I really, really hate feeling under the weather. It stresses me out, man.
I've been trying to cure my achy ears and scratchy throat with peroxide drops, salt water gargles, green tea, and lots of broth. But I really think it's more of an emotional ‘under the weather' than a physical one. I think I've spent too much time stressing over all that is to change one the new wee one arrives and I've been running myself ragged in the process.
It's good, I suppose, to have your body remind you that in the ninth month of pregnancy, it is essential to slow down a bit. I've been experiencing lots of painful pressure ‘down there' and am really starting to feel uncomfortable. I tried to explain the weird sensation to my husband, but it's a difficult one to put into words…
…”It feels like someone kicked me between the legs…but from the inside sort of”…
I'm sure that makes no sense to him. So, he simply resorts to smiling as I waddle on by…
And it is very much a waddle these days because of said pressure.
But so it goes. If baby is happy and healthy in there, so be it.
In this crazed nesting process, I've been attempting to stock the freezer with a few items before baby arrives. In doing so, I wandered across a fantastic soaked english muffin recipe.
You may remember we've made SOURDOUGH english muffins before.
But since my sourdough starter is currently non-existent (ya, ya, it's on the to-do list…) I needed to find another recipe that didn't utilize sourdough. And frankly, I'm glad I went looking for it. Because these english muffins totally hit on the correct texture, shape, and look of an authentic english muffin.
And they're soaked to break down phytates.
And they're made with whole wheat flour.
I've been trying to make two batches per week to stock up. Most of them will be made up into breakfast sandwiches (fried bacon or sausage patty, fried egg, little bit of cheese) and frozen for an easy and quick breakfast (just gotta warm it up in the oven for 10-15 minutes while you're getting ready!).
I really wanted to have these prepared for Stuart since I make him a hot breakfast each morning and once baby arrives, that may be hard to accomplish for a few weeks.
Enough babbling. Let's bake.
Soaked English Muffins
You will need:
– 3 cups of whole wheat flour (organic, freshly milled is best)
– 1 3/4 cup of raw milk (I usually cut mine 50% with water to make it stretch further)
– 2 tablespoons of vinegar or acid medium of choice (I prefer vinegar since it doesn't impart any taste but lemon juice is great, too)
– 2 tablespoons rapadura or natural cane sugar
Step One: Combine the flour, milk, vinegar, and rapadura. It will be the consistency of a thick batter. Cover and let sit for 12-24 hours.
Step Two: After the soaking period, add in the following:
– 3 teaspoons yeast
– 2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
– 2 teaspoons sea salt
Mix, recover, and allow the batter to sit for another 2 hours.
Step Three: Generously flour a baking sheet. Generously, people. These muffins can get sticky.
Then, generously flour your hands.
Then, punch down the dough and knead it slightly, adding a teensy bit more flour if you need to keep it from being too gooey.
Gently divide the dough into 8-11 ‘muffins'. I find it best to simply work each muffin a bit in my hands with a wee bit of flour to get it to the correct shape. Don't worry about getting it perfectly smooth or perfectly shaped. It's not going to matter in the end.
Here's what they should look like at this point:
Like sweet little muffins on a floured baking sheet, yes?
Let them sit for 20 minutes and recover from the massage you just gave them.
Step Four: Heat up a cast iron skillet (or skillet of choice) on medium-low heat. Gently transfer a few muffins at a time to the pan. It can be hard to move them, they're sort of gooey. But just be gentle, work with your floured fingertips, and you'll do fine. If it's super funky by the time it gets into the pan, just reshape it a bit with your fingertips. And be careful to not overcrowd them in the pan. They will puff up and expand as they cook.
The goal in this step is NOT to cook the muffins completely, but rather to brown the outsides. So give them about two-three minutes per side and then transfer them back onto the floured baking sheet.
Don't worry about the dough in the middle. We'll bake that out.
Repeat the browning stage with all the muffins. This should take just ten or fifteen minutes.
Step Five: Bake the muffins in a preheated 325 degree oven until they are cooked thoroughly (about another ten to fifteen minutes is all). You'll know when they're ready because your kitchen will begin to smell like heaven.
At this point in the game, you can either:
– Refrigerate for short-term storage
– Freeze for long-term storage
– Make up into breakfast sandwiches and consume for dinner since you didn't feel like making anything at all and this is good middle-ground for a hungry husband
– Forget dinner and just consume right from the oven with rich Kerrygold butter and homemade fig preserves
Your choice, my friend.
You may also choose whether you break apart the muffin with a knife or a fork.
Knifes give you a clean, smooth cut through the muffin.
Forks give you the ridges that are oh-so-important to an english muffin's texture.
Again, your choice.
I chose fork.
And breakfast sandwiches for dinner.
And eating some straight from the oven, too.
And sitting on my bum, editing pictures, sipping tea, and watching Netflix for the remainder of the night.
And since I failed to take a fabulous photo of a completed homemade english muffin breakfast-for-dinner sandwich, I will instead show you pictures of my little one (who didn't not get her hair done today). And Amen.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.