Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Gluten Free English Muffins Recipe

Lovely gluten free English muffins with nooks and crannies
Lovely, toasty gluten-free English muffins. I kid you not.

After four attempts we have a gluten-free English muffin we can toast with pride. An English muffin worthy of jam. Worthy of peanut butter. Or a sit down breakfast. Heck, worthy of breakfast in bed. These warm and golden little babies are too crispy-tender good to munch running to the bus stop or strapped in your car, thinking about the onslaught of your daily tasks. These muffins deserve a proper plate. A mug of tea. Your Sunday morning iTunes playlist.

I'm not sure why a simple English muffin is so tricky to recreate gluten-free (and in my case, also vegan- no milk and eggs to help the stubborn gluten-free flours fluff and rise). I thought it would be a snap. So I perused Alton Brown's recipes for inspiration, found his English muffin recipe, and did a quick gluten-free casein-free conversion. It seemed doable. Although I knew from experience that using a griddle to cook gluten-free muffins would be trouble.

I opted for baking the muffins on a sheet lined with my trusty Exopat (using a liner keeps those overly sensitive gluten-free flours from scorching on the bottom). I'm using English muffin rings to help shape the dough (I purchased them at Amazon). A reader suggested on Twitter I could use cleaned out tuna cans, but. That seems a tad unappetizing (intellectually, I know tuna cans would work; emotionally, all I keep visualizing is the mystery neighbor in Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park who piles his smelly used tuna cans out in the hallway).

Using Alton's basic template the first batch turned out very dense, with no rise and no crunchy edges- though the dough looked promising (pictured above, rising). Dense was not a quality I wanted in my muffin. So I tried again, this time using my own original Gluten-Free Bread recipe as a template (I'm loving the combo of sorghum, potato starch and millet as a flour base for yeasted breads these days). The result was better- but still not quite there.

After a third attempt I realised that the issue might be moisture. I was creating a dough that resembled wheat dough, and I could shape it a bit and pat it into the English muffin rings, but the result was heavy and more resembled a gluten-free hockey puck.

The fourth try was the charm (sometimes perseverance pays off). I added more warm water to the dough (than seemed wise), until it was more of a thick cake batter than a stretchy playful dough.

And sweet bi-locating John from Cincinnatti! It worked.

Read more + get the recipe >>

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