Monday, October 24, 2005

Doing the Splits

I wanted to bake bread this weekend. But I couldn't make up my mind what kind of bread I should bake.

I considered whole wheat pita breads. But after reading the recipe and realizing it was another of those "turn the oven to 500 F and heat your baking stone" recipes, I decided against it. (I have a baking stone, I just have to be in the right mood to create that much heat. Maybe come January.)

I considered a basic loaf bread, since I have two yummy jams in the fridge waiting to be eaten. But... ho hum.

Finally I flipped through my copy of The Bread Baker's Apprentice and decided on... English muffins.

English muffins???

Yes, here's a recipe I've never tried before, but I decided it was time to give it a whirl. After all, the dough would have time to rise while I headed off to a chamber music concert a couple blocks away, and when I returned home, I could start the soup for dinner (a spicy Moroccan pumpkin and split pea soup) before cooking the muffins in a skillet and finishing them off in the oven.

I replaced some of the unbleached flour with whole wheat flour because, well, I like it. So that may account for why my muffins didn't turn out very holey.

But I took a fork and split the first warm muffin and slathered it with sweet unsalted butter and... happiness.

The muffins turned out thicker and a little more tender than store-bought English muffins, so they're a real treat for breakfasts, and I can still slather them with butter and jam.

I was never crazy about English muffins before, but I could get used to these fork-split treats.

It's not that big of a stretch!

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