After a recent Spring clean it was decided that we were in need of a new toaster. The one we had was ok, perfectly capable of toasting I suppose, but we had had it for a while and I thought it was probably time to upgrade. After much umm-ing and ahh-ing, and comparing of tech specs of various toasters (oh yes, I took it very seriously. This is how 'rock and roll' my life is.), we found our ideal toaster. 4 'extra wide' slots, a bagel warming function, and apparently capable of toasting 120 slices an hour... I haven't tested that yet.
Anyway in honour of my new kitchen gadget I made these English muffins. I have to say they are best freshly cooked, simply sliced and buttered, but of course they will also be delicious toasted. They are made from a basic bread dough, and dusted with semolina before cooking which gives them their typical crunchy crust. They are much more substantial than shop-bought muffins, and even if I say so myself, a thousand time more delicious.
English Muffins - makes 10
-500g strong white bread flour
-1 tsp quick yeast
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbsp oil (I used rapeseed, sunflower or olive oil could also be used)
-Pinch of sugar
-Semolina for dusting
1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Gradually pour in the water and then the oil, mixing with your fingers. Bring together into a ball of dough, then knead on a floured surface until smooth (around 15 minutes). Alternatively, use the dough hook of a food mixer to knead the dough.
2. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size (around 1 hour).
3. Knock back the dough and divide into 10 equal pieces. Dust a large wooden board with semolina. Using the palm of your hands roll the lumps of dough into a ball, then flatten. Dust well with semolina then place on the board. Repeat with the rest of the dough, then leave to rise again for around 30 minutes (cover the board with a large plastic bag to prevent the dough from drying out).
Enjoy fresh or toasted, split and spread with butter.