Monday, November 22, 2010

Carbohydrate Heaven

This weekend our gas reserves were really low so I decided to try out English Muffins so I wouldn't have to use the oven.

I got this recipe from a missionary friend years ago. She actually gave it to us as part of a bribe. She wanted Tom's Chili recipe and so she sent over a chocolate cake and a recipe for English Muffins. It worked! Tom finally gave up his secret recipe with the condition that she also keep it a secret.
For over four years this piece of paper has sat in my recipes folder. It has been there so long that the corner is missing from it with part of the instructions. Ooops.

I was really pleased with how they turned out. The process was a bit long. The dough had to rise for one and a half hours and then rest 15 minutes and then rise again for 45 minutes. In order to serve these for brunch I really had to hustle in the morning.

It was completely worth it though. I've been dreaming of English Muffins for years and I finally made them. I think they can be made in the oven or on a skillet or griddle. I'm still dreaming of owning a cast iron griddle because it will make my life so much easier.

My families feedback was mixed. Tom absolutely loved them! He raved about how it was just like store bought and brought back good memories. My kids were disappointed because in their words: "When we wake up on Sunday morning we want to know that our mom has made us something sweet for breakfast." I asked them if it would have been better if I had prepared eggs and bacon also and they said yes. I'm thinking I may be spoiling them.....what do you think?

Anyway, here is the recipe:
English Muffins

Makes 18 muffins
Heat in a saucepan until very warm:
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup margerine
In large mixer bowl, combine:
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt 
1 pkg. dry yeast (@ 1 Tbsp.)
1 1/2 cups flour
Optional: 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup of raisins

With mixer at low speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients. Increase speed and beat 2 minutes.
Beat in:
1 egg
1 cup flour
With spoon, add:
2 cups flour, or enough to make a stiff dough
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead just until well mixed, about 2 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball and place in a greased large bowl, turning once.
Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled--about 1 1/2 hours. 
Punch down.
Turn onto lightly floured surface; cover with bowl and let dough rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place cornmeal in a pie plate.
Roll dough about 3/8" thick. Cut dough into 3" circles; reroll scraps to make 18 circles in all.
Dip both sides of circle in cornmeal.
Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled--about 45 minutes.
Brush large skillet with salad oil and heat. When medium hot, put in 6 muffins. Cook for about 10 minutes on each side or until dark brown. Adjust the heat so they can cook long enough without burning.

I love the look of bread dough--so squishy!
I also finished the Sourdough bread yesterday. By the late afternoon we figured out we had enough gas to run the oven for an hour to bake bread. I was a little disappointed because I was hoping for sour sourdough bread but this bread still came out really nice. It was very light.

This was the smallest of three loaves. The others were a traditional shape.
I haven't decided it I want to do this again because it seems like a lot of time invested in 3 loaves of bread but I may have messed up the instructions also so if I make it again, I'll let you know.


  1. I do agree that it seems like a waste of time, but freshly baked bread is sooo scrumptious!!

    I finally got one of those bread makers, you know the one that you just throw all the ingredients in at once and then in a few hours, it's all mixed, risen and baked... now, THAT'S heaven!! You can even set the timer to have it done at a certain time. Like if you put everything in it the night before, you can time it to be ready in the morning.

    Sorry to be tempting you.... I wonder if you can get something like that to take back with you when you come.

  2. I am intrigued! I'm not an English Muffin person but I might be if I didn't have to buy them!

  3. Wow those look amazing!


  4. Yummy! That looks sooo good! Did I ever tell you I served a mission in the cape verde islands off the west coast of africa for 6 months? Your stories remind me so much of my time there.

    Here is my real question to you-how can i help you and your orphanage this holiday season? Do you need any baby clothes or blankets? Would you like me to send you some food you miss but haven't had in years? (for me it was always bbq sauce :) anyway, i want to promote your blog on mine in the next week or so, and get my readers to help you out.

    You are such an inspiration, thank you so much for sharing your story with us! You can email me at

  5. That looks delicious. I do understand the kids' disappointment because if you are expecting something sweet, you won't get it with English Muffins.

  6. I think the bread looks amazing! You did a great job. I will try and clean up the instructions on my blog to make it more clear perhaps! have a great thanksgiving!

  7. Those are beautiful!!! Good job!!! I think I'll try those soon. Spoiled? Nah!

    We are often without gas and the electricity is sometimes "unreliable", so we have a wood-burning kitchen outside. Pretty much everyone in our village cooks with wood the majority of the time. Know what the ladies here use as a griddle? A square cut out of the side of an old washing machine. Necessity is the mother of invention, right?! ;^)


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You can also email me at amymorrowinafricaATgmailDOTcom

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