So, 12 breads in and I have had my first genuine failure. It was pretty disappointing as I was excited about the prospect of homemade English muffins, but it just wasn’t meant to be. It was a pretty basic recipe, and I didn’t even bother taking pictures of the ingredients pre and post mixing, so this blog is going to be somewhat of a failure as well. Anyway, the first picture I took was of the dough after I had kneaded it.
I let the dough rise, then divided it into 6 balls, then let them rise again. So far, so good.
This is when things started to head south. I turned the stove on to medium heat, but with an electric stove, it’s still hard for me to judge what medium really is. Once the cast iron skillet had warmed up, I threw on three balls of dough. Immediately, there was some sizzling, which started off as a good sign to me, but then I started to think that the skillet was probably too hot, so I turned it down. It proved to be too late, though, because after a couple of minutes, some of the muffins were starting to burn. However, the skillet wasn’t heating evenly, so some were burning while others were hardly cooking at all. Not good.
Aside from the fact that the muffins were burning, I was having a completely separate problem in the meantime. The book said that the balls of dough would start to flatten out once I put them on the skillet, but mine never did. They just sat there.
The book said that the muffins should cook for about 5-8 minutes on each side. It specifically says something to the effect of, “You’re going to think they need to be flipped before that, but trust me, they won’t burn.” Well, guess what—I know what burning smells like, and mine were definitely burning. So, I flipped them early. They were still completely round, and I was pretty frustrated at this point…so after I flipped them, I just flattened them myself.
I let them cook for another 5 minutes or so (at this point I knew they were no good, so I didn’t really care), and then threw them in the oven for 5 more minutes. This was the lovely finished product.
Yeah, they kind of look like English muffins, but that’s about it. They were very underdone in the center, so they obviously had no nooks and crannies. I do have to say, the flavor of the dough was reminiscent of English muffins—but the consistency was a complete failure.