English muffins: why?

So I made English muffins from scratch.  Pretty easy, really:  a stirred-together, overnight fermented yeast batter, with a little baking powder and water folded in just before cooking to provide extra lift.  The thick, puffy batter bakes atop the stove, inside cornmeal-dusted ring molds in an oiled cast-iron skillet.

And I realized…I don’t even like English muffins.  Sure, the interior is all bumpy and holey, great for catching butter and jam.  But the texture is all wrong, rubbery-flabby-squishy in all the worst ways.  Like the thighs of a middle-aged couch potato, or the wobbly-tough texture of an industrial, pipe-sealing gasket.  Even toasted, the muffins’ texture is insipid.

Of course, my better half thinks the rotten things are delicious, smeared with peanut butter or tarted up with eggs, cheese, and bacon.  Now we have a freezer full of homemade split English muffins, ready for the toasting.

I’d still rather have a day-old croissant.  Go over to Yeastspotting and gaze at breads way better tasting than English muffins….

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9 thoughts on “English muffins: why?

  1. I like English muffins too. Not rubbery ones. Those are gross (and many of them are). I like it when you get them toasted juuust right so that the nooks are crannies are begging to be filled but the rough edges are all crispy and golden. It’s all in the toasting.

  2. Wow! I love English muffins. although I haven’t had one in years. I think the cragginess of them, the ability to hold pools of golden butter or sweet honey, is the appeal. I need to make these.

  3. Pingback: YeastSpotting October 8, 2010 | Wild Yeast

  4. How about bagels? Ever have any luck with that? I searched the blog and came up with nothing. I tried and miserable fail, any tips?

    • I haven’t made bagels lately, but do have a few good tips….high-gluten flour is a must. So at least bread flour, but preferably special high-gluten flour (you can order it from King Arthur Flour online). And malted barley syrup is important for flavor, too. So without the right ingredients, it’s hard to get the perfect, chewy bagel texture. Peter Reinhart’s recipe in “Artisan Breads Every Day” is a good one, and here’s a post from Smitten Kitchen on that very recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/09/bronx-worthy-bagels/
      To be honest, I don’t pine for bagels…the frozen H&H “imported from New York” are good enough for me.

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