Recipe 200 – wow – if I’m honest with you all, I didn’t think I’d get this far with the book, I thought by now I would have given up, but no I’m so nearly there now that I’m determined to finish – even if I know I’ve still got another ginger cake recipe to bake…
I’ve been meaning to bake these ever since the first episode of thenew series of The Great British Bake Off. I was on holiday at the time, so couldn’t bake them whilst I was away and today seemed to be the perfect day to make them – I was home alone with my husband at work, my son at school and my daughter away on holiday with her friends. It seemed strange just being me and the dog – I’ve got used to having my daughter around since the end of May (having sat her A levels, and as a very proud mum I’m pleased to say getting excellent results too, which she so deserved with all the hard work she put in) – even the dog spent most of the day wandering from room to room, I’m sure he was trying to find Emily!
Anyway on with the muffins…
The first thing in the bowl was 675g strong white flour. Into this went 2tsp caster sugar, 7g dried yeast and 1.5 tsp salt – all being kept well apart from each other! Mary says you can do this by hand or in an electric mixer. I’d have to do it by hand as I’m not an owner of a food mixer (although I’d love one, hint, hint) and I’ve been making bread by hand now for about a year – there’s something about mixing bread dough together with your fingers! To the dry ingredients I added 450ml tepid milk (I put it in the microwave briefly to warm it up slightly). Using my fingers I mixed the ingredients together until it formed a dough.
I turned the dough out onto a board and kneaded it for approximately 10 minutes until it was smooth and elastic. At this point I was expecting to put it into a bowl, cover it over and leave it to prove for an hour, but no in this recipe it isn’t left to prove, which I must admit surprised me. Instead it was to be rolled out on a lightly floured board to a thickness of approximately 1cm straight away.
The dough was cut into rounds using a 7.5cm plain cutter. The ’rounds’ were placed onto a floured baking tray and the tops dusted with semolina. I actually put semolina on my baking trays too so that both sides were dusted. These were then to be covered loosely and left in a warm place until they’d doubled in size (approx 1 hour).
Whilst they were proving I took the opportunity to have a look in the new Great British Bake Off book at the English Muffin recipe to see whether they left their dough to prove. They did for an hour and then rolled it out, cut the rounds and left it again, but not until it doubled in size (as apparently it won’t), but until they had ‘puffed up’. I looked at my English Muffins on the baking tray and to be quite honest they hadn’t done very much at all. After 45 minutes only one of them seemed to be ‘puffing up’, the others all looked the same. I know it was chilly outside today, but I didn’t think my house felt cold, but perhaps it was. As a last resort I placed them inside the airing cupboard for 30 minutes. After this time they had puffed up slightly but not very much. I decided to go ahead with the next step of the recipe.
My griddle was lightly oiled and put on the hob to heat up. I cooked the muffins in batches of 4 and once on the griddle, I turned the heat down. I was surprised to see that almost instantly they started puffing up. After 7 minutes they were nicely browned on the bottom so I turned them over and cooked them for approximately another 7 minutes on the other side. By now my son had come home from school and was very interested in what I was baking. Within minutes of them coming off the griddle, he had cut one open, spread it with butter and jam and eaten it. He then came back for another…
I was overall quite pleased with the final outcome. I had hoped to get 6 even sized ones to photograph and I did actually have 8 that looked almost identical (honestly), but my son by now had eaten 3 of them, so one of my six looked rather odd. In all this recipe makes 14 muffins.
After they had all been cooked, I also couldn’t resist them any longer. No butter for me though as I’m not a huge fan of butter, just some homemade blackcurrant and raspberry jam. They were delicious, so light and I was pleased to see completely cooked through. I think I will make these again!