Staycation, Part 3: Baking
During last week’s heat wave, I wondered what in the world people did/do with no air conditioning. Air conditioning is truly a wonderful thing, and I am ever so thankful to live in a house that has it. The air conditioning enables me to turn on the oven, even when it is over 100 degrees outside and still stay relatively comfy.
One day, I made brioche buns with raisins and candied citron. I love making little buns like this. They are just the right size to have with a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast. They are not too sweet and wonderfully soft and fluffy. They also make a pretty good base for peanut butter and jelly.
I used the recipe for brioche from Nick Malgieri’s book, Bake!: Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking, but you can use any brioche recipe, including the one I posted a little while back.
The next day, I had to feed my sourdough starters, and was looking for something new to try with them. While perusing through my copy of The Bouchon Bakery, I found a recipe for english muffins that used a sourdough starter and a baking method instead of a cooking on a griddle method. That seemed like a good recipe to try.
Unlike some other english muffin recipes, this one makes a super soft, almost batter like dough. It has to be scooped into the rings with an ice cream scoop.
They rise for a bit and then go in the oven.
These are the highest/biggest english muffins I have ever made. They looked fantastic coming out of the oven.
These are easily an inch high and are surprisingly easy to split with a fork.
There are lots of nooks and crannies to soak up butter and jam. Our only complaint with these is that there is not enough salt in the batter. They taste rather bland without anything on top. They have a slightly different texture than english muffins you buy in the store. They are kind of a cross between an english muffin and a crumpet. When toasted, they get wonderfully crispy on the outside, but are still moist on the inside, which is nice because some english muffins out there turn into hard crackers when toasted. These have a nice springy texture. They are great as a breakfast sandwich, albeit a bit high.
From start to finish, I made 22 english muffins in about 3 hours. It could have been shorter if I had another set of rings, which I am definitely going to get for next time. Most of that time is just waiting time, so it doesn’t feel too taxing. I will most certainly be making these again, but with more salt and maybe a helping of whole wheat flour to replace some of the white flour.