When she chose Whole Wheat Honey English Muffins as this month’s Baketogether, Abby Dodge could not have known that she created a delightful coincidence for me. I recently received 3 packets of Red Star Platinum yeast through a Kosher Eye giveaway. Multi-tasking is not my strength and this was “beshert” – Hebrew for “meant to be.”
Initially, I planned an orange-scented version of English muffins, perhaps with fresh rosemary. But being a good wife, I asked my husband what “add ins” appealed to him. He requested candied ginger, mentioning that he hoped for a treat similar to the ginger scones he loves. So I headed back to my candied ginger obsession, adding orange rind so as not to give up entirely on my original plan.
Why call them crumpets? When my husband heard that these are supposed to be English muffins, he asked whether they have to be named that. I think his preference for scones over muffins motivated the question, but it could be his Irish ancestry peeking through. Without butter and cream, I could not bear to mis-name them scones, and we settled on crumpets. Call them what you will, they are delicious.
Did I really make 2 batches? Yes I did. Although I started out to make just one, I failed to drink my morning coffee before heading over to the mixer. As I merrily started mixing wet and dry ingredients, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten the ginger, honey and orange. Oy.
Quickly I microwaved the ginger and honey to the appropriate temperature and added them into the mixture. (I hadn’t yet grated the orange rind, so I left that out of the first batch.) Then, gulping coffee as if that might help me work more quickly (it didn’t), I made a second batch – this time adding the honey at the right time – to see if my mistake made any difference.
The bottom line was that both batches worked out in the end. Surprisingly, the dough correctly made (the second batch) was stickier and more difficult to roll into individual crumpets/muffins than the first batch.
Other notes on my experience:
The stove-top baking technique appealed to me, but was probably impatient with my “griddle work”; I found it challenging to bake the insides without burning the outsides.
Both batches had lovely consistency and taste, however the orange and ginger flavors were milder than I expected – and hoped for. (I tried a piece of my homemade candied ginger separately and it was quite tangy. I’m not sure why it didn’t come through.) Next time, I’ll add more orange rind and pump up the ginger, maybe adding some dried ginger too. I find the taste of “regular” whole wheat rather overwhelming, so I substituted white whole wheat flour, and that worked out well.
I made 12 crumpet/muffins instead of Abby’s 6 per batch and mine were plenty large enough. I can’t imagine how BIG her 6 were.
(Abby’s full directions are here. My notes on preparation are below.)
- 1¾ cups (7 7/8 ounces) all purpose flour + extra for dusting
- 1 ¼ cups (5 5/8 ounces) white whole wheat flour
- 1 package instant yeast (I used Platinum)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1¾ teaspoons table salt
- ⅔cup water
- ⅔cup milk (I used whole)
- ¼ cup chopped candied ginger
- ¼ cup mixture of honey and liquid ginger sugar (I used about ½ and ½.)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
- Cornmeal for dusting
- 2 – 4 tablespoons (1-2 ounces) unsalted butter (for 12 muffins/1 batch)
- Canola spray (not pictured)
- When mixing, my dough didn’t pull away from the sides of the bowl very well (with either batch) and the mixer never danced, but both batches seemed ready after about 10-12 minutes at medium-high speed.
- I could not hold onto the dough while oiling the mixing bowl, so I moved the dough to a lightly floured plate, quickly oiled the bowl, and then moved the dough back into it.
- Putting cornmeal on the pan evenly is a matter of definition. I called the light sprinkling below evenly distributed and moved on.
- A bench scraper works beautifully to divide the dough. To made 12 crumpets I cut the dough ball in half, then half again (creating 4 pieces), and divided each of those into 3 balls. I used a mixture of flour and finely ground corn meal on my hands instead of pure all purpose flour.
- Like Abby, I used a double sized griddle set over two burners, but I also needed a large, cast iron pan because 12 muffins took up a lot of room. I had to carefully switch the positions of several to prevent burning because the heat was not distributed evenly even when the flames under the griddle/pan were at their lowest settings.
Take Abby’s advice and use a fork to slit the crumpets/muffins in half (using a serrated knife makes for a flat, crunchless, and much less enticing top) and toast them just before serving.