Today I found some striking similarities between the Bread Bakers Apprentice Challenge and marathon running. Dedication, endurance, and (most notably today) repetition. Turning the page in the book for the challenge this week I saw yet another sweet celebration bread. It was like turning the corner on a long run to see ANOTHER hill to climb. Although i have enjoyed all of the breads so far, Joe doesn’t really like the sweet ones and we have had a hard time trying to finish them. It seemed like a waste of flour to make (essentially) the same thing twice. So i skipped it.
On to challenge #12: English Muffins
These English muffins were really fun to make. The dough was simple – after making 10 other Rinehart recipes I have a pretty good handle on mixing and kneading dough. This time i even did my windowpane test!
I was, however, a little intimidated by the cooking process. The idea of frying dough in a pan was foreign to me. I ended up using our square and round cast iron skillets simultaneously to get as many muffins cooked at the same time as possible. It felt like juggling; frying and immediately baking as many muffins as possible. I’m not sure why my muffins were so puffy, but at least they were nice and fluffy inside. I think baking for 8 minutes was just right.
After fully following the recipe, the only thing i would do differently is to make 7 or 8. As you can see, I made 6 as the recipe called for, and they are pretty big. There was no temperature control on the skillet, and after reading PR’s warning about under-cooking the muffins, i ended up burning the first two. After I started eye-balling the brownness level, and relying less on elapsed cooking time, they turned out well. I used lowfat buttermilk instead of whole milk and it gave them a nice, almost sourdough taste.
As usual, check out more photos on FLICKR.
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