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Monday, 1 July 2013

English Muffins (It's Good, Make It Vegan!)

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Sunday (yesterday) morning debate (in my head):
Which should I make?
My all-time favourite scones or sweet potato bread (because I do have some sweet potato in the fridge that need to be used soon).

Hm, I was really in the mood for some bread baking to break my gluten-free fast. Yes, I've been reducing my gluten intake recently and have been feeling a lot lighter. But from time to time, I just love the smell of bread baking in the oven, as you may know by now of my love affair with homemade bread.

But it was rather warm today and I really didn't want to put the oven on for an hour, lest having Boyfriendlovlie (and myself!) complain about the unbearable heat. So, I was going to opt for some veggie pancakes instead when I thought about some stove top English muffins.
*hmm...thinking....thinking* They can be partly cooked on the stove then transferred 5- 8 minutes in the oven.
And also I realised that I had actually never featured any English muffins here. So, English muffins it was!

English muffins win my heart for their rustic homemade aspect. Not only do they taste great but they can be served just as much as a bread replacement or as a little afternoon tea-time treat. They are light, puffy and moist and despite being called muffins, they are very different to American muffins which are sweet small cakes.

The traditional recipe for English muffins usually call for milk which can easily be replaced with non-dairy milk. In this recipe I've used oatmilk, although I did not strain out the oat residue (as per my oatmilk recipe). I've left it in and I've found that it has actually improved the texture and taste.

Ingredients (8 - 9 muffins)
3 tablespoons porridge oats (dry flakes)
250 ml water
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sugar)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 cups all purpose flour (I use a 220 ml cup measurement)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cornmeal (for dusting)

  • Melt coconut oil (if not already liquid at room temperature). But do not heat, it should remain at room temperature. Leave aside.
  • Mix the oats with the water and blend for one minute on high. You can alternatively use a hand blender.
  • Pour oat mixture in a saucepan, add maple syrup or sugar and heat gently until it is lukewarm (not hot). We are going to use this as oatmilk but there is not need to strain out the oat residue for this recipe.
  • Sprinkle yeast on the warm oatmilk. Whisk and mix. Let sit for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the melted coconut oil and mix well.

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  • In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Mix well.
  • Make a well in the center and pour in the oatmilk mixture. 

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  • Start to mix and knead. If you feel the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of warm water at a time (but it shouldn't be requiring more than 2 tablespoons extra).
  • Continue to knead and the dough will come together.
  • At this point you can continue to knead in the bowl or transfer onto a board and knead for another 8 - 10 minutes.
  • Place dough in a large greased bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place until double in size.
  • When dough has doubled, divide into 2 and lay on a floured board. Lightly roll out to 2 inches thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out circles. You can then reshape and smooth out the edge with your hands to make a nicer plumper muffin.
  • Sprinkle a baking tray with cornmeal and place the circles of dough with a little space around them.

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  • Repeat with the other half of dough. For the left over cut out dough, you can combine them and re-roll, then shape by hand.
  • Let rise until each muffin is doubled in size.

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You can then proceed into cooking this on a griddle in the oven (5 minutes on each side) or pan cook them first before baking for a few more minutes (5 - 8 minutes) in the oven.
I tried both and I prefer the pan cook ones because then gave a more authentic look and taste.

  • Lightly grease a fry pan, place 1 muffin at a time or if you have a large pan, you can fit two or more at a time. Cook for 5 minutes on each side on low-medium until each side is golden.

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  • Then transfer to the baking tray and bake at 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Farenheit) for 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Remove and let cool.

English muffins are best served warm. Try them with a sweet spread for breakfast or tea time.

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Or you can fill them with any savoury ingredient for a great lunch. Make them for your barbecues and just reheat for great homemade muffin bread!

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  1. Thank you for the recipe and step by step! They look delicious.


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