Hello everyone, I hope we are all well and had a nice, relaxed and enjoyable bank holiday. I am back home in London now, away from all the fresh countryside air and back to the city pollution (can’t beat it!).
Recently, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to do during the summer holidays. The problem (hmm, right word?) with finishing university in May is the ridiculously long summer break you get. Consider this, I finish on the 17th May, and won’t go back until the middle of September. Not only are you looking for things to do, but your loan money tends to disappear by July…
The latest figures regarding youth unemployment is quite disconcerting: according to statistics published in April, 979,000 young people aged 16-24 are unemployed (19%). You hear it all the time don’t you; graduates are leaving university unable to secure a career, rah rah rah…I could go on and on. It does make you wonder, you tend to be pushed to apply for university once while studying your A-Levels, promised career prospects and the benefits secured from having a good degree; but in this economic climate, no matter who you are and what education level you’ve experienced, finding a job is proving difficult. I’m not trying to sound negative, only to give you an idea of what is currently going on in my head!
As I was saying, I have a very long summer ahead and the prospect of earning is slowly creeping in. My idea was – running a market stall within the local boroughs selling cakes and jams etc, and seeing what it is like to sell your own bakes and homemade goods. If you pardon the pun, it seems a bit pie in the sky, if it was that easy everyone would be doing it, right? If anyone here has ANY experience with this, please do leave a comment below because I’m struggling to understand about all the different licences, permits, insurance, certification….what happened to the good old days of just making a cake and selling it? So that’s my little rant, maybe I should get back to what I promised from the title, ENGLISH MUFFINS!
In my experience, English muffins are always best at breakfast/brunch; serve them as eggs Benedict or eggs florentine; bacon sandwich or just topped with grilled tomatoes and poached eggs. I do think these muffins came out really well, they were perfect for the morning after for brunch, the looked like they do from the packet and they tasted wonderful. My only problem was with the proving; my own fault, didn’t follow my instinct of where to leave them to double in size. Lesson well learned, but problem did resolve itself when I placed the muffins on a very low gas mark (1/2) and watched them rise (but not as much as they should have done). They went down a treat in my house, so I thoroughly recommend Mary Berry’s recipe for brilliant and tasty English muffins.
Ingredients (makes roughly 14-16 muffins):
- 675 g strong white flour
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 7 g sachet fast-action yeast
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 450 ml tepid milk
- Fine semolina, for dusting
- Add the dry ingredients into a large bowl and then pour the milk in a continuous stream while mixing the ingredients, eventually forming a dough. If you are using your hands, add milk a fair bit at a time rather than in a continuous stream (you’re only human after all!)
- Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
- Turn the dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a thickness of roughly 1 cm using a floured rolling pin.
- Using a 7.5 cm plain edged cutter, cut the dough into rounds and place on a well floured baking tray. Dust the tops with the semolina.
- Cover loosely and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (roughly 1 hr).
- Lightly oil a griddle or a heavy based frying pan and place on the hob to heat.
- Cook the muffins (4 at a time on my pan) in batches. Cook them for 7 minutes on each side, turning the heat down once the muffins are in the pan.
- Cool on a wire rack before serving; tear them apart and toast them, enjoy with your brunch! Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of when we ate them, but I think the one above says it all! Yummy!