Monday, January 6, 2014

English Muffins



"Sumptuous Things For Thee To Eat" are words gracing the cover of my Stan Hywet Hall Cook Book. This printing does not have a copyright or date or general author information. I am guessing it was printed in the 60's-70's range due to the aged look of the book and the sorts of recipes.
The original cook book committee lists Mrs. John R. Kaltenbach as the Chairman.

It's an ungodly -6 degrees outside my kitchen window today. If one factors in the windchill to the equation, it's basically damned cold. Damned cold is cold no matter how you slice it. Perfect day for making English Muffins. I know, you can buy them in the store. Just try pronouncing everything on the ingredient list. Then consider making your own. I'm glad for making the attempt and will consider making our own forever more. Warm homemade muffins bring a little comfort to the cold day.

This English Muffin recipe is indeed a sumptuous thing to eat. I adapted it slightly because I didn't have sweet cream. I'm not sure what this cook book was referring to as sweet cream, evaporated milk maybe? I combined skim milk and heavy cream. I have noted this slight change in the recipe.

Stan Hywet English Muffins

1 cup sweet milk, scalded ( I used 3/4 cup skim milk and 1/4 cup heavy cream)
1/4 cup Crisco
2 tsp. salt
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
1 pkg. dry yeast
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
cornmeal for dusting
additional shortening for frying*

  1. Scald the milk.
  2. Soften yeast in a small amount of warm water. ( I used 2 tablespoons)
  3. Add Crisco, salt and corn syrup to the warm milk.
  4. Add softened yeast to the milk mixture.
  5. Add flour, and mix with a spoon until the dough is smooth and well blended.
  6. Turn onto lightly floured board and knead for a little bit then roll the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with a 3.5 inch floured round cookie cutter. Place them on a cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Dust the tops of the muffins with a small amount of cornmeal. Let rise in a warm place until light, about one hour.
  7. Preheat an electric skillet to 340 degrees. I think a frying pan with a lid will work if cooked on medium. Brush the skillet lightly with shortening. *Lightly, got it...
  8. Bake covered, 10 minutes on each side.
  9. Cool, Split, toast, butter and then thee can eat it!!
It's still frigid cold but the house smells great and we have sumptuous muffins.

This made 7 muffins.


For those who are not Ohioans, Stan Hywet Hall is a magnificent mansion and gardens located in Akron, Ohio. A very nice historical place to visit.



2 comments:

  1. In old bread baking, I interpret sweet cream to mean, not sour(ed) cream. Sour cream was pretty commonly made at home, and plentiful-so it shows up in many bread recipes.

    "Top milk" is sometimes used interchangeably with sweet cream as well (what rose to the top of the milk bottle, but was not the solid milkfat).

    Your muffins look perfect. Glad you survived the cold. I had to laugh at people calling Chicago, "Chiberria." It sounds like you had it worse in Ohio.

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  2. Thanks for the compliment, and the insight to the sweet cream. I suppose English Muffins are baking bread. You know I have this whole bread baking phobia and have sworn to never attempt it, not ever again. Maybe because the word muffin was in the title, I had better success. I always admire your posts of those fabulous loaves with envy!

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