A Peek Inside the Parsonage

What’s going on in the parsonage?  Experiments!  I decided that I was going to experiment in the kitchen every day this week.  First I wanted to try something I’ve never made before.  So for my first experiment I made:

Sour Dough English Muffins
These don’t take any more patience than sugar cookies would, and they are truly worth the effort.

I got 25 muffins for just pennies. These freeze great, so we’ll be able to enjoy them for a long while!

First you mix up the dough and let it set overnight. 
In the morning, here was my “happy little loaf”
(I Love Lucy fans will recognize that phrase!)

The dough is rolled into 1/2″ thickness and cut in 3″ circles and left to rise for an hour.

Then the muffins are transferred to a skillet where they are cooked on medium heat until browned.  They are then placed in the oven for a few minutes to finish baking the insides.

Fresh from the oven…

Here’s the recipe for the Sour Dough muffins from King Arthur Flour:
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 cups (16 ounces) warm water, 105° to 110°F
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup sourdough starter
7 to 8 cups (1 pound, 13 3/4 ounces to 2 pounds 2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) non-fat dry milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sour salt (citric acid), optional
approximately 2 tablespoons cornmeal or semolina

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Stir in and dissolve the yeast, and then mix in the sourdough starter and 1 cup of flour. Let this sit for a few minutes, until the mixture begins to bubble.

Add the dry milk, butter, salt, sour salt (if you’re using it; it’s a nice flavor-booster) and a second cup of flour, and beat well. Add 5 to 6 cups of flour, one cup at a time, to form a dough that holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it’s smooth and springy, but slightly on the slack side, about 8 minutes. Add flour only as necessary to prevent sticking. Clean out and grease your bowl and place the dough in the greased bowl, turning it so that a thin film of oil coats all sides. If you want muffins with just a hint of sourness, cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel, let it stand until it has doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, and proceed from * below. If you want muffins with a more pronounced sour flavor, be sure to add the sour salt to the dough for extra tang; then cover the finished dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it sit overnight, or up to 24 hours, in a cool place.

* When the dough has risen your chosen length of time, punch it down, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes (to relax the gluten). Divide the dough into two pieces and roll each piece out separately to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 3-inch rounds; re-roll and cut any remaining scraps. Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal- or semolina-sprinkled baking sheets (12 or 13 rounds per sheet), sprinkle them with additional cornmeal or semolina, cover with plastic wrap, and let them rise until light and puffy, about 1 hour.

Carefully transfer the rounds (as many as a time that will fit without crowding) right-side up to a large electric griddle preheated to 350°F, or to an ungreased frying pan that has been preheated over medium heat. Cook them for about 10 to 12 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a muffin registers 190°F. Remove them from the griddle and cool on a rack. Note: If you find you’re having trouble getting the muffins to cook all the way through on a griddle, cook on both sides as directed, then finish in a 350°F oven.

Yield: twenty-five 3-inch English muffins.

Have you recently experimented with a recipe you’ve never made before?  Don’t be afraid to try something new!  It’s a great feeling of accomplishment!  “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.” Proverbs 13:19  If you don’t want to go to the fuss of these muffins, try English Muffin Toasting Bread.

Wait ’til you see what I’m baking up for tomorrow! 

From my parsonage windows,

10 thoughts on “A Peek Inside the Parsonage

  1. They look delicious!

    I've been experimenting with gluten-free recipes(for my friend Johanna). =)

    So far I've made chocolate chip blondies that use chickpeas in place of flour and I attempted to make a chocolate chip cream cheese bread using oat flour in place of regular flour, but I had the wrong kind of oats for the grain mill, so it didn't quite get to flour consistency. It was crumbly but I thought it tasted good. I'm going to try the oat flour again when I get the right kind of oats.


  2. Christina,
    You're a sweet friend to experiement for Johanna! I've seen lots of gluten-free recipes that look pretty good! Don't tell my husband if you put chickpeas in something you bring to church! After the falafel in Israel, I don't think I'll ever get him to eat those again! =)


  3. I just mixed up the dough to rise overnight for the English muffins. I made them dairy free by substituting rice milk powder for the dry milk and vegan margarine for the butter. Looking forward to the finished product. Thanks for sharing!


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