Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Muffins of the English

I know I haven't been posting, it's a problem for me. I have things to do and really we've not been having very exciting food. I bought this giant roast for a dinner party and I knew there would be left overs, but it's roast, it's not like it take a genius to figure out how to slice it into sandwiches. My husband rarely complains about roast sandwiches, and it's been hot so I haven't felt like cooking anything complicated at all.

I have to lose some weight, I've been trying and doing a fair job of it, but I'm done futzing around now. So I've started tracking my points on WW (Weight Watchers), because if I go on a rigid diet I'll fail. I like the WW because I get the chance to eat what I want, in moderation, and I can exercise to make up for my indiscretions. This isn't an ad, it's just the tool I use to lose weight. So I only get 20 points for the day, along with my weekly bank I can eat around 25 points a day, that's not a lot of food (in theory only 1250 calories if I eat 25 points). I am amazing at making very low point meals, I have to be, otherwise I wouldn't get to eat anything.

I got my husband to join up to, for solidarity, and he's so good at the program. I am proud of him, and I know he makes a lot of sacrifices, but sometimes it feels like it just happens so easily for him. I struggle and work out and I'm hungry and I don't lose weight, while he's over there at a maintenance weight, still losing a bit. It's not fair, and it's harder when I work so hard and my weight goes up.

Anyhow, I decided that I want some English Muffins, now the low fat, high fiber ones you get at the store are gross. They're all stiff and toast weird. Also how come the health ones never come in good flavors? They're like 'Ultra Flax Flavor' or 'Double Fiber and Grit'! Gross, and just because I'm on a diet doesn't mean I don't want my food to taste good. I like English muffins, and I like cinnamon raisin in flavor. However one cinnamon raisin muffin has like five points in it. That's a meal for me there and I don't have anything on it at all! It's just the muffin, no egg to go with it, no jam on top. I have made English muffins before, and they're super easy to make, but I don't make them in rings. I had a cook book that was my grandmothers, I gave it to an aspiring vegan, as it was a super health conscious book. That book made the muffins like they were little rounds, and not from a batter. This works just fine. You don't need the stupid rings, and there is no chance of scratching your nice non-stick griddle surface with them, when you don't use them.

I also use whole wheat flour, as it's supposed to be good for you, and I like the grainyness of whole wheat. I use a high quality flour, and so should you. If you're going to be using whole wheat you want it to be well ground and from a good tasting wheat. Otherwise you're just making super gritty breads that don't taste good. I've used several brands and I have settled on King Aurthur's white whole wheat. You can almost certainly find it locally, and though it costs more, it is some of the nicest whole wheat flour you'll ever find. If you don't like whole wheat, my husband doesn't, but also understand that white flour really isn't good for you I do have a suggestion. I often will buy two bags of flour, one white whole wheat (it has a mild flavor) and one of regular. Mix them together and use that flour as you would regular flour. Also, if you buy bleached flour you should stop. Don't do that anymore. Unbleached only, no exceptions.

You might notice that my directions are for a food processor. I love my food processor. They're great for making bread, sometimes I look at the bread makers and then realize that after the food processor, I don't really need one. Also they do other things, so that's a tool that multitasks. If you want directions for how to make bread by hand: welcome to the interwebs.

This makes 16 muffins, keep some out for the next few days and freeze the rest and thaw as needed. I also like to make them for crowds of people, as most people have never had a fresh English muffin, and they are fantastic hot off the griddle.


2 tsp. yeast
1/3 C. warm water
3 C. white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 C. Splenda
3 Tbs. cinnamon
2/3 C. lowfat buttermilk - if you need a substitute use some yogurt and milk mixed together, at least half yogurt.
2 Tbs. grape seed oil
1/3 C. organic rasins


Mix the yeast with the water and set aside for 5 minutes. In your food processor mix the flour, cinnamon, splenda and salt together. Pour in the yeast mixture, oil and about 1/3 cup of the buttermilk. Turn on the food processor and slowly add the remaining milk until the dough comes together in a soft clump. You'll be able to tell a soft clump by looking at it after you make enough bread in the food processor. Until then, use your finger and poke. Knead the bread in the machine for about sixty seconds. Add the raisins and knead until combined.

Turn the dough out into an oiled bowl. Let rest for 1-2 hours, until double in size. On a floured surface roll out the dough and cut with a biscuit cutter into 16 rounds about 3 inches across. Set the rounds on a floured surface for 20-40 minutes. Heat a griddle to 325 degrees. Cook your rounds for 3 minutes per side, until they are puffy and golden to dark brown. Remove from heat and cool on a towel.

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