I love English Muffins.
As a baker, I find them to be quite easy to make (or frozen for later use). This version uses a CHAI (Tea-For-All Masala CHAI, Turmeric CHAI, Buddha’s Meditation, etc.). The CHAI tea is used in two ways. First, a strong concentrate of tea in water is brewed (three times normal level of tea to water). This steeped CHAI tea concentrate is then allowed to cool to room temperature before proceeding to the dough making step. Separately, about 15 grams of dry tea leaves are pulverized in a high-speed grinder.
Note: Perhaps one could use the wet leaves from that step, but the amount of moisture in the leaves will need to be accounted for in the hydration of the dough.
340 grams (about 1.5 cups) of CHAI tea concentrate (as discussed above), room temperature of ~75 F
10 grams (1 tbls.) granulated active dry yeast
20 grams (1 tbls.) honey (or another sweetener)
540 grams (4 cups) bread flour
60 grams (4 tbls.) unsalted butter, softened
12 grams salt
15 grams CHAI powder
Cornmeal for pans
Cookie sheets dusted with cornmeal; round cutter (I like 3 ½ inch)
- Blend in a mixer bowl the CHAI tea concentrate and yeast, then whisk in the sweetener. Mix in the flour and powdered tea and stir. Add the softened butter. Place the bowl on a mixer fitted with a bread hook. Mix a low speed until the dough looks soft, moist and thoroughly mixed. Stop the mixer and allow the dough to rest at least 10 minutes.
- Restart the mixer at low speed and sprinkle in the salt. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough into a pre-oiled bowl and turn it so that all surfaces are oiled. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to ferment around 30-45 minutes until it is fully doubled.
- Place the dough on a floured work surface and give it two stretches. Return it to the bowl, seam side down, cover and again ferment until doubled. Use the “poke test” to see if it is ready.
- When ready, slide the dough onto the floured work surface and press it into a square of about ½ inch thickness. Move it onto a floured cookie sheet, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Slide the dough onto a floured surface and gently roll it to ¼ inch thickness. Use a floured cutter to form muffins – cut straight down and do not twist. Place the formed muffins a couple of inches apart on prepared pan. Dust the tops with cornmeal.
- Allow the muffins to proof another (approx..) 45 minutes until fluffy and double in size.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, with a griddle of stone inside. Cornmeal the surface.
- Bake the muffins for 4-6 minutes per side. Rotate them around the griddle. Finish baking about 5 minutes longer to golden brown. Internal temperature around 200 F. (as an alternative, the muffins can be baked about 3 ½ minutes per side in a skillet at low burner heat, then finished in the oven about 5 minutes).