Welcome to another recipe from the files of someone else ... courtesy of the Secret Recipe Club, where members are assigned to make a recipe from the blog of another SRC member. My assigned blogger this month is Becca, who hosts Lovely in Pink. Becca shared that she lost 50 pounds last year (!) with help from Weight Watchers. Isn't that fantastic?
This month kind of got away from me. I thought I was being my usual *cough* organized *cough* self by sifting through Becca's recipes just as soon as I received my assignment, selecting a couple that looked intriguing and possibly Memorial Day barbecue-friendly. Then only a couple week's ago middleChild confirmed a short leave from the Israeli army to fly out to attend his cousin's wedding a week ago. Combine all that with my daughter and her hubby arriving from California and youngerSon moving back home from college all within a few days, my brains were firmly distracted. I managed to forget about the SRC. Luckily, I had coincidentally tossed a whole frozen chicken in the fridge's meat compartment on Friday. Unluckily, yesterday morning it was still quite frozen. Which is not a good thing. Especially when I finally narrowed the recipes down to one of Becca's specialties, a crock-pot whole chicken because after a week of 80 degree weather with so much humidity you could plotz, the temperature plummeted to the point where barbecuing didn't seem like much fun.
But luckily, for a change I had everything I needed to make Becca's Homemade English muffins! English muffins, despite the name, are American by birth. Flattened rounds of yeast bread dough are cooked on a griddle to get that familiar brown center, then split lengthwise and toasted before serving.
I usually top them with butter or cream cheese for breakfast or with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for lunch, so I could have left in the bovine milk, but I made the executive decision to sub with an equal amount of rice milk just in case I wanted to serve them a day or two later alongside or under a meat meal. TIP ALERT! When opening a new carton of rice milk (or some other perishable whatever), write the date on the carton before putting it in the fridge. That way you will know how old it is weeks later after it got shoved into the back of the fridge, totally forgotten.
|I like my nooks & crannies slightly toasted.|
Speaking of amount, I halved most of the quantities in original recipe for two reasons. One, with only 1 kid home at the moment, I didn't need 18 muffins and there was no room in the freezer to stash them. And two, if they turned out delicious, I'd eat all 18 myself (there are storage instructions at the bottom of the recipe, but who are we kidding?).
As it turned out, these English muffins are delicious! If you eat one with your eyes closed, you might think they are The Real Thing, except fresher! Lucky for me youngerSon happened by to "sample" a few, or I would have eaten more than three (two of them might have been hot off the skillet).
Homemade English Muffins
Adapted from Lovely in Pink
Yield: about 9 muffins, approx. 2 1/2 inches in diameter
1/2 cup rice milk
1Tbl. granulated sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 Tbl.unsalted non-dairy margarine, melted
1/2 tsp. table salt
3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
Cornmeal, for dusting
Olive oil, for greasing
Warm rice milk in a small saucepan until it barely simmers (little bubbles appear around the edges), then immediately remove from heat. Mix in the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Let cool until lukewarm.
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let stand until bubbly and creamy, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the rice milk mixture, yeast mixture, margarine, salt and 1 cup flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Beat in remaining flour a half-cup at a time to make a soft dough. Dust your hands with a little flour and lightly knead a few times, then form dough somewhat into a ball.
|Oops! Shoulda photographed dough on a lighter surface.|
Pour a little olive oil on top of the dough, then turn several times to coat completely.
Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until dough is very puffy (no need to double).
Punch dough down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick between 2 sheets of greased wax paper. Carefully peel off the top sheet. Cut rounds with biscuit cutter, drinking glass (I used an on-the-rocks glass) or cleaned empty tuna can. Reroll the scraps to make as many rounds as you can.
|Before the 1/2 hour rise.|
Set rounds on a clean sheet of greased waxed paper sprinkled with cornmeal. Dust tops with additional cornmeal. Let rise 1/2 hour.
|Rounds got a little stretched during peeling step.|
Didn't affect flavor.
Grease a large skillet or griddle with a teaspoon of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Carefully peel dough rounds from wax paper and place on skillet (or griddle), allowing a little space between rounds for slight expansion.
|Looking a little familiar?|
Cook about 8-10 minutes or until muffin is browned. Flip and repeat. Transfer to a plate or cooling rack. Continue cooking remaining dough rounds. If not using right away, allow muffins to cool completely before placing in plastic bags or other tightly covered container.
To finish cooking: poke around the edges with a fork, then use your hands to twist and separate the halves. This creates the famous "nooks and crannies" which better capture whatever you spread on said halves.
|Apricot preserves. Yum!|
Toast the halves to your preference before serving with whatever you spread on the halves.
Disclaimer - because this recipe is part of an online cooking group, the linked recipes below might not be kosher.