by Warburtons?

        There’s a thing called tradition – and some things like tarrali, challah, Christmas pud, stollen, pannetone, oatcakes, barm brack, baguette, pumpernickle, croissant, and yes, grissini should be given the respect they deserve. You can try to emulate them but you can’t improve upon them. IMHO

      • It’s smoked pepperoncino I need, not just normal chilli flakes apparently. You, me, same song sheet Mal. I’m waiting for one of the GBBO participants to come along with some of Heston’s smoked water any time soon. Today I will be revisiting mini blackberry bakewells as I have some homegrown blackberries – roll on autumn.

  2. I see the Scottish guy from the last season, James Morton, has a bread book out. Now my bookshelf does not really need another bread book, but I may take a peak…..

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