English Muffins


Article by SocialEQ.com
 

 Yes, you have seen them and tried them. McDonald’s serves it in their McMuffin. Thomas’ English Muffins is a famous brand. English muffins are so simple, yet so good. Just in case you are confused, English muffins are NOT the mushroom top, bell top, flat top or cupcake-like muffins.

These are not English muffins!

They are shaped more like hockey pucks, roughly 3 3/8 to 4 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Typical characteristics are a lightly browned crust, slightly rounded edges with straight sides, enrobed in a light coating of corn meal, corn flour, and mold inhibitor (giving it a slightly tart/acidic flavor), and a moist, porous crumb structure… Yes, you are correct, “nooks and crannies”!

The essential ingredients are typically:
Flour – Spring or Winter Hard Wheat with a 12-13% protein level
Water – which gives hydration and aids in porosity (83-90% usage)
Yeast – for leavening (5-8% usage)
Salt – adjusts the flavor (1-1.75% usage)
Sugar – provides food for yeast (0-2% usage)
Fat Content – provides lubrication for the system (0-1.5% usage)
Calcium Propionate – for mold inhibition (yes, you will need it with so much water! 0.5-0.75% usage)

Other ingredients typically used and for you to consider are:
Vital wheat gluten, protease enzymes, amylase enzymes, baking powder, milk products, sour flavors, vinegar, and reducing agents.

Oh yeah, and how come it has that gritty texture? English muffins are commonly enrobed in a light coating of corn meal, corn flour, and mold inhibitor. Sometimes wheat flour blends are added to the mixture and sometimes rice flour is used. (And manufacturers use a light potassium sorbate spray)

Here are some guidelines if you want to try making some yourself or if you are just curious:

Mix – 17 to 22 minutes with a final dough temperature of less than 68 degrees F (20 C). A 2 stage method is commonly used: 1. hold 10 to 20% of the water and 2. delay the salt. The dough is mixed to have a wet consistency and be extensible.
Floor time – 10 to 15 minutes
Divide the dough into small dough balls roughly 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 ounces (64-71 g)
Round the dough balls (manufacturers use a “zig-zag” board)
Proof – 25 to 30 minutes at 115 to 125 degrees F (46-52 C) with relative humidity at 50 to 60%
Bake – 7 to 8 minutes with temperatures 425 to 450 degrees F (219-233 C). (a griddle is usually used and the dough pieces are placed in cups shaped like hollow hockey pucks)
Allow the English muffins to cool for about 30 to 45 minutes to about 6 degrees (or less) above room temperature. The finished moisture level is 40 to 43% and are good for 10 to 14 days if stored properly. Typically, English muffins are sliced, fork split, or pre-scored. You can do whatever you like to them if you are going to make them andenjoy them yourself!

And here is the finished product!