Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tea Time!

I love English Muffins (similar to crumpets but made with yeast instead of baking soda, and booked on both sides, unlike crumpets).  But making them from scratch is a bit more work than I wanted to do this weekend.  So I made a loaf of English Muffin bread. It's low in sugar and fat and makes incredible toast that has a texture and crumb just like English muffins!

For I do like my afternoon tea.  My Dad  who adopted me is English, though second generation U.S. born, and my biological mother was a Woodworth (descendant of Walter Woodworth, one of the original colonists in America) so there's more than a small amount of English blood in these veins.
The tea is a little tradition that means a lot to me.

I made this with my Azure Standard wild yeast sourdough starter but if you just wish to make it without, use the ingredients amounts in the (parenthesis). Adapted from a recipe on the King Arthur flour website, I simply modified it to compensate for the flour and liquid that occurs naturally in the starter.
It's pillowy enough to satisfy that morning carb craving, but sturdy enough to toast just enough to stand up to that thick slather of jam.  Plus it has all those little nooks and crannies of English muffins that trap your butter (if so inclined) in creamy pools or just soak up the sweetness of spread fruit. Plus it  just slices and toasts, perfect on those extra mornings when an attempt to separate a store bought English muffin before caffeine might might result in bloodshed..

You will need 2 bowls and a hand or stand mixer. There's no kneading involved and just a short rise time.

No Knead Sourdough English Muffin Bread

2 and 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (3 cups if no sourdough starter)
1 cup sourdough starter (optional)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup milk (1 cup if no sourdough starter)
1/4 cup water (add up to 3 Tablespoons more if needed while mixing if it is dry)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan


Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. (about a minute and forth seconds in my little microwave)  Stir and take the temperature with a meat thermometer or check with your finger - it should be hotter than lukewarm but not so hot you couldn't take a bath at water that temperature).

Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and beat with the mixer on HIGH for 1 minute, scraping down the sides with a spatula.  You will see little threads of gluten forming at the end of a minute. That is good!  The dough will be very soft, thicker than cupcake batter and thinner than traditional muffin batter.

I ended up adding 3 tablespoons more of water as my batter was fairly dry - that's dependent on the liquid in your sourdough starter.  You  don't want a runny batter but the mixer should be able to mix it on high without it bogging down.

Lightly grease an 8  and 1/2" x 4 and  1/2" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal, shaking it around to coat bottom and sides.

Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.

Cover the pan, and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it's just barely crowned the rim of the pan (no more than 1/4 inch over).  For my loaf it was about an hour and a half rise time.
Bake in 400 F preheated oven 22 to 28 minutes, till it's golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
Let cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack.then carefully work  knife around the edges to loosen it
Remove from pan, slice and toast while you get the rest of afternoon tea put together.


  1. Beats the snot out of a bowl of cornflakes... :)


    1. Though I do enjoy the full on English Breakfast of corn flakes, coffee and OJ, sausage, baked beans, eggs and lots of toast with butter and marmalade. On times I had to travel to the UK on business on short notice it was the only reason I was even awake.

  2. Ahhh, your yummy recipes! I remember recipes! We are on the way home where we will be back to our own kitchen. :) Yea!


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