Wednesday, June 23, 2010

English Muffins - Um, FREEDOM MUFFINS - Bread Baker's Apprentice #12

Can you believe that guy from BRITISH Petroleum went yachting over the weekend?  Meanwhile one of the most respected "brands", "Gulf Raised  Shrimp and Shellfish" is becoming a punchline.  Meanwhile, generations old family run businesses are being ruined.  Meanwhile, the "small people" of the region who plan and save all year (sometimes over many years) for that dream family vacation time on the beaches of the gulf are postponed at best and dashed in a worst case... Meanwhile, that guy from BRITISH Petroleum had a good showing on his yacht.


So, while that guy from BRITISH Petroleum's foolish use of his valuable time is a disgrace; in my own way, I am going to make my pointless little protest.  No more English Muffins... Till the well is capped, till the gulf is cleaned and till I can get gulf seafood that passes health screenings...

I am serving Freedom Muffins

Another week spent in the Caribbean, it must be my day to post my bread baking adventures for the week. I promised myself on New Year's Eve that I would be trying to learn more as a bread baker, and if possible to cook through the"The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread" book. I brought three cookbooks with me to my island adventure. The "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" book was one. 

And I am indeed learning a lot from the book.  A great fun and challenging way to master the art of bread...

Like these!

Just because there is an extra step, frying the dough balls, these did come together very fast.  The formula can be used to make 6 muffins, or 1 loaf.  Never considered an English sorry a Freedom Muffin loaf of bread, but a quick visit around the web, and many people cooking from the book have indeed enjoyed the recipe in loaf form.  

2 1/4 cups unbleached bread Flour
1/2 TBS granulated Sugar
1 1/4 tsp Yeast
3/4 tsp Salt
1TBS room temperature Butter
3/4 cup room temperature Buttermilk
Cornmeal for dusting

Using butter and buttermilk makes the dough extra creamy, and nice little subtle twang to the taste.  But I am digressing...

  1. Mix the dry ingredients, and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Stir in the butter and slowly add the buttermilk, stirring constantly until the doughball forms.
  3. On a floured surface, knead the dough for about 10 minutes.  Lightly oil a large bowl, drop the dough in and roll it around to coat.
  4. Cover the bowl and allow to rise for 90 minutes, or the dough doubles in size.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.  form each into a ball.  Spread a sheet of parchment paper and dust with the cornmeal.  Set the doughballs about three inches apart, and allow a second rise of 90 minutes.
  6. And now, time to fry the dough... Spray a nonstick pan with spray oil.  Gently transfer a ball (will have flattened on the bottom during the second rise), flattened bottom side down to the griddle.  Fry on medium heat for 8 minutes, flip (bread will again flatten on it's own).  Keep an eye on them, be careful not to get them too brown.
  7. BUT, even though both the top and bottoms are beautifully toasty brown, the center is not cooked.  Transfer the dough back to the parchment, and onto a baking sheet.  8 minutes in the oven and they are now done!
  8. Allow 30 minutes to cool and rest before slicing

I like to mix the ingredients in a gallon size freezer bag.  Since I max by hand, it saves on the clean up.

But I do knead on the countertop.

Something beautiful about bread dough rising...

Six little beauties...

in process...


And BTW, don't slice with a knife, freedom muffins should be fork split.

Serve with Butter or Honey

Came out PERFECT!

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The book is LARGE, lots of photos, and information.  Filled with dozens of recipes and easy to follow step by step directions.  And now Amazon is selling this for nearly half price (less than half if you want a used copy.  Follow the link  above and order TODAY!...

Take the challenge.  Become a bread baker!

And comeback tomorrow to see my 6 YES, SIX ways to make Eggs Benedict!


  1. Dave, you are amazing. I really enjoyed reading all the things you have baked, but particularly this. They are light and fluffy and just so purdy. I must try this myself. When I get some "freedom" time. ;)

  2. I am not an expert and this may be a really stupid question but, How does the dough rise without yeast?

    I really want to try these, thanks.....

  3. Those are some gorgeous "Freedom Muffins". Lovin' the name change, btw. : )

  4. I am going to have to try these! Good job.

  5. oops... Rover, you are right... I just added 1 1/4 tsp yeast tot he ingredient list. Thanx, eagle eyes

  6. Freedom Muffins not English Muffins. I like it. It has a nice ring to it.

  7. Great looking Freedom Muffins Dave. You did a good job with this one!

  8. I could not be more disgusted with the president of BP either! I work in a law firm and lawsuits are rolling in - I wish I could talk about it, but this is going to be HUGE litigation!

    I may make these over the weekend since it needs two rises. Hope you are having a great week - can't wait til tomorrows post!

  9. The Freedom muffins (LOVE it!) look perfect with all those nooks and crannies.

    I am so sick of all these oil people not giving a damn about the gulf. Between all the animal/plant/sea life that was killed and people's lives they messed's ridiculous.

  10. Yummmm! These look delicious. I made English, err freedom muffins as well this week, and must say yours are much more uniform in shape.

  11. Just watched the Alton Brown episode for making Eggs Benedict and he advised that English Muffins were actually an American invention in Chelsea NY by Mr. Thomas. :)