There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

But first, a word from my sponsor . . .
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This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Muffin Mania

In 1982 we attended a performance of Nicholas Nickelby presented by the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival.  The performance was 8 1/2 hours long, but we got a break for dinner.  It was the most spectacular theater experience I have ever had.  In the play, the United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company attempts to put the muffin boys out of business.  The muffin boys stage a protest, and throw muffins into the audience.    I did not get a muffin that night, but I have since learned to bake them for myself.  

Ever since reading Zoe's post about English Muffins I have made them with all sorts of dough.  English Muffins freeze beautifully, and are a great way to use up dough.  Because I like the look of both top and bottom of the muffin being flat I cook them on my griddle, but I have also baked them as Zoe recommends.  You can flip them in the oven after a few minutes if you want, to get a more English Muffin look, but it is not necessary.  I do not use muffin rings, I just roll out the dough and cut it with a biscuit cutter.  I think the key to the English Muffin effect is plenty of corn meal.

To make getting them onto the griddle easier I put plenty of cornmeal on parchment paper, roll out the dough, cut it with a 3 inch biscuit cutter, put it on the paper and sprinkle the tops well with corn meal.  

Then, I cut the parchment paper around each muffin-not too hard, especially with one of these cutters.  Then after the muffins have risen 20-30 minutes I transfer them, parchment paper and all, to a 375 degree griddle.  I cook each side 7-8 minutes. 


After a few minutes on the first side, I slide the muffins off the parchment paper to let them brown better.  Then after 7-8 minutes I flip them and cook the other side. 

And there we are.  Making English Muffins is a great way to use up dough when I have too much and it is getting down to the wire.  I split them and freeze them to toast for breakfast.  


  1. This is a great tutorial on how to make English Muffins. I'm going to post it to our Bread Braid so that no one misses it.

  2. What a great tutorial. I hadn't thought aboaut making English muffins. Next batch that I have extra dough I am going to try it.

  3. I have started making english muffins all the time too out of the left over dough and it is fantastic. And the griddle is so easy. Great job!

  4. Looks great....thanks for the info.

  5. What a great idea and great tutorial. I'll have to try some English muffins again. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks, this sounds easy, I will have to give it a try.

  7. I'm going to make them tomorrow! Can't wait. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  8. Great info, and great muffins.

  9. Thats a great idea and sometimes there is just a little bit of dough needing to be used, I will give this a try.

  10. Thanks for the tutorial. My hubby is a big fan of English Muffins- I know he would love these!

  11. Thanks for these instructions. I have never made English Muffins, and do not buy Thomas'(because of what's in them.) Between your directions and Zoe's, I should be well supported to give this a try.

  12. I am bookmarking this explanation! I just bought biscuit cutters, will try this.