It's bright and sunny and cold and I have remembered that I don't completely hate winter now that the torrential rain has passed. In fact I quite like the bundling up ritual, the numb tingle in my nose and the completely valid excuse to batten down the hatches when the dark evenings set in...
This weekend I made English muffins. Perfect for breakfast, excellent at tea time, these muffins are soft and fluffy on the inside with a crunchy exterior thanks to the polenta and a hot frying pan. I recommend eating warm smeared with butter, accompanied by a hot cup of tea.
Recipe by Paul Hollywood, makes 8
300g strong white flour
1 tsp salt
7g sachet of yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten
15g caster sugar
15g butter softed
15g polenta, or semolina
1. Put the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt in one side and the yeast in another. Mix well.
2. Add the butter and rub into the flour until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
3. Add the egg and the milk until a soft dough forms. I found that I did not need all the milk.
4. Smear a very small amount of oil on to the worktop.
5. Turn out the dough out onto the worktop and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
6. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for an hour in a warm place until doubled in volume.
7. Punch the dough to remove the air. Dust half the polenta and flour onto the work surface. Roll out the dough to 2.5cm thick. Using a cutter, stamp out 8 rounds.
8. Put the rounds on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.9. Heat a frying pan or a griddle pan to a low heat.
10. Cook the muffins on both sides until dark brown, around 6 minutes either side but keep an eye on them. Leave to cool on a wire rack.