Whole Wheat English Muffins

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Is there anything better than a warm english muffin, smothered with butter and jam, and paired with a hot cup of coffee for breakfast?  Well how about whole wheat, homemade and fresh from the oven English muffins topped with raw Michigan honey and local peach preserves?  Yeah, that’s what I had for breakfast in Michigan and it was amazingly delicious.  Aren’t grandparents the best?

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Now I’m not gonna lie to you, this recipe (also from Grandma!) is a bit (ok a lot) more complicated than most of the other recipes I’ve posted – with the exception of the French macaron recipe, that also involved a lot of steps.  This recipe doesn’t necessarily require a lot of finesse, it’s tricky mostly because of the time it takes to make and wait for your dough to be ready.  You probably know that the dough takes some time because the recipe involves yeast.  Now I don’t know about you, but yeast always intimidates me because it involves that whole my-food-is-growing-on-its-own issue.  Maybe it’s just me, but putting your food in a bowl under a towel and then later revealing that your food has doubled in size just freaks me out.  Raw food should not grow.  It’s not natural.

But still, I endure the weirdness of yeast for the sake of these delicious English muffins because they are warm and fluffy and so much better than the store-bought version.  I recommend making them on a Sunday when you have a few free hours and can spend some time meandering in and out of the kitchen, maybe while enjoying a cup of coffee and reading a book while you wait for your dough to grow.  I mean, you’ve got to at least try to make them.  How many types of food do you get to “punch” halfway through the recipe?

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Ingredients:

Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • ~3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup cracked wheat
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • Optional: add some chia seeds! (Grandma is on a chia seed kick + she says they go great in these muffins.  I trust her.)

Directions:

[Now I found the instructions a bit lengthy, so I broke them down into three parts to try to make it more manageable.  As my dad always says, when a project seems overwhelming, break it up into parts, like a sandwich.  So now you have a recipe sandwich.  My dad is full of great lectures like that – a few too many, if I say so myself (hi Dad!) – but I digress.]

Part 1: Making the dough

  • In mixer bowl, combine yeast, only 3/4 cup of the all-purpose flour, cracked wheat and wheat germ
  • In saucepan, heat milk, butter, sugar and salt until just barely warm – stir constantly until butter almost melts
  • Add saucepan ingredients to mixer bowl
  • Beat at low speed of electric mixer for about 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl
  • Beat for 3 minutes at high speed
  • Hand stir in enough all-purpose flour to make moderately stiff dough
  • Place dough on a surface covered in flour and knead until smooth + elastic
  • Cover + let rise roughly 1 hour + 15 minutes until the dough has risen to double its size
  • Punch dough down, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes

Part 2: Cutting dough

  • Place dough on lightly floured surface
  • Cut into roughly 4-inch round circles, re-rolling scraps to make leftover
  • Dip both sides of the muffins in corneal
  • Cover + let rise again for 30 minutes

Part 3: Baking muffins

  • Set pancake griddle at 325 degrees
  • Place muffins on griddle
  • Cook muffins 25-30 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes
  • Allow to cool on wire rack before serving
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