It's amazing how quickly time flies isn't it? Before I knew it, its the time to post another bread recipe of a bread that I bake along with other bread bakers every month. This month's theme was 'Overnight Breakfast Breads' and our host for the month is Holly Baker of A Baker's House. We were asked to bake something that could be prepared the night before and baked in the morning or something like a quick bread the wet and dry ingredients of which could be prepared ahead of time and just mixed the next morning to be baked into a luscious bread!
When I saw this theme I was quite fascinated - I had no idea what kind of a bread I would bake as I had jumped into this joyous activity of bread baking just a few months ago and was still getting acquainted with the different varieties and techniques of bread baking. So far I had only worked with breads that could be made within a matter of 3-4 hours and I couldn't think of anything out of this comfort zone. I fell back on my experiences of making Indian breads that are fried on a skillet, the batter of which is usually rice based and fermented the night before. As I was hovering around this technique and idly flipping through the recipes saved in my book I came across one lovely recipe that I had bookmarked a few months ago from the 'Step-by-Step Baking Book by Caroline Bretherton' which had a footnote that recommended letting the dough rise overnight if one wished to have the bread for breakfast the next morning. Bingo! I had finally found my recipe for the month.
However, when I did some more Googling I came across another recipe from TheKitchn that called for a dough starter to help the bread get its slightly sour taste which are so perfect for these muffins. The recipe seemed perfect for the theme as the starter was to be made the previous day and then kneaded into the dough which would rest overnight in the fridge. I made these for breakfast today and loved them so much! They taste awesome when they are still warm - nice and crisp on the outside, warm and fluffy on the inside.
This is one bread that those of you who have no ovens should definitely try! If you don't want to use the sourdough (starter) you can skip it and just go with the dough for the muffins. If you are in a hurry this bread takes just under 2-3 hours from start to finish (you needn't refrigerate or prepare ahead of time) but I really liked the idea of making the dough and refrigerating it as it keeps well for upto 3 days in the fridge. All you need to do is remove it out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature and voila! you have some lovely, toasted, English Muffins waiting to be enjoyed for breakfast or tea time!
Prep time: minimum of 1-1/2 hours (for the starter) + 1-1/2 hours or overnight for the dough | Frying time: 7-8 mins per batch | Yield 12 small bun shaped muffins
For the dough starter (to be made at least 12-24 hours before making the muffins)
- 3/4th cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup (240 ml) warm milk
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 3 - 3-1/4 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
- cornmeal, polenta, semolina or rice flour
- butter (2-3 teaspoons per batch)
1. First prepare the dough starter at least 24 hours before you intend to make your muffins. Place all the ingredients mentioned under 'For the dough starter' in a bowl that is big enough to accommodate the mixture when it has doubled in volume. Mix everything vigorously for a minute. Cover with an oiled cling wrap and place it in a warm place of your kitchen. Keep the dough starter anywhere between 1-12 hours to ferment
2. When the dough starter has fermented, transfer it into a large mixing bowl, add the warm milk and yeast and mix everything vigorously with a whisk until you get a cloudy, almost frothy mixture.
3. Add the sugar and butter and mix well. Then add the flour in parts and mix with your hand until you get a rough dough.
4. Turn out the dough onto a clean working surface dusted with a little flour. Knead for 5-6 minutes or till smooth. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with cling wrap. At this point you can either place the dough in the fridge for an overnight rest (if you intend to make the muffins for breakfast the next morning or you can carry on and let the dough rest until it doubles in volume, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
5. When the dough has doubled, turn it onto a work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces and gently shape into round balls and flatten them. Place them onto a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal/semolina or rice flour. If you have muffin rings you can use them and place the dough balls inside these rings to get a perfect shape. Dust some more cornmeal on top of the muffins
6. Let the dough rise for another 30-40 minutes (or about 1-1/2 to 2 hours for dough that was refrigerated.
7. Heat a heavy based non stick/cast iron or stainless steel frying pan/skillet and grease it with the butter (just enough to prevent the dough balls from sticking). Maintain the heat on a medium and place as many dough balls as you can comfortably accommodate. Reduce the heat to a medium low or low and fry on both sides till golden, about 7-8 minutes in total. Take care to see that the skillet is not very hot or the outside will burn before the inside is cooked properly. Cover the pan with a dome shaped lid if required to help cook them faster.
8. Remove and let them cool slightly on a wire rack, then cut them horizontally and serve warm, slathered with butter or jam or as a side to fried or poached eggs.
The #BreadBakers theme this month is Overnight Breakfast Breads. This includes yeasted breads that you prepare the night before then bake in the morning as well as quick breads that you prepare ahead of time then mix and bake in the morning. December is a busy time for celebrations and getting together with family and friends. It is always nice to think ahead and to make dishes ahead of time so that you-- the baker-- can enjoy the fruits (or breads!) of your labor with your loved ones. Here is what the group is sharing today, enjoy!
- Braided Holiday Stollen from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Bran Muffins from Cali's Cuisine
- Christmas Morning Muffins from Food Lust People Love
- Christmas Morning Sticky Buns from Sara’s Tasty Buds
- English Muffins from Ruchik Ranhap
- Fruity Butter Bread from Magnolia Days
- Gingerbread Breakfast Loaf from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Herbert’s Traditional Overnight Bread Loaf from G’Gina’s Kitchenette
- Old Fashioned Doughnut from Cooking Club
- Onion Bagels from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Overnight Apple Fritters Monkey Bread from I Camp in my Kitchen
- Overnight Belgian-Style Yeast Waffles from A Baker’s House
- Overnight Breakfast Pizza a la Jim Lahey from The Schizo Chef
- Overnight Cranberry Swirl Bread from From Gate to Plate
- Overnight Pull-apart Brioche Cinnamon Roll Bread from Hostess at Heart
- Overnight Sticky Pecan Bread from Cook’s Hideout
- Stollen Muffins from Baking in Pyjamas