When I was younger my parents used to take us to town for some shopping, we grew up in a small rural village so going to the big smoke was always exciting as there were fast food chains galore and plenty of other goodies. One of our treats if we were good was going to McDonalds and getting a happy meal, which was always awesome as you got a free toy. It was only later on in life that I discovered the holy grail of breakfast junk foods…. the egg Mcmuffin….
So I’d always had in the back of my mind about trying to recreate some of this fast food at home with a healthy twist, simply by cooking at some you know exactly what’s going into your food. I’ve actually come across brothers green eats who have covered plenty of fast food recreation recipes, so they beat me to it, but there’s still plenty of scope for me to do a British one!
I wanted to make the whole thing from scratch, muffin and all! Having never made English muffins before I thought that might become a bit of a challenge, I’ve dabbled with a fair bit of bread in the past but the English muffin dough looked quite heavy when I was making it so I wasn’t sure if it would ever rise but they came out really well. If you’re American an English muffin is vastly different from a standard muffin, it’s a bit more like a bagel/roll.
The food you get from these places looks vastly different from the images and the idea you have in your mind, I often think about reality vs expectations:
Like the above.. rather sad looking little fella.
The one below is what I created at home, real sausages, real eggs with a drippy yolk and a little bit of mature cheddar. Which one would you prefer to eat ?
I know for a lot of people it can come down to time constraints but if you could in bulk, make a batch of muffins and freeze them, have some precooked sausages in your fridge and heating up the rest takes minutes! That’s how I feel about most home cooking, it’s about planning ahead and thinking about what you can have pre – made and cooked to save yourself some time when you want a meal. Working as a chef I’ve applied a lot of what I’ve learnt in the restaurant to my home cooking which in turn helps me be efficient and save time, the last thing I want to do after working a busy shift is coming home and cooking up a load of food so I can eat, but with a bit of fore thought, organisation and prep, it doesn’t take long to knock up a meal…
- For the English muffins
- 300g strong white bread flour
- 6g fast-action yeast
- 6g salt
- 15g caster sugar
- 15g butter
- 1 egg
- 170ml milk
- For the filling
- tomato sauce
- First we want to get the muffin dough on the way as this can take a little bit of time to prove. So mix all the dry ingredients minus the yeast, mix the yeast into the milk and give that a little whisk, then combine all of the ingredients and give it a good mix until you form a dough.
- Knead the dough for about 3 - 4 minutes, until you have a smooth elastic dough. Put the dough into a greased bowl and put a piece of greased cling film over the bowl and let it prove for 3 hours or until double in size.
- Now turn dough onto a work lightly floured work service and knock it back, roll out the dough and portion into 8 using a round cookie cutter. Put these onto a lightly floured tray and allow to prove for a further 30 minutes.
- Next heat up a heavy bottomed pan and leave on a medium heat and turn the oven onto 200 c, lightly grease the pan and start cooking your muffins. You want to griddle the muffins on each side for a few minutes, pressing them down to create the desired shape, get some colour on both sides and finish cooking the rest in the oven for a futher 5 minutes. You're supposed to do all the cooking in the pan but I found mine burnt a bit and the middles didn't cook so I transfered them to the oven to finish.
- Once cooked allow to cool. Now we can get our fillings sorted!
- Pan fry the sausages for colour and finish those in the oven, usually takes 12 - 15 minutes Fry the eggs, I like mine to have a nice runny yolk and finally slice some cheddar.
- Once the English muffins are cooled cut them in half and toast them, butter each side and create your own Mcmuffins!