Honey of a muffin

AFB Honey English Muffins

AFB English Muffins
Here in New Zealand we can buy English muffin splits in a pack of six.  They are quite yummy and come plain or flavoured with fruit or cheese.  The teens in my house have recently discovered these and pile them into the trolley if they happen to be accompanying me on a grocery shop. 

As part of my recent interest in reducing refined sugar in our diet, and trying to eliminate processed food products, I dug out a treasure of a cookery book: Joy with Honey by Doris Mech.  Published in 1979, and sprinkled throughout with biblical references, I discover new delights within this unassuming book every time I read it.
Joy with Honey
Of particular interest is the section on how to convert recipes to using honey.  More on that later as I have already put that new found knowledge to good experimental use with an AFB Chocolate Honey cake but more on that later….

As an aside this book has a lovely selection of breakfast options – granola, fresh fruit toppings, new toast toppings to explore (poppy seed honey toast) and, back to the topic, recipes using a sourdough starter.  I had an enthusiastic starter bubbling away in my green bowl (no more baggies for me as the bowl is much cleaner and easier to use).

Sourdough Pancakes sound great, topped with honey maple syrup.  Yum, but now I am getting quite side-tracked.  It was the recipe for the sourdough English muffins that really got me out of the easy chair and into the kitchen.  I had been thinking for a while of digging out a recipe for English muffins and here one presents itself right before me, leaving no further excuses or comments like “I must make that one day”.
AFB English Muffins
This recipe is best begun the night before you wish to eat English muffins.

AFB Honey English Muffins

½ cup sour dough starter
1 cup milk, warmed to 36.5-40.5ºC
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 t honey
1 T honey
½ cup bread flour
¾ t salt
½ t baking soda
¼ cup semolina

Combine the starter, milk, flour and first measure of honey.  Mix well and cover loosely with a clean tea-towel.  Set it aside and leave, at room temperature, overnight.

In the morning, drizzle the second  measure of honey over the dough.  Combine flour, salt and baking soda then sprinkle on top of the honey.  Mix well then turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it isn’t sticky (about 2-3 minutes).

Roll the dough out to approx. 1.5 cm thick then cut into circles about 7cm in diameter.  Sprinkle a baking tray with semolina and place dough circles on the tray, leaving room for the muffins to rise.  Sprinkle more semolina on top of the muffins, then cover with plastic wrap, and then a clean tea-towel.  Set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes.
AFB English Muffins
AFB English Muffins
Preheat a frying pan (I used my cast-iron electric frying pan with the temperature just below 8).  Place three or four muffins in the pan, cover and cook for about 7 minutes.  Turn the muffins and cook the other side for 7 minutes. Remove and rest a little before slicing in half, buttering and slathering with honey. 
AFB English Muffins
Makes 10-12 muffins.

These also toast up well.

Verdict from the family:

The Anster – Yum but where is the apple??
Mopp – he ate more than his fair share and didn’t bother with butter or honey, just scoffed them plain so I’m guessing he liked them.
Miss M – meh, taste like scones (complete with lip curl)
Mr L – I’m not sure he actually ended up trying one despite me telling him six or seven times that they were there (he currently has listening challenges typical of a twelve year old boy)

Would I make them again – sure would.  They were super easy to make with not too much fuss and bother involved.  I also love how they don’t have sugar and use mainly wholemeal flour.  I am overlooking the sugar in the starter of course J

And to bring in the apples – these would be perfect served with lashings of apple butter or apple jam.  I have made apple jam in the crockpot – stay tuned for that post soon.

Additional recipes that have caught my eye:

  • Trailside Breakfast (Apple Muesli)
  • Honeyed Chocolate (Hot Chocolate & Honey)
  • Applesauce Nut Bread (Loaf)
  • Baked Lentils with Honey – lentils, bacon, pork sausage, mustard, onion…..and honey
  • Autumn Apple Pork Chops
  • Honey-of-an Apple Pie
  • Honey Oatmeal Cookies
  • No Bake Apple Cookies
  • Fresh Uncooked Applesauce
  • Apple Jelly (with Honey instead of sugar)

This is an American cookbook so there are few things I have to substitute but so far I have figured out:

American                               Kiwi
Biscuits                                   Scones
Cookies                                  Biscuits
Oatmeal (uncooked)        Rolled Oats
Oatmeal (cooked)             Porridge
Whole Wheat Flour          Wholemeal flour

Note: if you don’t have runny honey, simply heat creamed honey gently until it melts into runny honey.

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