A Sticky Situation
This past week has been an extremely productive one for me on the home front because everyone in the house has been sick at one point or another. It wasn’t a really serious illness–just the run of the mill head cold complete with sore throats, low fevers, and a little cough. The strange thing about it was that each one of us only had one day when all of these symptoms overlapped and none of us had that day on the same day. The eldest had his day on Wednesday. The husband had his in Friday, I think. The youngest had his on Saturday and I had mine on Sunday.
All this meant that I spent a lot of time at home. In fact, there was a 72 hour stretch when I did not even step outside at all. Instead, I’ve been making a lot of tea, cooking up a storm (the freezer is getting full again), and, of course, trying some new things with my sourdough starter, which I have been affectionately calling “the monster.”
Sunday morning (my sicky day) found me, not at church, but in my kitchen making these.
Sourdough English muffins made from a recipe I found on the Wild Yeast Blog. I doubled the recipe (as usual) and got 17 muffins out of it. Though, I have to say, I fought for each of those muffins. What do I mean by that, you say?
Well, I’ll tell you. One thing about english muffin dough is that it is really soft. You want that because it gives you those nice nooks and crannies everyone loves and expects in an english muffin. But, the looseness of the dough makes it very hard to move around. I had lined my baking sheets with parchment and dusted them with a mixture of grits/cornmeal and wheat germ. I greased my muffin rings and portioned out the dough. See?
However, when it came time to transfer those babies to the griddle to cook, they stuck to the paper like crazy. I basically had to scoop that dough off the parchment with my bare hands, bursting all the little air bubbles that had formed during its rise. I almost wept and just threw it all away, but when I saw that the first muffin rose respectably in its little ring, I was encouraged to persevere.
They are a little wrinkly and uneven, but they did have great flavor. I loved the subtle crunch of the grits and when they were toasted, they were even more delicious. It was hard with the sticking to get a consistent amount of dough per muffin, so some of them came out fairly thin and others were almost an inch thick. The thicker ones were denser and more doughy in the middle. They also had fewer holes, took longer to cook, and it was more difficult to tell when they were done. Next time, I will probably try to use a smaller amount of dough per muffin.
We had them for our weekly Sunday brunch lunch and they were equally good with butter and honey (the way I like them) or in an egg and bacon sandwich (the way the oldest likes them).
I definitely want to make these again, but I have to find a solution to that stickiness problem. I’d love to be able to keep the dough intact when I put them on the griddle. Anyone have any ideas?