Home Cooking Made Easy p44
Muffins are a lexical nightmare. They can mean so many things. Usually they mean American muffins, e.g. a Starbucks Skinny Blueberry Muffin, but in my homeland of Lancashire they have oven-bottom muffins – a kind of flat bread roll. Confusingly in the Oldham area, muffin is also a general word for bread roll.
But of course I am talking of the Original muffin – the English Sunday tea time treat, often served alongside crumpets. The Importance of Being Earnest (my favourite play for food-related quotes) has a lovely scene involving muffins:
Jack: How can you sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless. Algernon: Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs.
But of course I’ve realised the English muffin is famous for that most American of snacks – the egg McMuffin.
I can’t really give away Lorraine’s recipe to you, but I’ll hint that it’s a bread roll recipe with milk in it. You let the dough rise and then cut out circles with a pastry cutter. You then fry them in a dry frying pan or griddle over a very low heat until browned and cooked through (though you can finish them off in the oven as I did).
They tasted like genuine English muffins which I love and made a great Sunday tea, warm with butter (none of which got on my cuffs).