English because they are savoury muffins, rather than the sweet American variety. Well worth the little effort taken to rise 2 hours before you plan to eat – here’s how it could go for you…..
7am – Up to make the simple batter (15-20 minutes, including kneading) then back to bed for 1 hour whilst it proves.
- I decided to slice baby vine-ripened tomatoes in halves before laying them in a foil tray (cut side up) with a scatter of chopped garlic, thyme, seasoning and olive oil. Leave these in the oven at 130°C and they will be the perfect accompaniment to the crumpets by the time you eat them.
8am – Up again to roll and cut the muffins which prove for another 30 minutes. Shower, grab a take away coffee and hurry back to enjoy the fruits of your painless labour.
8.40 – Muffins on the stove slowly cooking, bacon frying and tomatoes cooked to perfection.
It really is very simple, the only drawback is the proving time but all this does really is make them even better through anticipation. I got up early, made the batter and let mine prove for 2 hours in the end, as we went to the local market and the tomatoes were also in the oven for a good few hours on low. The breakfast was up there with some of the best of them, great kick off to Saturday fun.
Alternatively, use these as the footwear for a fabulous eggs Benedict.
Ingredients Makes 8 muffins
- 300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 6g fast acting yeast
- 6g salt
- 15g caster sugar
- 15g softened butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 170ml milk
- Oil for greasing proving bowl
- 15g semolina or polenta
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast on one side and salt on the other side of the flour. Add the sugar, butter, egg and milk and mix together to form a soft dough. I used a fork then my hands to combine it all. If the dough is slightly sticky, add a little more flour, but this will happen naturally when you knead on the floured surface – so be careful.
Lightly flour a surface and turn out the dough, kneading for 10 minutes until smooth and stretchy.
Lightly grease (I used canola spray) a large bowl and add the dough, covering with cling film. Leave in a warmish place to prove for an hour (or a bit longer if you need) until doubled in size.
Dust the work surface with your semolina/polenta very lightly – adding a little flour too.
Tip dough onto the work surface and roll it out until it’s about 2cm thick. Cut muffins out using a 9cm diameter cutter. I used the scraps to squidge together again and managed to form another muffin so nothing was wasted.
Dust baking trays with your semolina or polenta lightly and lay your muffins on top, evenly spaced apart (as they expand a bit). Lightly dust the tops with the remaining semolina/polenta and leave to prove for 30 minutes.
Preheat a hot plate or heavy based frying pan to a very low heat, I used the lowest heat I could get. Griddle muffins for about 6 minutes on each side, until they brown lightly and cook all the way through. I found that the lower the temperature, the better the outcome.
Eat whilst still warm and lightly toast the rest later (if you have any left!)