Sunday, June 30, 2013

English Muffins, Reprised: Oat and Barley Varieties

Today it is 103 degrees F. Seriously. Even with fans and a little bit of air conditioning. The last few days have been a hot spell, which has given me more of a chance to experiment with English Muffins.
Barley English Muffin
While English Muffins are traditionally made with recipes that include fat and sweetner, any dough that isn't too wet to hold a clear shape is fine for English Muffins. If you want the English Muffins to have characteristic nooks and crannies, as I've mentioned before, the best way is to make sure that you have a fairly dry dough that yields and open crumb, such as baguette dough.

English Muffins, 2 options
These, as before, are based upon Susan from Wild Yeast Blog's Norwich More Sourdough, but with a modification of the method and the grains. These are wonderful. The barley ones (option 2) especially, although the oat ones are great as well. I think I might try making some with spelt at some point.

Option 1:
Oat English Muffins
  • 480g 100% Hydration whole wheat sourdough starter (red whole wheat)
  • 300g bread flour
  • 475g Red Whole Wheat Flour
  • 180g Oat Flour
  • 650g water
  • 23g Salt

Option 2:
Barley English Muffins
  • 480g 100% Hydration whole wheat sourdough starter (red whole wheat)
  • 300g bread flour
  • 475g White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 180g barley flour
  • 650g water
  • 23g Salt
Day 1:
  • Mix the sourdough starter into 625g of the water and then add the flour.
  • Mix until the dough forms a homogenous ball. You can do this either with a stand mixer or by hand.
  • Cover the dough with plastic ad let it autolyse for half an hour
  • Then add in the salt and the last 25g+ of water
  • Knead until medium development (passes the windowpane test). Should take about 10 minutes by hand or about 3-4 minutes by machine.
  • I found this wasn't sufficient, so I turned it a couple of times by hand and then put it in the refrigerator overnight to let the gluten develop the rest of the way on its own. 
  • It sat in the refrigerator for 12 hours. I turned it 2-3 times in the refrigerator before I went to bed with an 45-60minutes in between each term.
Day 2:
  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Spread it out a little, then cover it and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Then roll the dough out to about 1" thick.
  • Sprinkle the dough with flour and spread the four over it gently with your hands
  • Transfer the dough onto a floured cookie sheet, lightly flour the surface of the dough, and cover it with plastic
  • Let it sit for about 2.5 hours at room temperature (around 76 degrees).
  • Heat up a griddle or a cast iron frying pan, lightly oiled with spray oil to about medium-low heat
  • Cut muffins of the desired size. Squares, rectangles, or circles all work. If you don't mind ugly muffins, you can take the excess and push it lightly together. If you let it sit for about 5 minutes, this will make a delicious and perfectly adequate (although not aesthetically pleasing) muffin. Make sure that you dust a little flour on both sides of each muffin. Semolina is traditional, but you can use any flour.
  • When the griddle is hot, place the muffins on it and cover with a metal lid. You do not need to oil the griddle, but you may if you wish.
  • In about 3-9 minutes the muffins should be ready to flip over. They will puff up nicely and they will have a surface on top that is not crusty, but has a skin from the heat. Unfortunately, you have to judge this by your
  • Let them brown on the other side before cooling and eating. You can eat them hot, but they will have more flavor if you let them cool. You may also toast them.
These are delicious and won't heat up your kitchen. Keep in mind, this makes a LOT of English muffins. So, once they are fully cooled, place them in ziplock baggies and freeze them (except for the ones you will eat over the next 2-3 days).

I sent this into Yeast Spotting.

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