I’m cheating a little here. If I were sharing in order of experimentation, the Whole Wheat English Muffins should be getting their 15 minutes of fame (incidentally, that’s also how quickly a warm batch disappears). They’re coming, but right now let’s talk about these Homemade Buckwheat English Muffins.
When I first made them, it felt like a stark contrast to the light, fluffy white flour-based English Muffins. Then it occurred to me that these heftier muffins are closer to the packaged ones I used to buy from the health food store. In looking at them that way, and removing the memory of the lighter, springier ones, these heartier 100% whole grain Homemade Buckwheat English muffins deserve a rightful place at the breakfast table.
I find they hold me over a little longer, especially good for weekdays, which tend to be busy, and lunch often escapes me for lack of time. You can make a batch on Saturday or Sunday, split them with a knife, wrap in a few layers of plastic film, and freeze. When ready to eat, just pop them in the toaster.
I spread the last bits of raspberry violet jam I brought back from Paris back in January. The soft, floral, fruity jam provided a delicate contrast to the deep, nutty buckwheat.
If you love whole grains, and like buckwheat, you’ll want to give these a try. It’s also a great excuse to dip into that sack of flour sitting in your fridge (which is where you should store it if using intermittently, as it’s highly perishable).
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Buckwheat English Muffins
- 1 ¾ cup (250 grams) whole wheat pastry flour, plus extra for kneading & rolling out
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (40 grams) buckwheat flour
- 2 teaspoons (6grams) active dry yeast
- 1 teapsoon (6grams) sea salt
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) honey
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) softened butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 medium to large egg, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup (170ml) milk, warmed slightly
- Oil or cooking spray, for greasing the bowl
- Semolina or polenta, for rolling & dusting pan
- Add the flours, yeast, salt, sugar, butter, egg, and milk to a deep bowl. Using your fingertips, stir to combine, then knead it a few times until it comes together into a shaggy dough.
- Dust a counter with flour. Drop the dough onto the counter, and knead until it forms a smooth dough—this takes about 10 minutes.
- Coat a deep bowl with oil or cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, and cover tightly. Set in a warm spot until just about doubled in volume, about 60 to 75 minutes (it won’t get as puffy as traditional English muffin dough).
- Dust a counter with more flour and some semolina. Roll the dough out to ¾ to 1-inch thickness (2 to 3 cm). Use a 3-inch (8-cm) ring to cut out rounds of dough. You should get 6 to 8 pieces depending on how thick you roll it. It’s okay to re-roll the scraps once.
- Dust a sheet pan with semolina. Place the cut out muffins on the pan, and cover with plastic film. Let sit in a warm spot for 30 minutes, until they’ve puffed up.
- About 5 minutes before the proofing is done, heat a 10-inch (25-cm) cast iron skillet over the lowest heat setting until the pan is hot. Place 3 to 4 muffins in the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, until puffed up slightly, and nicely browned on the bottom. Flip, and cook for about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Repeat with the remaining muffins, keeping a closer eye—the pan will be quite hot, and might only need 4 minutes per side with each successive batch.