Lately, there was the haze problem in the place I stayed. Well, naturally all activities will have to be confined indoors and less strenuous.
The temperature was extremely high in the day (average of 33 degrees C), which meant favourable conditions for baking bread. And I am a great fan of English Muffins , so the decision was simple – English Muffins
The English Muffins (modified from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures)
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast 3/4 cup (180ml)warm milk
250- 280g bread flour 1 1/2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature (soft but not melted)
cornmeal, for sprinkling
1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Leave for 15 minutes.
2. Put the flour, salt, sugar, butter in a large bowl. Pour the foamed yeast into the dry mixture. Bring the ingredients together to form a sticky mass.
3. Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing on medium speed with the dough hook). Knead the dough for about 10 minutes (or mix for about 8 minutes), sprinkling in more flour if needed to make a tacky, but not sticky dough.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
4. First proofing – Leave to rise for 60 – 90 minutes, or until 2.5 times in size.
5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, punch dough the dough, knead for about 2 minutes, and roll to 1/2-inch thickness.
6. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out rounds. Roll and cut scraps once. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, and dust with cornmeal.
7. Second Proofing – Place rounds on sheet, cover with damp tea towel and let rise in a warm spot until puffy, about 20 minutes.
8. Heat a large griddle or 12-inch skillet over low heat. I used a non-stick frying pan instead.
9. Cook until golden brown and dry, about 7 minutes per side. Both sides will be flat. And bake in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes at 130 degrees C. This is to allow more evaporation of the gases released by the yeast to rise further. So that you will have muffins that are more puffy.
10. Let cool for 30 minutes; split with a fork. Toast, and serve with butter and preserves if desired.