Three Grain Cinnamon/Currant English Muffins Hot Off The Griddle-
For years, I settled for store-bought English Muffins until I decided the ingredients were not to my liking. Time to learn how to make English Muffins at home, with honey instead of sugar, a quality oil or local butter, and organic whole grains. The secret is an electric griddle, in order to maintain even heat of 300 degrees, and to use English Muffin rings, which resemble tuna fish cans with both the tops and bottoms removed. There are reasonably priced electric griddles in the $30.00 range and after using mine about a dozen times, it has certainly paid off, and not only in economic terms, but also in the enormous pleasure which results from the enjoyment of producing a dozen high quality English Muffins. A dozen English Muffin rings will cost approximately $20.00 but are necessary to produce perfect, toaster ready muffins. Split and toasted, days later, the pleasure lasts well beyond the enjoyment of the warm English Muffin off the griddle. And if you have never enjoyed one like that, you will experience one of the simple and timeless eating pleasures.
In making my English Muffins at home, I like to use local foods produced near my home in Albany, NY : (1) Raw and unrefined honey, produced by Lloyd Spear, beekeeper, in Schenectady, N.Y., (2) Hudson Valley whole wheat flour and spelt flour, milled by Wild Hive Farm, Clinton Corners, NY, www.wildhivefarm.com/ and (3) milk from a local dairy, Meadowbrook Farms, Clarksville, NY blog.timesunion.com/eatlocal/meadow-brook-farms-milk/168/. These ingredients are high quality and local and support three small farm economies which adds to the satisfaction of making my own English Muffins. Beekeeper Spear’s minimally processed honey retains the natural qualities of this sweet food. His raw honey is not heated beyond hive temperature and is purified by settling for 5-10 days and contains all the natural live enzymes, pollens, and other ingredients that make honey one of nature’s finest foods. Sometimes, instead of using rice bran oil, I’ll use unsalted sweet cream butter produced by Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, Ancramdale, N.Y www.ronnybrook.com/.
I am a member of the wonderful Honest Weight Food Coop in Albany, NY www.hwfc.com, and the prices for these excellent local foods are affordable, especially when you realize you are supporting small, local farm economies. Beekeeper Spear’s 5 pound jar of raw, unfiltered honey is $21.50 and lasts for months. The half pound of local butter is $4.89 and is incomparable. The half gallon of local bottled milk is $2.49. ENJOY your own muffins using local foods produced near you!
1 package active dry yeast
2 tbsps. water (100 – 110 degrees)
1 cup water
½ cup scalded milk
4 tsps. Honey
1 tsp. sea salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups spelt flour
¼ cup rolled oats
4 tbsps. rice bran oil (or some other high quality oil or softened butter)
½ cup of currants or raisins
2 tbsps. cinnamon
Dissolve the yeast in the 2 tbsps. lukewarm water for 3 or 4 minutes. Add milk, water, honey, and salt to the yeast mix and stir. Beat in 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup spelt flour and ¼ cup rolled oats. Stir in cinnamon and ½ cup currants or raisins. Cover and let rise in warm area for 90 minutes to 2 hours.
Beat in rice bran oil. Knead in the remaining 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of spelt flour on a floured bread board. Press the dough down to a thickness of ¼ to ½ inch. Cut out with muffin rings and place on greased baking sheets and let rise covered for approximately 1 hour.
Oil lightly and heat up electric griddle to 300 degrees. Place muffin rings on the griddle, and remove each ring. (Lightly run a knife around the inside of each ring to help free the muffin.) Cook for 8-10 minutes, and flip to other side, and cook for additional 8-10 minutes. (Turn only once.) Cool on racks.
(Butter up one hot off the griddle and enjoy.)
This recipe produces approximately 9-10 English Muffins. [FB 4/6/10]