Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Superbowl Sunday stovetop English muffins

Happy Wednesday, otherwise known as food section day, usually known as the happiest day of my week. But not today. I'm feeling under the godforsaken weather. I don't want to buy groceries. I don't want to cook. I want to eat udon noodle soup (done!), read the food section (done!), and dream of crumpets steaming and cream clotting. (Love how that word is simultaneously disgusting and delish. Say it with me: clotted cream.)

This Wednesday tidbit has given me the will to live (til Sunday, at least). And although I'm indifferent to football games, the tea party and a chick flick approach to the Superbowl is a bit twee for me. If cream and crumpets are too cloying for your palate, or if you're a cretin with plans this Sunday afternoon, why not whip up a healthy breakfast or afternoon distraction of English muffins, courtesy of Red Ramekin (a very fine blog). As Mia notes, these are unlike anything you could buy in a store. I'd love to recommend some adventurous condiments but, alas, every time I make these I gobble them up plain.

The English muffins have just seven simple ingredients, six of which you should already have (water, flour, salt, sugar, milk, oil) and the last of which is sold in single servings at any grocery store (instant yeast). They come together on your stovetop with little effort and in almost no time (except for the 45-minute rest as the yeast does its thing). And they satisfy my sick day stipulations: steaming, savory, and sexism-free.

(Excessive alliteration may be a symptom of whatever I've got. Oh, who am I kidding.)

Super Simple Steaming Superbowl Sunday Stovetop English Muffins
Ingredients:
2 c. flour (white, half whole-wheat, or 100% whole wheat)
3/4 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast (one packet)
1 tbs. sugar
1/3 c. water
1 c. skim milk
Cooking spray or canola oil to coat pan

Directions:
  • Whisk (or stir) together flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Heat the water and milk together in the microwave until warm, about 45 seconds.
  • Mix the liquids into the flour, stirring to combine thoroughly. Beat until well-mixed, about 30 seconds or so. Dough will be wet.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and set aside to rest for about 45 minutes until puffy and bubbly.
  • Heat a griddle or skillet (or a frying pan, if you've got neither) over medium heat until water sprinkled on its surface sizzles and evaporates immediately.
  • Lightly grease with cooking spray or oil, and then drop big spoonfuls of the dough onto the skillet using either a greased spoon or a greased 1/3 or 1/4 c. measuring cup.
  • Cook until golden brown (this will take at least a few minutes) and then flip and cook until sides of muffin are dry.
  • If you have any leftovers (unlikely) these keep well in a Ziploc bag for up to two days.

Notes for the naked:
  • Be patient about cooking these fully through. Do not jack up the stove heat in the hopes that your muffins will cook faster. They will burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside, and not in a tasty way.
  • You can buy instant yeast in 2 1/4 tsp packets in the baking aisle of your grocery store. There is a difference between instant yeast and active dry yeast. You can substitute the latter for the former, but follow the directions. (Love the description at that last link. Don't be the moron who, after hundreds of years of human baking progress that culminated in the utterly easy yeast packet, ignores the damned instructions.)

2 comments:

  1. so is air supposed to be able to escape while the yeast is doing its thing then or not? Seems to me a towel would allow significantly more airflow than plastic wrap, no? (forgive the naked)

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  2. I'm guessing that the plastic wrap somehow helps with the chemical process of the yeast (linked to in the post under "does its thing"). Seems like you can make it without just the towel, or with lots of other covers: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18128/make-bread-without-plastic-wrap-or-wax-paper

    I reached that post by Googling "yeast no plastic wrap bowl what happens."

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