Very English Muffins by Mary Berry


English Muffins are a real treat in our house. We don’t buy them very often but they disappear fast when we do! Leafing through my latest cookbook;  Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, I came across a recipe to make them and as I had everything I needed in the pantry, thought I’d give it a shot. Who better to inspire* an English Muffin recipe than the very English Mary Berry?



Ingredients:

  • 225ml Milk
  • 2 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 55g butter or lard for frying
  • Cornflour or Semolina for dusting

As I said, fairly basic ingredients anyone would have in their pantry. The cornflour I happened to have from the American Style Cornbread Muffins recipe but semolina or polenta will do the job.

Firstly, place the milk with 55ml of water into a saucepan and warm until just tepid, enough to take the chill off. Place into a small bowl or jug and add the yeast and sugar, mix lightly and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes a foam or bubbling should have formed on top of the mixture.

While the yeast mixture develops, sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture.

At this point I abandonded my knife** and mixed the rest with my hands until a smooth dough formed, as below.

Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and set aside in a warm, not hot, place to double (could take upto an hour).

Before:

After:

Gently take the risen dough and roll it out to about 1cm thick. Don’t knock the dough back as you would usually or they will be very dense. Cut muffins from the dough with a scone cutter about 7cm wide. Place the muffins on a greased tray and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.

To cook, melt butter in a large frypan, dust the muffins with cornflour and fry on a medium heat for 7 minutes on each side.

Eat immediately or set aside to cool and store in an airtight container, toasting as required.
Despite the incredible amount of butter they’re cooked in, I managed to polish off two fresh out of the pan. While I’m glad I made these to the original recipe because the flavour is delicious, I will try baking them in the oven next time, as has been suggested online, for a healthier treat.
*While I was inspired by Mary Berry’s recipe I actually used a different recipe, whose ingredients and method I have outlined here. Mary Berry’s recipe is much the same but used more milk and flour and I only wanted a small batch.
** The way I was taught to mix wet into dry to create dough was to use a butter knife and a slicing action so as to mix the dough evenly and not create wet lumps.

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