Monday, June 8, 2015

whole wheat english muffins.

It seems everywhere I look as of late, the humble breakfast sandwich is being discussed.   The NYTimes did a lengthy article a few weeks back about the bodgea egg and cheese and then in the May issue of Bon Appetit I stumbled across a recipe for the best breakfast sandwich.  All of this sandwich talk had me thinking about what makes one perfect.  

Most would consider egg and cheese on a roll with salt, pepper, ketchup to be the quintessential (and perfect) breakfast sandwich and while I will agree that is arguably one of the best things you can eat after a night of debauchery, it isn't always the best.  Satisfying, yes, but the best? I'm not sure.  My perfect breakfast sandwiches involves 2 eggs over easy with a very runny yolk, American cheese (because nothing melts like it), sliced avocado, and some kind of ketchup/hot sauce hybrid.  Meat is not necessary but some crumbled chorizo wouldn't be a bad thing. The vehicle for transporting such a sandwich to my mouth would be a perfectly oversized english muffin. One that is well toasted with a plethora of nooks and crannies. The english muffin is what takes the breakfast sandwich from good to great.  Sure a roll is wonderful but a roll does not have nooks.  

A homemade english muffin is a thing of beauty.  It's also far easier to make then I ever imagined possible which means there will be a lot of perfect breakfast sandwiches in my future.             

Whole Wheat English Muffins
Recipe from the NYTimes

These are utter perfection.  They make for a killer breakfast sandwich but are equally delightful as a burger bun.  Or simply toasted with lots of butter and jam.     

Makes 6 

2 teaspoons/7 grams active dry yeast (1 packet)
4 tablespoons/60 grams unsalted butter
½ cup/120 milliliters plain yogurt
½ cup/120 milliliters warm whole milk
½ tablespoon/7 milliliters honey
1 teaspoon/5 grams fine sea salt
1 cup/125 grams whole-wheat flour
1 cup/125 grams all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon/4 grams baking soda
Cornmeal, preferably coarse, as needed

In a small bowl combine yeast and 1/3 cup warm water (80 milliliters) and let rest until yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter and put it in a large bowl. Whisk in yogurt, milk, honey, salt and the yeast mixture.

Add flours and baking soda to bowl and beat thoroughly with a spoon or rubber spatula until well combined. Cover bowl and let rest in a warm spot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough has doubled.
Heat oven 350 degrees. Lightly dust a small baking sheet with cornmeal.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter. Using a large ice cream scoop or 1/2 cup measuring cup, drop batter into skillet to form round muffins about 4 inches in diameter, mounding the batter in the center. (You may need to coax the dough a little with your fingers, so be careful of the hot pan, and don’t worry if they’re not perfectly circular.) Repeat until you have 3 muffins, leaving the rest of the batter for a second batch. Reduce heat to low. Cover skillet with lid or baking sheet and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. (Be careful not to let them burn.)

Uncover skillet and flip muffins using a spatula. Cover again and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until the other sides are golden brown. Place muffins on prepared baking sheet. Repeat using remaining batter and another tablespoon of butter.

Bake muffins for 6 to 9 minutes, or until puffed and cooked through. Split the muffins with a fork and toast before eating.

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