BYOB: English Muffins

For my first try at making English Muffins, I chose Alton Brown's method. Not a whole grain in sight, but the recipe seemed approachable for a first attempt and reviews were generally favorable. And I like Alton Brown. :)
Of course there were a few modifications: I didn't have powdered milk so I used powdered buttermilk. It took me a while to work out the conversion since I figured it couldn't be 1:1 and besides, powdered buttermilk is expensive! After much head-scratching, it worked out to six tablespoons of buttermilk powder, which still seemed like a lot, so I used five tablespoons. I set the dough up the night before and let it rise in the fridge overnight. That seemed to work just fine.

Next morning, I made rings out of aluminum foil following instructions in one of the reviews. I started with two scoops of batter, using a #20 disher as instructed. They cooked up well although they were tricky to turn because the dough was so wet. Two scoops produced some thick muffins! I could only do three at a time on my small griddle so for the second round I used 1.5 scoops of dough. That seemed to work better, although to be fair they do shrink a lot after they're cool. Probably the hardest thing was keeping the cast iron griddle temp near 300 degrees on the electric stove. Argh! That alone got me thinking about buying an electric griddle, although I have no other use for one. And if you watch Alton Brown, you know how he feels about uni-taskers.
The verdict? They looked right and tasted OK, although I swear I could taste the buttermilk powder. In hindsight, I would cut it back to three tablespoons. What I missed, though, was the chew. Even though they had the 'nooks and crannies' we expected, they were rather delicate -- almost biscuit-like -- and lacked the tough, chewy texture I enjoy in an English muffin.

One of the reviewers said these were actually crumpets, not proper English muffins. I don't know from crumpets, but that may be it.

Will I make them again? Probably not as written. I want to look for a version that is at least partially whole-grain, with a heartier texture. And if I could bake them in the oven, that would be a total bonus.

But I made them myself, and the family ate them. BYOB Score!


Laura said...

They do look more like crumpets, but still do look tasty! I made "English muffins" using regular bread dough on a stone, flipped halfway through baking. They tasted a lot like English muffins.

Di said...

English muffins are something I haven't attempted yet. Sorry to hear they weren't quite what you expected. I have an electric griddle and use it all the time for pancakes and sometimes french toast. It is nice to just set the temperature and not worry about it.

Liz C said...

@Laura - I'm already formulating my next attack, and it will definitely involve a more 'traditional' dough.

@Di - I am very close to buying an electric griddle. All I have to do is find somewhere to store it!