TBD on Ning

Here's one for  Scott

English Muffins

My only criticism of this recipe is that it is a lot of work to make only 6 English muffins.  I definitely plan to double or triple the recipe in the future and freeze them so I can homemade English muffins any time I’d like!
Recipe Notes:
*In this recipe, I used half buttermilk and half 2% milk, since that’s what I had on hand.

English Muffins
Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
2 ¼ cups unbleached bread flour
½ tbsp granulated sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp shortening
¾ cup buttermilk or lowfat milk, at room temperature
2-4 tbsp cornmeal
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.  Add the shortening and milk and stir until the mixture comes together into a loose ball (if the dough does not come together, slowly add up to ¼ cup additional milk.)
Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and a bit tacky.  Spray a bowl with nonstick spray.  Place the dough into the bowl, flip to coat, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise in a warm, draft free area for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
Gently place the dough onto the counter.  Use a knife or bench scraper to cut the dough into six equal portions, approximately 3 ounces each.  Gently form each portion into a ball, pinching the seam at the bottom.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray and dust it generously with cornmeal.  Place the dough balls onto the prepared tray, seam side down.  Spray the tops with cooking spray and dust them with more cornmeal.  Cover the dough balls lightly with plastic wrap and set aside to proof at room temperature until they have doubled in size; 1 – 1 ½ hours.
Heat an electric skillet to 350 degrees F.  Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the skillet and brush to coat the skillet.  Also preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the dough balls into the skillet, at least one inch apart.  Cook the muffins for 5-8 minutes or until deeply browned.  Flip, and cook for another 5-8 minutes or until that side is browned as well.  Transfer the English Muffins immediately to a baking sheet and place into the preheated oven for another 5 minutes.  Move to a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.
After one batch is cooked completely (or while the first batch is in the oven), begin the second batch, using the same steps as before.
To cut the English Muffins, use an English Muffin splitter or a fork to give the English Muffin its characteristic craggly appearance.
Makes 6 English Muffins

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Replies to This Discussion

Julia, my beautiful friend, I have never been more or less addicted to "comfort foods" than any of us except in recent years.  As you know, I live in a country where I cannot buy some ingredients crucial to the recipes I want to make.....like corn meal.  I cannot make corn bread.  "Oh, Scott, use corn flour".  Yeah, Right!  I don't want corn cake....I want American, southern Corn bread....not the Yankee stuff.  Costa Ricans do not understand corn meal because it is not  Costa Rican.

English muffins are one of the things I miss most from the United States.  I used to be able to buy them from ANY supermarket and I've had them here once because a friend brought me two packages from California.

My country is changing.  We have changed enormously in the last two decades because they are beginning to get it through their thick heads that American food is the best there is.  Can't wait for corn meal to show up.

Have you ever heard of Hoe Cakes?  This is the simplest recipe in the world.  It was made by southern slaves in the field on the blades of their hoes.  It is white corn meal, a little water and salt mixed into a thick batter and patted into oval shaped cakes.  They are fried.....I use pork fat.  I have eaten these all of my life 'cuz my mamma was very southern.  


Yes I have heard of hoe cakes but never had one. They  sound delicious.

Does the white meal have the texture of grits?

 Perhaps you can buy your cornmeal and yeast online

and have it sent to you by mail or UPS type delivery.

I do not know if cornmeal would get bugs in it

 in warm climate so it might be best to store in a can

along with bay leaves to chase the bugs away. 

Yes, Julia, it does have the texture of grits but is softer when you slather it with butter.  You can make them also with yellow corn meal for another delicious flavor.  and, yes, I could order them online but I trust NOBODY on the internet.  They are not all crooks but many are incompetent and don't pay attention to details.  They tend to want to mail everything to Puerto Rico.  Many of them have never heard of Costa Rica.

