Everybody has that food they eat when money is tight. Ramen is the stereotype. My sister preferred rice. My twin brothers are still fueling their musical ambitions with tortillas and peanut butter. And during my first year out of college, I survived on eggs and English muffins.
For all the times I ate them, I never pondered their origins. I knew bagels were boiled. Croissants came from cold butter and repeated folding. But what made the English muffin so pleasantly gritty? So dense, though riddled with pockets of air?
I assembled a slew of recipes from Pinterest and began comparing notes. The key, it seemed, was scant yeast, a sufficient rise time, and a not-too-hot skillet. I forged ahead using these instructions from The Hen Basket.
Unfortunately my first attempt lacked #1. I absentmindedly added the entire yeast packet to the water and sugar mix, and didn’t realize my mistake until the second rise. They looked (and tasted) absolutely delicious, but lacked those abundant craters to cradle your jam or oozing egg yolk. Next time, I’ll watch the yeast—and perhaps sub some of the white flour for whole wheat.