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a simpler english muffin (or how did you get that muffin to look right?)

Oh what to say?  Yesterday was about friends and watching the Great British Baking Show.  I could not believe it was only Tuesday with the angst that is going on at work.  More layoffs will happen but those who have been garunteed jobs for the next little bit do not know what they are doing.  A lot of chaos.  A lot of angst.  People show their true colors and sometimes they are not very pretty.

I have been finding my baking has been much simpler during this process.  I have mentioned before I love English muffins and I have posted a lovely recipe.  But the recipe is fiddly.  Especially when you have to wash all the rings or some of the dough slides out the bottom during the bake.  I follow a lot of bakers on instagram and one was posting English muffins inspired by Tartine bakery.  

I decided to give it a try.  Lovely.  Less washing.  Slower proof.  Just a yumminess, especially with melted butter and homemade strawberry jam.  The Tartine English muffin is their baquette dough made into an English muffin.  I used their porportions but I do not use their very fussy technique and I baked instead of cooking on a griddle.  I am simple.

I eat these at work and when I told someone they were homemade I got ask how I got the big holy crumb.  She could not tell they were not store bought except I made squares.  Remember simple.

simpler english muffin

Note:  This is based on the Tartine bakery baguette dough and then all my own twists.

sourdough starter

1 cup flour

3/4 cup water

1 cup (250 ml) water

2 teaspoons salt

3 - 4 cups flour

Mix the starter, 1 cup flour, and 3/4 cup water in a bowl.  Cover and let become bubbly.  8 to 12 hours.

Take about two tablespoons out for next time.

Mix in 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons salt.  Mix in 3 cups flour.  At this point I usually mix in 1/2 cup more flour and then knead with the rest but  I used some whole wheat flour recently that was very dry (already modifying!) and did not need to do that.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead until smooth.  Put in a gallon ziploc and store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.  Pull out the dough and shape into a rectangle.  I make a rectangle about 16 inches by 6 inches because I cut it into eight squares.  I separate them and let them warm and rise until about double or the spring back just a tatch at a touch.

Put them in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes.  Notice, I did not preheat.  The top should just start to brown.  Turn over.  Bake another ten minutes.

Serve with butter and homemade jam.

Now, Paul of the The Great British Baking Show would like the outside browner but no one in my family really likes toast except me.  I leave them paler because they do not cut their mouths on them that way.  Boyos!

I toast.  I take them to work.  I get envious comments.  Life is good and simple.

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