Mail delivery does not yet exist in this country.  You must just keep checking the post office and it can take several months for them to receive it.  For that matter, we have no numbers on our houses nor street names.  My address is.....directly opposite the Methodist church, 50 meters behind the grade school.  Everyone finds me.  Julie just says "Scott's house" and everyone in the pueblo knows where we live.

well someone down South long ago

made up cornmeal and grits and sourdough starter

so you just have to be like me and be inventive.

from what  i see in photos they take

where my grand daughter and her husband 

go to visit Costa Rica  every year it is beautiful there

they are young but they may just move there some day

I could make sourdough starter.  I just haven't thought of it.  When Julie was in the United States with me, she loved everything sourdough.  I like to bake bread...French or Italian style...and now, thanks to you, I have the desire to do so.

Living in Costa Rica is becoming more expensive by the year.  It's still a LOT less expensive than ANYWHERE in the USA but you will need an independent income.


When there's a will there's a way!

Unless you have a favorite starter this looks good to me..

By Jennifer McGavin, About.com Guide
Homemade Sourdough Starter

A true sourdough starter is flour and water which is exposed to the microorganisms in the air and in the flour,
either outside or inside the house. It starts growing in 2-3 days.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Mix flour and water in a 2 quart bowl, stirring well to incorporate air. Cover with a layer of cheesecloth to keep the bugs out and place in a spot of your
choosing, either inside or outside. Stir twice a day. When bubbles form in 2 or 3 days, start feeding your new culture.
Add 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup dechlorinated water and stir. Add a little more water, if necessary, to have the same consistency you started with.
Repeat feeding twice a day for several successive days. You may want to divide or throw away part of the culture. Keep at least 2 cups and feed with
1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water.
The starter is active when 1 to 2 inches of foam develop on the top within 12 hours of feeding. You may then refrigerate it.
If the starter begins to have any off-odors or mold growing on top, you will have to throw it out.
Feeding a culture
If you use part of the culture, feed it by adding 1 cup flour and 3/4 cup water to the left-over culture. Let it sit 1 hour at room temperature, then
If you do not use the culture, you should still feed it. If the culture is unrefrigerated, you must feed it once a day.
If the culture is refrigerated, feed it once a week. If you neglect it for several weeks, the culture might die.
This About.com page has been optimized for print. To view this page in its original form, please visit: http://germanfood.about.com/od/baking/r/sourdostarter.htm
©2013 About.com, Inc. All rights reserved.

I like the recipe but is just one persons opinion.  Neither my mother nor i have EVER refrigerated starter dough nor replenished it daily.  If you use it enough. and you will when you know how to use it, it will keep very well on the counter.  One of the BEST things to make is baking powder biscuits.

biscuits are good and if I have one it is only one with honey

but over 5 years ago I decided to shed some extra weight  

that was too much for this short woman's frame and

do not want to put it back on...have done great by 

changing eating habits for life and anyway i gave away

those ugly old lady clothes and never looked back

Dammnit, Julia, every serious dietitian I have ever known has said that it isn't what you eat....it's how MUCH that you eat.  If you want,to folloe then crazies  go ahead, but they are completely WRONG!  Calories are calories.  Eat less and you will LOSE weight no matter what you eat.  I know this.  I can gain or lose weight easily by regulating the QUANTITY.

People who listen to these quacks always have problems with their diets.  Just eat less and eat what you want.  

Scott you are right and calories do count.

I stick to the basic food group and my one plate 

of food is always full of colorful veggies because they

are good for you and filling.  I avoid sauces unless just a tiny bit and I do not like gravy. so I am good to go and looking pretty good skin wise and energy filled for a 70 year old...no prescribed pills either. I think it is from genetic makeup and the fact that we were poor but ate well and hard labor does not hurt.

Yes, veggies are great.  I eat a lot of them because I really like them.....fruits too.  Today I had a Mandarin orange and a Mango.  Tomorrow I plan to cook a head of cauliflower with mustard and cheese sauce.  One of my best culinary talents is making sauces and gravies.  My family thinks that is super 'cuz it spices up all of our food.

Yes, I believe that ones weight and physical appearance is genetic.  I, like my mother, age well and like my father I can drink beer with both hands.  I shall hit 72 years old in 4 days and, as I have said, I do not watch WHAT I eat.....just how much and when.  For example, for breakfast this morning I will eat a burrito with Tabasco, a green apple and several cups of black coffee. 

Yummy ask Julie if I can come have breakfast with you two today but instead of the apple can I have a mango?

Happy Birthday in 4 days




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