Sunday, December 13, 2009

English Muffin Challenge Part 2

A few months ago, I said I was going to try out three different English Muffin recipes and determine which one was the best (in my opinion). I started with the recipe from Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up For. While those muffins were definitely edible, they fell a bit flat in the taste department and were physically a bit flat.

This week, I attempted the English Muffins from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything . He uses his standard sandwich bread dough to make English Muffins. I have to say two things. First, that I am a bit skeptical of Bittman's bread recipes, though I think he is awesome at most everything else in the kitchen. Second, I altered his recipe a bit. I used powdered milk in place of regular milk and active dry yeast instead of the instant. All this means is that I added the milk powder with the flour and salt and mixed the yeast with the water before adding to the flour mixture. Also, his method of cooking was a little different and I didn't follow it. He tells you to heat a griddle over the stove, sprinkle it with cornmeal and then place the hot griddle in a 350 degree oven. Instead, I sprinkled cornmeal directly on the muffins, put them in a cast iron skillet on the stove for a minute or so, flipped them over, cooked them a bit more, then placed them on a baking stone in the oven.

The results were pretty good. They're much more puffy than the Vegan Brunch ones and have a better flavor. However, I'm not certain that the extra puffiness works in their favor. Actually, I'd say that no, it does not. As you can see in the final photo, they are not as "nooky" as your typical English Muffin, and so, like the Vegan Brunch ones, lose points for that.

The next and final recipe in the English Muffin Challenge is the one in The Bread Bible. Let's see if that one proves to be the English Muffin recipe to end all English Muffin recipes.

Photos below of the cooking and serving process of the muffins:

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