Festive Spice English Muffins
What makes Christmas for us is baking but it has been on the back burner for the last few years. 2013 – thanks to morning sickness I wasn’t interested in food unless it was raspberries, passionfruit or babybel cheese. 2014 – juggling a 5 month year old who just wanted to sleep, feed and play isn’t conducive towards baking, especially when it comes to accurate timing required with bread. So now this 2015 I decided it was time to get back on the bread baking wagon.
We have a tradition in this house called Treat Breakfast most Sundays and the same happens on Christmas morning. I’m not a smoked salmon kind of person so we’re more likely to go for something sweet.
A cold, damp December morning isn’t conducive towards making successful bread. I did a little experiment discovered slow cookers on the warm setting with the lid off work well as makeshift proving drawer when the kitchen is chilly and you’re too tight to switch the heating on.
Whilst making these LB helped briefly with the kneading process. I say helped, once she realised the raw dough was tasty she kept trying to eat it.
- 100 g dried mixed fruit
- 100 ml orange juice
- 500 g strong bread flour
- 3 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp soft dark sugar
- 5 g dried yeast
- 8 g fine salt
- 325 ml warm water
Soak the dried mixed fruit in the orange juice, ideally overnight.
Place all of the dried ingredients (apart from the fruit) in a bowl and mix so all the ingredients are well. combined.
Add the warm water and mix until you have a dough. Turn out and knead for 10 minutes or until you have a smooth dough. Flatten out the dough and sprinkle over the soaked fruit. Fold the dough over in thirds (like an envelope) to contain the fruit then lightly knead. Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise until it has roughly doubled in size.
Knock the dough back. Split the dough in to 9 equal pieces and shape each of these into a ball. Press the ball until you have a round approximately 1.5 cm thick. Dust each side with semolina and leave to rise on floured towel until doubled in size.
Heat heavy-bottomed frying pan on a medium heat. Slowly cook the muffins over a 10 minute period regularly flipping to make sure they are cooked evenly on both sides. Eat warm or toasted with lashing of butter.
note: they can be cooked and frozen in advance if making dough on Christmas morning is not your thing.