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Baking bug–continued

Another baking project that I mentioned a few days ago. English Muffins. I have made about 6 batches over the past couple of weeks and it’s time to make more already. This is what is left after breakfast this morning, 2 out of 12…. They were yummy with some of the dandelion jelly I made this summer.

A batch makes about 20 muffins for me. I freeze them, then bag them to be used as wanted. I found that do not set on the counter past 2 days before they weren’t good to eat. Freezing them was the answer, they thaw on the counter in about 10 minutes. When fresh-baked I keep around 6-10 out in a glass bowl covered with a hand towel. I have been using the cereal box liners. They are holding up well and are easy to wash and dry off.

I found these also make great mini pizzas! Especially with fresh home-made mozzarella cheese. We were given some as a gift over the holidays. Now I HAVE to make my own, puts the store-bought to shame and I would imagine it will be cost effective too. I was just talking with the woman who made the cheese that she makes it using 3 gallons of fresh raw milk. That out of that same 3 gallons she is also able to make ricotta cheese and gets about 1/2 pound of fresh butter. Now that’s getting your money’s worth out of a few gallons of milk!

She also told me there are several ways to make the mozzarella cheese but her favorite and most predictable was to use bought cultures. She suggested Leeners to me. I will look into it. Learning to make dairy products has been a goal of mine for a couple of years now.

Remember when I was making butter milk and sour cream ? I still do make it but found we didn’t use it even in baking fast enough. So I stopped for a while.

English Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 3 Tbl sugar
  • 1 Tbl. salt
  • 3 Tbl. shortening
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 Tbl. active dry yeast
  • 3/8 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 6 cups flour

In first bowl combine milk, 3 Tbl. sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, shortening and hot water. Stir well until milk and sugar are dissolved and shortening has melted. Set aside.

In small second bowl:

Combine yeast, 3/8 tsp. sugar and 1 cup warm water. Stir and let yeast do it’s thing…it will be bubbly. add this to the sifted flour.

combine flour with the milk mixture and stir well. Cover with a warm damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Get your griddle hot, or your cast iron frying pan. Give it a light coat of butter so your muffins won’t stick. Once ready drop about 1/2 cup on griddle and let cook each side 7-8 minutes. Cool on a rack.

It was suggested to me to cover the muffins with a pan lid while cooking, I never have and have had no problems with them cooking. I did find that if you try to eat these while still warm you will think they aren’t cooked and be sticky in the middle. They really are cooked but need to cool before toasting them.

It was also suggested that if I want perfectly round muffins to use a clean tuna can as a ring with the bottom of the can cut out. Me, I like lop-sided and I looked at our tuna cans, the bottom of the can is rounded and won’t cut off the can with an opener. (Sort of like the new soda cans). But I bet if you had rings for pancakes these would work. This is really a bread dough constancy, not like pancake batter.

Hope you try these, enjoy!

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