I’ve been wanting to try my hand making whole wheat English muffins since my favourite local retailer discontinued theirs a while ago. They brought them back, but now I see they are gone again which is annoying. I prefer whole wheat to plain English muffins, and I love to toast them on a week-end and eat them with a poached egg or jam. Jam on a muffin is breakfast ‘pudding’ for me.
They may seem a little daunting but I adapted a Paul Hollywood recipe here. I wanted to find the easiest one possible, and this was it. I also wanted to use my Breville 800 Class Mixer to take the kneading by-hand step out. I added a bit more yeast than his recipe, allowed a longer proving time and used my large Breville non-stick electric frying pan to make them which was far more efficient than using a normal pan. I also decided to do a plain version by hand to check that the results would be as good as the ones in my Breville and they were.
So after the initial mix in my Breville, I popped on the dough hook and let it run on the ‘knead’ setting for 10 minutes while I took a shower. I love the timer on the Breville mixer, you can see exactly how long its been going for. The thing with bread making and all the stages of proving and shaping, is to slot it into your every day life. So find a day when you are at home and have a few other things to do and set loads of timers. I managed to do the two batches (one by hand and one by machine) while carrying on working and pottering around. I also turned my heater on to help with the proving. Winter has arrived and my house was too cold for anything to rise.
In all English muffin recipes you will see the need for fine polenta or semolina. They give the muffins their signature finish. However, This is not necessary when using the Breville frying pan as its so non stick.
I love to toast them and see how the slightly rough inside texture soaks up the butter after you have.
These are perfect for a Father day treat, or why not buy him a fab Breville appliance for father’s day. The 800 Class toaster is straight out the top drawer.
Recipe ~ makes 9 whole wheat muffins (adapted from Paul Hollywood)
- 200g all-purpose flour or white bread flour
- 100g whole wheat / Nutty wheat flour
- 10g instant dry yeast (1 sachet)
- 1tsp salt
- 15g butter, room temperature and cut into small pieces
- 15g castor sugar
- 1 large free-range egg
- 160ml milk, at room temperature
- 2Tbsp fine polenta or semolina
- Eqipment: Breville 800 Class Mixer, Breville Frypan non stick, Breville 800 Class Smart Toast
Place the flour, salt, sugar, butter and yeast into the bowl of the Breville 800 Class Mixer with the paddle attachment.
Lightly beat the egg and milk together and add it to the flour and mix slowly until it forms a soft dough.
Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Place the dough ball into a lightly greased clean bowl and cover with cling film. Set in a warm place to prove for a bout 1 hour to 1 ½ hours and until the dough has doubled in size.
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to about 1.5cm thick. And allow it to stand for 15 minutes to relax. Using a 8.5cm – 9cm straight sided cookie cutter, cut out 8 muffins. You may need to re knead the last bits to make the 8th muffin. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and sprinkle lightly with 1 tablespoon of the polenta. Place the muffins on this allowing space in between. Sprinkle the other tablespoon of polenta over the top. Return to a warm spot for another 30 – 40 minutes to rise a little more.
Heat the Breville nonstick frying pan to 8 (medium low), and then cook 6 of the muffins at a time with the lid on for about 10 minutes a side. They are ready when they are brown on both sides and cooked through.
Serve them toasted with butter and jam.