Eggs Benedict Part 1 – English Muffins

As the title suggests, I am starting a series on how to make the best breakfast ever: Eggs Benedict. This will be a four-part series, which I’ll post every Wednesday.

Eggs Benedict is such a comforting dish. It’s rich in flavours, and in textures. A bit greasy, a bit fatty, a bit very delicious. Basically, it’s perfect as a hangover cure, or on an easy Sunday morning (cue The Commodores singing Easy) or just whenever you want it. ‘Cause that’s how we roll, am I right?

Bonus: you’ll learn some neat new techniques along the way.

For a good reason, Eggs Benedict is a recipe that is quite close to my heart. It reminds me of my 6-month experience in London, when my friend and I would eat this whenever we had the chance. Meaning, everytime that we were staying in a hotel. Or in this adorably cute French lunchroom called Chez Ella on Brick Lane. If you’re ever in London, I strongly advice you to drop by and order either this dish, or one of the many other delicious dishes on the menu.

So of course, as someone with a strong passion for food, I just had to finally make Eggs Benedict myself. Which was actually a lot easier than I thought. There are three important elements to the recipe: English Muffins for the base, Hollandaise Sauce for the sauce (duh) and Poached Eggs for the topping. In the final part of the series, I will show you how to put it all together.

But first things first. English Muffins.

Let’s commence!

As with any bread you need yeast, which will help your bread to rise. In most recipes, you need to dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water. I just use warm tap water, as it is warm but not boiling. And yes, I just recently found out that this was way easier than letting boiled water cool to lukewarm. Silly me. Anyways, it is important to stir just once, because yeast is delicate and needs its personal time to work properly.

English Muffins (4)

The yeast mixture and the melted butter goes in together. By gradually spooning in the flour, the yeast will slowly get to know the flour, which will benefit its effect. If you stir it all together at once, it just will not work as it should. So patience please. Also, never add salt and yeast together at once. Salt also diminishes the yeast’s effect. I told you, it is a delicate and demanding ingredient. Oh, and it’s best to use a wooden spoon, as this does not leave any taste remnants behind.

English Muffins (7)

After stirring the mixture into a soft dough, knead it on a lightly floured surface. Be aware that you do not use too much flour, that will mess up the quantities in the dough. So just a slight dusty surface. Be sure to wash your hands for this part!

English Muffins (8)Resulting from the 5 minutes of kneading, you should have an even and slightly stretchy dough, as seen on the picture above. Form it into a ball, and transfer to a greased bowl.

English Muffins (10)
Before.

Prove for 1 hour until doubled in size…

English Muffins (15)
After.

…as can be seen here! Look how pretty! You did that! Go you! Turn it over, lighlty knead for another minute or so and divide into 10 balls.

English Muffins (17)
Before.

These will then need to prove for another 30 minutes until risen. See the difference above and below.

After.
After.

As no one probably has a pan that comfortably fits all muffins, cook it in batches. One side for about 10 minutes, until the bottom is golden and the sides are slightly puffed up. The other side needs only 4 minutes.

English Muffins (19)

There is no need for oil or butter in the pan, only a lid to cook the top at the same time as the bottom. Just make sure to remove any excess semolina, cause that will burn easily.

photo 1

Let them cool on a wire rack before slicing them, otherwise the dough won’t cool evenly and you get lumps. Don’t want that.

photo 3

Waah, so pretty!! As you can see, the top and bottom are flat and golden, but the sides are soft and pushy. So. Good.

English Muffins

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 2,5 hrs
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

 

Ingredients

  •  25 gr (1 oz) butter
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 450 gr (1 lbs) strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for greasing
  • 25 gr (1 oz) semolina or ground rice

Used kitchen appliances

  • Small saucepan
  • Small bowl
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large bowl
  • Cling film
  • Tray
  • Large, lidded frying pan (with a thick non-stick bottom)
  • Wire rack

Preparation

  1. Melt the butter in the saucepan on a low heat, so it does not get brown. Remove from the heat once melted.
  2. Pour the water in a small bowl, sprinkle over the dried yeast. Let it dissolve for 5 minutes, only stirring once.
  3. Mix the flour and salt in the mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the butter and yeast. Gradually stir the flour into the wet ingredients with a wooden spoon.
  4. Grease the large bowl. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and transfer to the greased bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 hour to prove. It should be doubled in size.
  5. Lay a tea towel on the tray. Sprinkle over most of the semolina. Turn the dough on a floured surface and knead shortly and lightly. Then divide in 10 balls. Place them on the tray and flatten them a bit. Sprinkle over the rest of the semolina. Cover with another tea towel and leave to prove for about 30 minutes until risen.
  6. Heat the frying pan. Remove any excess semolina from the muffins. Cook the muffins in batches. Cover the pan with the lid, and cook for about 10 minutes. Turn over to the other side and cook for another 4 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Fiya'Says says:

    Now im hungry for this 🙂

    Like

    1. basilandoil says:

      I know the feeling! 😉

      Like

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