Sunday, May 25, 2008

English Muffins

In many ways, my mom was ahead of the times when we were growing up. Or, I guess, she was a product of the best of the 60s. We brought our lunches in reuseable containers, composted, and recycled. And my mom was uber-serious about our health. So serious, in fact, that she would save the water used to boil vegetables to reuse in things like pancake batter--that way not a single nutrient would be lost. Of course, we were total whiners who would not appreciate all my mom did until much later in life. She would bake bread. We would beg for store-bought (after all, no one else at school had sandwiches on home made bread). She would make granola. We would plead for boxed cereal (it's sooooo much better, we would insist). Anyway, all these memories were swirling around in my head today as I was making these muffins. They are awesome and way better than store-bought, no matter what your kids say.

Makes at least 12 muffins
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 2/3 cups lukewarm soy milk
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp oil

1. Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Mix yeast into soy milk, along with sugar and oil. Add to flour and bring together into a soft dough. I used a dough hook (the dough is really soft) in a stand mixer and kneaded for 5 mins. You could also do this by hand/with a wooden spoon. If dough is too dry, add more soy milk. If too wet, add some flour. Dough should be soft, but should still hold together.
2. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour, until doubled in bulk.
3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll to 1/2" thickness. Cut out 3" rounds with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Re-roll leftover dough to get a few extra muffins. Keep cut muffins on the floured surface and dust tops with semolina flour. Cover and let rise for 30 mins.
4. Heat a griddle over med to med-lo heat. Cook muffins in batches for about 5 mins per side, until deep golden brown on each side. If muffins are burning, turn down heat. Cool on a wire rack.