Saturday, March 21, 2009

Best Breakfast Ever!

Well, maybe not ever, but it was freaking delicious. Or frackin' delicious, as someone just said on NPR's Weekend Edition, "We have a frackin' good show today" and do we ever.

Connie inspired me to try this recipe for whole wheat sourdough english muffins. A quick search turned up several other recipes for sourdough based english muffins that varied in the amount of starter, milk, sugar, and flour they used, but I figured I'd give this one a whirl first since Connie had success with it. I mixed up the starter, flour, and milk last night and let it sit on the counter. This morning I added the salt, honey, and baking soda and then supposedly should have been able to knead it a few times and roll it out.

I had some trouble with this. In spite of the recipe author's assurances that the dough would have thickened up by the morning, I still had a super sticky mass that stuck to the counter after I tried to cut out rounds for the muffins. I put the dough in the fridge for half an hour or so and then kept my hands wet while working the dough, which helped quite a bit. After cutting the rounds, dusting them generously with cornmeal, and letting them rise for a bit, I fired up the griddle!

Griddle you say? Well, if I were at home, I probably would have used the cast iron skillet Marge so brilliantly gave me, but I'm out at Jay's house in Shutesbury right now dog sitting for the week. One of the several perks of this house is Jay's superior oven (balanced by his complete lack of large enough bowls for mixing bread). My oven kind of looks like a tinker toy next to his, although I would argue that mine's probably much cleaner. Heh, anyway :D The top of the oven has a flat cast iron griddle surface that's pretty large and really awesome. I heated it up and then tossed the english muffins on! I cooked the first few at too high of a heat. They browned on the outside before they were cooked through. I split them open with a fork and toasted the insides on the griddle before buttering them and EATING THEM! Right. I turned the heat down for the rest of the muffins and had much better "griddle spring" as a result. The second batch puffed up nicely before browning on the outside. Success!

Funny thing is, I actually never really eat english muffins. It's not that I don't like them, but they're not my favorite thing and given the array of breakfast options usually at hand, I'm not inclined to reach for an english muffin. I made these for Meg though, because she loves them and often goes through a pack of english muffins a week! And I must say, they were delicious! And super easy! Unlike many of the times when Lauren will give me that look that says "you're going to make a mess and it's going to be way more effort and time than it's worth" when I say that I could just make some prepared food thing at home rather than buy it at the store, this is a totally easy and feasible alternative to the store bought thing.

Okay, so I have some english muffins, now what? Well, I made a few vegetarian sausage patties, tossed those on the back of the griddle, and then cracked a couple of eggs on the front to fry while the sausage heated through. While those were cooking I turned on the espresso machine (another huge perk of Jay's house) and made a cappuccino (my skills in this sphere could really use some work, but it was tasty). Flip the sausages, pull the eggs off the heat, toss a bit of Vermont cheddar on top and some freshly ground pepper, then add the sausage and some ketchup (I know... I was going to make a hollandaise sauce or something, but I ran out of time and was just hungry) and ta-daaaaa! A delicious breakfast!


This afternoon Meg and I are going to watch the Met's live broadcast of La Sonnambula at the Cinemark in Hadley. I'll probably stuff some english muffins in my pockets :)


Amy said...

I am so jealous! And so proud! It's kind of bittersweet for a mother to realize that one of her children is a better baker than she is...well, at least when it comes to bread. =) So, are you coming to Columbus to make me breakfast for Mother's Day? Ok, I more free AA giftcards have been won. But a mother can dream, can't she?

Rebecca Fabian said...

Can we please please please do this together? Either J.Ranback, or just you and me? This sounds amazing! I'm drooling as I type. You sure know how to make a breakfast!