This months Fresh from the oven challenge was hosted by Claire from Purely Food. She chosen a recipe for English Muffins from the River Cottage Handbook - Bread by Daniel Stevens (published by Bloomsbury).
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 5g powdered dried yeast
- 10g fine salt
- 325ml warm water
- a drizzle of sunflower oil (plus extra for coating)
- a handful of semolina flour (for coating)
To knead by hand: mix the flour, yeast, salt and water in a bowl to form a sticky dough. Add the oil, mix it in, then turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead until smooth and silky.
Alternatively, as this dough is soft, you may prefer to use a mixer. Fit the dough hook and add the flour, yeast, salt and water to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.
Shape the dough into a round, coat with a little extra oil and place in a clean bowl. Leave to rise, covered with a plastic bag until doubled in size ( I actually left it in the refrigerator overnight then brought it back to room temperature next morning to enhance the flavour).
Tip the dough out on to the work surface and press all over to deflate. Divide into 9 pieces, shape each into a round and flatten to about 1-2cm. Dust them all over with semolina flour; this gives a lovely texture to the crust. Leave to prove on a linen cloth or wooden board, covered with a plastic bag, until doubled in size.
Heat a couple of large heavy-based frying pans over a medium heat. Lay the muffins in the pans and cook for a minute or so, then turn them over gently. Cook slowly for a further 10 minutes, turning every now and then. You may need to adjust the heat if they are colouring too fast, or not fast enough. Alternatively, if you are using an Aga, cook the muffins directly on the warm plate for up to 15 minutes, give them a quick blast on the hot side at the end, if you think they need it.
Leave to cool on a wire rack. These English muffins were lovely when fresh but the next day they were not as good.
Fresh from the oven - Baking one loaf at a time.
Fresh from the oven is a monthly bread baking group started by Brooke from the edandbrooke blogspot (Brooke's first baby is due next month - good luck Brooke) that is now being organised by Claire from Purely Food and Jules from Domestic Goddess in Training. Challenges are announced on our private blog on the first of each month and then on the 28th of the month each member posts their bread on their blog. Why not follow us on twitter (http://twitter.com/freshfromoven). Feel free to start following us. View our public blog at http://freshoven.blogspot.com/which showcases all our efforts or email us to join at freshfromtheoven AT hotmail DOT co DOT uk.