English Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup (240 grams) Sourdough Starter
  • 2 Cups (488 grams) Whole Milk
  • 4 Cups (480 grams) Unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp (11 grams) Salt
  • 2 Tbs (42.5 grams) Honey

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly together. It will be sticky.
  2. Cover bowl (not airtight) and let sit on the counter to proof for 8-10 hours. Let the yeast do its thing!
  3. Remove dough onto a generously floured surface.
  4. Roll out dough to a 3/4 inch thickness.
  5. Using a large biscuit cutter or glass (I use a 4 1/2″ cutter) cut out as many rounds as you can. (you can reuse and re-roll out the excess dough)
  6. On medium low heat, cook biscuits in butter for 6 minutes on each side.

HINTS:

  • You can cook these on any pan you choose, I use a cast iron skillet as it cooks more even for me. I let it preheat for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Adjust your cooking times to get the results you want. Every pan is different. Start with 6 minutes and go from there.
  • I use a frozen stick of butter to butter my skillet. Then I keep my stick of butter in the freezer while I cook the biscuits, then it doesn’t get all melty.
  • You can use any types of flour you choose. I usually do half white whole wheat and half khorasan flour. (Kamut)
  • Seriously… roll out to 3/4 inch thickness, if its too thin you will get thin biscuits. (its ok if they aren’t completely done inside….this fixes itself with toasting)
  • Fling the flour! You will need a bit to keep them from sticking…it will produce more uniform biscuits.
  • These freeze beautifully.

Dad’s Secret Toast and Jam

Have you seen the movie Nanny McPhee?

The part where the naughty children get sent to bed without dinner….and then they ask their maid for “secret toast and jam”.

My 80 year old VERY ACTIVE dad has had some tummy issues in recent years…and even though he knew that bread/wheat caused the issues to worsen….he always had “secret toast and jam” every night. I think he thought no one knew. But yet there was always bread and jam in the house for him. (His wife…my mother.. knows all of his secrets) She was buying him sprouted wheat bread from the store. And then he thought it was maybe the sugar causing issues…so he started asking my mom to buy sugar free jam.

It’s interesting how we don’t know…. what we don’t know.

There are good, better and best choices at the store for everything we buy. The sprouted wheat bread is probably better. And the sugar free jam is an absolute no go for me.

I started making him homemade jam and also making him sourdough bread and english muffins, for his nightly “secret toast and jam.” I knew the natural yeast could help heal his gut.

In my every so humble opinion, sugar free anything is harmful to the body and definitely to the gut. Artificial sweeteners cause a myriad of hormonal issues and gut issues. They disrupt the microbiome in your gut and affect hormone balance, blood sugars and brain clarity. I could go on… but I know you can do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

Sugar isn’t great either. There are better options. I use a lot of honey. BUT…having said that. I’d rather use natural cane sugar than a chemical. Good, better, best…right?

Another fact about sugar, if you balance your sugar intake (Jam) with a whole grain or natural yeast (sourdough bread) it will assist in balancing out your blood sugar and you won’t get sugar spikes. You can do this with anything…including fruits. Balance.

I used to say that I could balance out my Big Mac because it had lettuce on it…and let’s be real….french fries are vegetables too.

My Dad was resistant to the jam asking me to make some that was sugar free….and the answer was always…NOPE. “Dad, those chemicals used to make sugar free are worse for your body than real sugar…eventually you’ll see the difference.”

It’s getting that time of year that I will again be making jams and jellies. I don’t use full sugar amounts. But I do use it. I feel like it’s a better option than what I can buy at the store. And I also know what every single ingredient is that goes in it. Same with the bread I make.

It has taken some time…but guess who told me that he had noticed a difference in his tummy? That’s right…my Dad. I get text requests when there’s a bread or english muffin shortage at his house. I even make him his favorite dark chocolate almond nut clusters using only 2 ingredients….dark chocolate and almonds.

Even small differences in our daily food choices can make a big difference. I don’t think it’s realistic to make a 180 degree change from your normal lifestyle…but I do believe that you can make one change today….maybe another one tomorrow. Maybe that change is 4 Diet Cokes rather than 5. Maybe it’s a grilled chicken sandwich instead of a fried one. Maybe you buy organic jam rather than sugar free. Maybe you double your water intake today.

Maybe you start your own sourdough starter!!? Fernandough is my bestie…he’s been one of the funnest, most helpful journeys for me.

ANYWAY….I’m sharing the english muffin recipe with you today. Click here. And soon I’ll share my jam recipe faves with you!

Then you can have your own secret toast and jam! (Dad…it’s no longer a secret)


The BLAH’s

I was really feeling BLAH this week.

I think we are all feeling BLAH. It seemed like everyone I talked to this week…..”I’m feeling BLAH.”….”yeah me too.”

And you know what? It’s ok. We’ve all been through a lot this year…it’s ok to not feel ok!

I was trying to decide what to post today…and I ended up deciding to post BLAH!

It’s Sunday…so I got up this morning… turned on my favorite Sunday music….started some bread dough and some English muffin dough. And decided that I needed some help getting me out of the BLAH’S. So today…it was about the earth for me. I caught a glimpse of the Wellsvilles (a mountain range where I live) as the sun was coming up…still covered in snow, they were glowing and beautiful. I just stared….and took it in. I wish I would have taken a picture… but I didn’t know I was gonna post this today…and I was too busy just staring.

I love the earth. I love her. I have so much gratitude for her. Have you ever stopped to think about what she really does for us? She freely provides everything we need…..she has impeccable timing and she’s more than reliable. She never stops giving. Her beauty is unmatched….and I literally could find something new every single day that I haven’t seen before. Sometimes if we will just take a few minutes to really look….she will heal us. Mentally and physically by what she gives. She brings us joy…. gives a smile… shows us hope …..puts light where there is none….not to mention the nutrition she provides. She must be exhausted! Just having those thoughts today brought me an unexplainable amount of gratitude for her. Which in turn lifted my BLAH’s.

The truth in baking gives me comfort. The laws of it. If I use a certain ingredient and mix or cook it a certain way…it has to become what has to become. It’s a law! So I know when I grind wheat berries….I’ll get flour. And I know that when I add natural yeast with that flour and some water…a little salt…give it some time. It will rise. And I will get bread. It has to! It’s a law! That brings comfort and satisfaction to me.

Today was a great baking day. I felt a little more connected to Fernandough…. to his creation. To the ingredients. Putting everything in the bowl. Getting my hands in there and feeling the consistency…the stickiness….the ingredients coming together. Becoming what they have to become. When I pulled these hot babies from the oven….my heart felt so full. Like the earth had said, “Thank you for thinking of me today”.

Sometimes just finding a little something to be grateful for…can take away the BLAH’s. Plus you get some beautiful, delicious bread as a result.

BAKE ON!

BAKE ON!