Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Part the Second: Breakfast Sandwiches – English Muffins

The one great principle of English law is to make business for itself. – Charles Dickens 

These were quite successful. Watch the time, rotate them in your pan and don't let them burn!
Three days ago I posted a recipe for Apple Sage Sausage. At the time I promised a recipe for English muffins. I always keep my word.

Use some kind of round from to cut them out.
The end result of these two recipes is the ubiquitous "breakfast sandwich" of fast food fame. A true guilty pleasure to many. And you can't make them without sausage patties and English muffins. And egg and cheese, of course.

I have made pancakes before, as we all have, but I have never pan fried bread dough and I was a little apprehensive. I had my doubts. Some recipes call for a frying pan but others call for the oven. I suppose you could try this recipe both ways.

As they cook they will puff slightly. As I was doing them I never thought they would cook all the way through in a million years in a frying pan – but they did.

The consistency isn't quite the same as store purchased, but one would expect that from homemade dough. I found the holes fairly regularly sized as opposed to what one might hope, but that's OK. The taste was wonderful fresh from the pan.

Bread frying in the pan. They puff slightly as they cook.
I have to admit that four found their way onto my plate for breakfast that morning while I made them – all sans sausage and egg. Liberal amounts of butter and black currant jam made them more than palatable.

The following morning I did make a breakfast sandwich, complete with fried egg, cheese and sausage. To make the sandwich, fry a patty of sausage until cooked through. Fry an egg to your liking as well. Layer the sausage, egg and a slice of processed cheese—it HAS to be processed cheese; anything else is too good—between a split and toasted English muffin. Voila – you're done!

For some reason it didn't taste the same as fast food. It was better. I wonder why…

Try these "griddle" muffins. They won't disappoint!

English Muffins
Makes about 10
2/3 cup milk
2-1/2 tbsp butter
1 rounded tbsp light brown sugar
2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water (110°F)
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Scald the milk with the butter in a pot just until bubbles form at the edge, then remove from the heat. Mix in the sugar and let cool to lukewarm. In another bowl dissolve the yeast in the water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

Combine the milk, yeast, shortening, salt and 3/4 of the flour. Mix well. Add only enough of the additional flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a cloth, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Do not punch the dough down. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a large round cutter (or open bottom of a 4" wide can) cut out the muffins.

Lightly grease a frying pan. Heat on high and then reduce heat to medium/low and fry the muffins a few at a time (six if you have a large enough pan) for about 5-6 minutes per side. Watch that they don't burn.

Keep muffins warm in a low set oven while you finish the remaining. If storing, let cool completely and then bag. They also can be frozen quite well.

The finished sandwich. Not too much work, and I have English muffins for the week!

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