Again with the English muffins. I couldnâ€™t help myself. The first batch was just so good I couldnâ€™t help but try them again! I guess once youâ€™ve gone homemade store bought just doesnâ€™t cut it.
This time I opened my new bag of buckwheat flour, a new flour for me. This particular brand is produced in Maine and had some intriguing recipes on the bag (Iâ€™m saving those for later!). Never having worked with buckwheat flour before, I was surprised by the texture. Itâ€™s not…floury. Itâ€™s a yellowish color and has a sandy texture. The dough I mixed up last night was much drier than the whole wheat version and I was worried about it drying out or not rising overnight. It came out fine though. The dough surface was a little dry this morning but it had risen. It revived when I added the rest of the ingredients and popped it in a warm oven to rise again.
Things I did differently from the first time: I cut the muffins larger. They seem to shrink in circumference when they cook so make them on the big side. Last time they were almost too small for an egg! Cutting the muffins bigger meant I made less of them (11 total). I didnâ€™t burn the first batch in the skillet this time! I made a totally new mistake! I didnâ€™t have the cornmeal out when I was cutting out the circles so I figured Iâ€™d just put it in the skillet when I started cooking. Bad idea. First of all, the muffins stuck to the baking sheet I put them on to rise. They needed the cornmeal so they wouldnâ€™t glue themselves down! Second, the cornmeal I put in the hot skillet right before adding my sticky muffins burned after a few minutes. It didnâ€™t really stick to the muffins either. Oh well. I cleaned out the skillet and dusted the sticky side of the remaining muffins before cooking them.
Once again, these came out slightly sour, crunchy on the outside and holey on the inside. The buckwheat worked well except it made the muffins kind of yellow. I was so starving I snatched a muffin from the first batch out of the skillet, buttered it up, and gobbled it while it was nice and hot!
I decided to submit these to YeastSpotting, which I just discovered the other day. What a treasure trove of bread!
Buckwheat English Muffins
From Laurelâ€™s Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Bronwen Godfrey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat greek yogurt)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buckwheat flour
2 or more cups all-purpose flour (I used about 2 1/2 total with flour for kneading)
1/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Mix yogurt and boiling water in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, then 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup buckwheat flour.
Cover the bowl with a towel and it this sit in a warm place until the dough doubles in bulk, or leave it overnight (I left mine on the counter overnight). The dough is spongy and will get more sour the longer it sits.
After the dough has doubled in bulk (40-60 min. or overnight), mix in the remaining flour along with the salt and soda. Knead vigorously, adding more flour as needed until you have pliable but slightly sticky dough. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it, and let it rise for a second time (30 min. or more).
Punch the dough down and turn it onto a floured surface. Roll it out to half-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Cut it into circles with a four-inch cookie cutter of the end of a one-pound coffee can (my dough made 12 muffins).
Dust both side of the muffins with cornmeal and set on cookie sheets to rise until doubled in bulk (45 min. to an hour or more if the dough is cold).
*Cook on a griddle or skillet at medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side.
Split with a fork, the traditional way, and spread on something yummy!
*I used a cast iron skillet and cooked 3 muffins at a time this time. I used low heat after initially heating the skillet. Watch the muffins carefully as they tend to burn. The cornmeal and seasoned skillet made oil unnecessary. The muffins puff up as they cook so theyâ€™re kinda fun to watch.