Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sourdough English Muffins

Let me tell you that fresh breads and biscuits on a campout can really be the highlight of the experience for you and your guests. During a recent outing to Chain of Ponds, we woke up to a cold drizzle. Fortunately we had planned ahead, ok I admit it was my wife's idea, to have bacon and egg sandwiches on sourdough english muffins. We could cook them on a griddle or fry pan over the fire- but we cooked them on the propane stove so we didn't need to start the camp fire on a rainy morning.

We prepared the sourdough the night before according to the recipe on page 538 of The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. I've paraphrased this recipe below but highly recommend this book because it has a great section on sourdough. I'll be sharing my views on the best sourdough bread recipe at some point in the future.

In any case, here is the recipe:

1 cup sourdough starter,
1 ½ cups milk,
5 ½ to 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs sugar,
1 Tbs salt,
1 tsp baking soda,
cornmeal to sprinkle on cast iron griddle

Sponge: Mix together the starter, milk and 3 cups of flour. We cover this with a cloth and let it sit overnight.

Dough: When you first wake up, mix together the rest of the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda in another bowl. Combine thoroughly. Set aside for an hour or so until people start waking up to the smell of coffee.

When the dough has risen, knead it on a cutting board for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is smooth. The dough will feel elastic. Roll the dough about ¼ and ½ inch thick (or do it your own way). Cut out 3-4 inches circles, put them on the floured baking tray- we use a pineapple rings can with both ends cut out. Let the raw muffins rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the cast iron griddle until hot, then cook the muffins with very gently heat until they rise, about 10 minutes. Flip on the other side, then cook again for 10 minutes.

We wrapped them in a towel to cool while we cooked the bacon and eggs. We then split them with a fork, added mayo, egg, cheese, and bacon.

Try it out and let me know what you think- this will surely be a hit with your guests!

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