I adore Saturday mornings. When I was a child those precious hours of weekend time were spent lazily in front of weekend cartoons, noshing on that week's must-have breakfast cereal. Thankfully our weekends are a little tastier and more productive these days.
Spring Saturday mornings are the best, as far as I'm concerned. We stuff ourselves silly with homemade goodness and then head out to a farmer's market, garage sale or antique market, or a combination of all three. We add in a bike ride or a trip to a park, some good coffee and tea and everyone is happy. But the part we all look forward to the most is the breakfast.
I know some cultures prefer the idea of a long and loungy brekkie on Sundays, but for me it's a Saturday thing. I love to bake or cook up something bright and early and devour everything slowly. A small reward for making it through the rushy weekday mornings.
Today we're indulging in homemade English muffins. Easily created on the stovetop, I did some research and discovered they can also be baked. I had no idea though, for I thought it was only possibly to create these with a cast iron skillet. I prefer the original method. The resulting golden crust that envelopes the bread is brilliant and really only achievable with a skillet.
What's tasty about your weekend mornings?
Honey Whole-Wheat English Muffins, adapted from Country Living
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3/4 cups buttermilk (warmed)
- 2 teaspoons cornmeal
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Combine the water, yeast and honey and let stand until bubbly - about 5 minutes.
Combine the flours and salt and spread evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Warm in the oven for 5 minutes.
Place the flour mixture and the yeast mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer and combine. With the motor running, slowly pour in the buttermilk and mix until the dough is smooth. If needed, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together and is supple.
Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.
Punch down the dough, knead it on the counter for 3-5 minutes, cover with a damp towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle a baking sheet with the cornmeal and set aside. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into round patties. Place on prepared baking sheet and coat both sides lightly with the cornmeal. Allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
Lightly coat a cast-iron skillet with oil and heat over low heat. Place 4 muffins in the skillet and cook until the bottoms are golden brown. This will take 15-20 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining muffins.
Serve toasted with butter or your favourite breakfast condiment.