I woke up this morning with a lot of anticipation about baking, and a little bit of anxiety about the whole process. I had a bit of cleaning to do before I had room in the kitchen to bake – last night was steak night, and my job is cleanup but I always leave it til morning. So, decided to clean the kitchen and go to yoga class, THEN start the baking. The dough had risen nicely this morning, so I stirred it down, sprinkled on a little baking soda and salt, and began to knead:
I quickly wished I hadn’t done yoga first, as my arms got a double workout, and my abs, too!
After kneading, I rolled out the dough and cut the muffin shapes. Travis of the Jungle had taught me that the ring from a mason jar lid makes a good-sized cutter, so that’s what I used. The muffins were placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and sprinkled with cornmeal. (I bet you always wondered why the cornmeal was on the bottom of english muffins – it’s for sticking avoidance)
So lovely and uniform in shape!
Next they have to rise again – about an hour or two. Not sure how they should look afterwards, but a bit poofy-er.
I stuck them in the oven for this part, sprinkled some more cornmeal on top, too.
Next it was time to cook the english muffins, and this is my favorite thing – you cook them in a cast iron skillet on the stove! (or you can use a griddle) – seriously, it makes it a lot more fun. Start with a teeny sizzle of butter in the pan, low heat
They cook about 4-5 minutes per side, they’ll rise a bit and get nice toasty brown on the bottom.
Then off to a rack to cool!
Aren’t they pretty, hope they taste as good as they look.
Well, I couldn’t wait to find out, so I cut one open while it was still steamy, and slid some more butter onto it – DELICIOUS!
Hermanita is a winner!
I had so much starter left over that I decided to make a simple loaf of sourdough bread, too. This was incredible easy using the starter, just add flour and salt and mix and knead:
After rising twice, I heated up the baking stone, slit the top, and misted with water. (That is what gives bread a crunchy crust – again thank you to Travis of the Jungle for that tip) – it’s in the oven cooking now, and I can’t wait to try it!
Sorry that the stone is so dirty, we leave it in the oven all the time and it gets some drips.
Finally – to end my week of sourdough adventures, I re-fed Hermanita because I have a friend who wants to try it out, so I will pass him along to her. What fun!!!