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Tuesday 19 October 2010

Baking (Sort Of) for Beginners: Marvellous Muffins

It's National Baking Week and to celebrate, I'm bringing you a recipe that, erm, doesn't technically involve baking. But it involves delicious muffins and you can throw them into the oven if you fancy, so it totally counts.

Why did no-one tell me how easy it is to make muffins? I'm talking about the very English breakfast muffins here, not the over-inflated cakes they always try to foist upon you in cafes. They are so simple that you won't need to make do with supermarket ones any more. Plus you can make the dough the night before, refrigerate, and have fresh muffins the next morning. Easy.

This makes five medium muffins. Recipe adapted slightly from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

You will need:
  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp (5g) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5g) dried yeast
  • 160ml warm water
  • 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • Handful of semolina flour

Make it!

  1. Mix the flour, salt, yeast and water in a bowl to form a sticky dough. Mix in the oil and knead until it's smooth and silky.
  2. Coat the dough very lightly with oil and place it in a bowl covered with cling film or a clean tea towel.
  3. When it's doubled in size, tip it out and push it down to deflate it. Divide it into five pieces, shape into rounds about 1.5cm thick.
  4. Dust them with semolina flour - this gives them a lovely crust, but it doesn't matter if you don't have any - and leave them to rise again on a wooden board until doubled in size. If you're making them the day before, leave them to rise slowly overnight in the fridge.
  5. When you're ready to eat, lightly oil a large frying pan and heat it over a medium heat. Yes, you're going to fry the dough. It feels wrong, but it works. Promise.
  6. Lay the muffins in the pan, cook for a minute or two, then gently turn. Cook slowly for about 10 minutes, turning every now and then. If you're worried about them cooking all the way through, pop into the oven at 200C (400F, Gas Mark 6) for about five minutes.
When they're nicely browned, leave them to cool - if you can - and then enjoy with bacon and eggs, or just butter and jam.

Photo taken from House of Sims Flickr photostream


  1. I LOVE English muffins! Especially with buttery scrambled eggs...

  2. WOW. I am *so* making these this weekend!

  3. I deliberately made the recipe for a small quantity because they are best when they're fresh. They are SO quick and easy - about 20 minutes preparation, then 15 minutes cooking.

  4. Ok - so it was national chocolate week last week - now it's national BAKING week!!! Honestly - I'm counting calories!!!! (Yum though!)


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