I have a new love.
It’s this fig butter.
I know, I live a big, exciting life. You don’t have to tell me.
I want to put it on everything. The other night’s dinner consisted of a grilled cheese sandwich made with some leftover brie cheese, and you know I put some fig butter on that beauty.
So what did I do recently? I made whole wheat English muffins, so that I can toast them up and eat them with fig butter for breakfast.
I wasn’t kidding when I said I was obsessed.
Now, I had to do some research before I undertook this English muffin-making task. My research ultimately yielded the following information:
There are quite a few different English muffin recipes out there, though primarily they can fall into one of two categories: dough that you roll out, cut into rounds and then cook on the griddle; or a shaggy, wet dough (almost like thick pancake batter) that is spooned onto the griddle.
Now, from what I read, you get the best “nooks and crannies” (the ones so characteristic of and necessary to a true English muffin – according to self-proclaimed English muffin snobs) from the second kind of dough. So, of course, that is what I went with.
Now, I was going for more of a “rustic” look with my English muffins…ok. That’s not quite true. I just don’t currently own any English muffin rings, so I poured the batter directly onto the griddle instead of shaping it in rings. You could do either here. If you are interested in using the rings, Alton Brown has good English muffin recipe (I will likely try this one once I get some rings, just to see how it does) that walks you through how to use them.
The results of this particular English muffin experiment were quite good, though. Nice and golden on the outside, super soft on the inside, with a decent amount of little nooks and crannies (although, admittedly, there could probably be more). Downright awesome when toasted up and served with some fig butter…or any jam that you happen to be obsessed with at the moment.
Whole Wheat English Muffins
Adapted from Michael Ruhlman
Makes 12-14 muffins
2 cups milk
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
2 scant cups all-purpose flour
2 scant cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
In a microwave-proof bowl or measuring cup, microwave the milk on high for about two minutes, or until the milk is warm, but not hot. Warm milk will activate your yeast, hot milk will kill it.
Sprinkle the sugar and the yeast into the milk. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, until the yeast foams. Once the yeast is foamy, whisk in the egg.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flours and the salt. Pour in the milk and yeast mixture, stirring until combined. Dough will be wet and somewhat shaggy. Cover lightly with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size. (Alternately, place in the refrigerator overnight, and remove from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.)
Once dough has risen, heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. If using an electric griddle, shoot for about 300 degrees. If you are using rings, you will need to butter them. Stir the dissolved baking powder into the batter until well combined. Dust the cooking surface with corn meal. Using a measuring cup, spoon 1/4-cup portions of batter onto the griddle (either free-form or in the rings). Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until deeply golden. Flip, and cook for another 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the griddle onto a cooling rack. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before prying in half with a fork. Toast and serve with butter, honey or jam, or use for Eggs Benedict.
Store for up to 3 days at room temperature in a zip-top bag, or freeze for a couple of months.
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