Ever hanker for a toasted English muffin for your gluten free brekky? I like mine toasted and spread with lashings of butter and Mightymite (yeast paste like Vegemite (not gf) for those of you who’ve never had it). It’s an Australian classic spread, though for some an acquired taste. Thankfully there are quite a few gluten free options for those who love the sticky black and umami tasting spread.
Have you ever wondered why they are called English muffins? I certainly have so I Googled it and came upon an article with the following excerpt:
English muffins did not originate in England. In fact, the British weren’t even aware of their existence until a chap named Samuel Bath Thomas’s English muffins were imported from America in the 1990s.
Samuel Bath Thomas invented the English muffin. A British ex-pat, he emigrated to New York City in 1874. By 1880, he had his own bakery in the neighborhood now known as Chelsea. That’s where he invented what he called a “toaster crumpet.”
It became quite popular on the turn-of-the-century hotel and restaurant scene, as it was seen as a sophisticated alternative to toast. The term “English muffin” was coined in 1894 and was soon widely adopted.
Gluten free English muffins are a cinch to make with their familiar crunchy polenta topping. They pair brilliantly with salty foods but it’s equally nice with jam. If you wanted to, you could even make a fruit filled English muffin and add about 150g of fruit and some spice to the dough.
English muffins are used in many cafes for their eggs ‘benny’ so why not make a batch of your own to have for breakfast. You could make a double batch if you have a large bowl on your stand mixer and then they’re always available in your freezer.
Will make about 8-10 depending on the size you want
312.5ml warm water/milk combination
24g active dry yeast
300g superfine white rice flour
60g potato starch
38g tapioca starch
6g guar gum
60ml olive oil
3 egg whites from 60g eggs (reserve 1 yolk for brushing, or use olive oil if vegan)
1 tsp vinegar
Polenta – corn meal
Preheat oven to 220°C degrees.
Dissolve sugar in warm water/milk combination in a medium sized bowl then stir in yeast. Set aside to foam for 5-10 minutes until it looks like thick cappuccino froth. The ratio of milk (any that you drink) and water is roughly 50:50 but the important thing is that it is just lukewarm or tepid so the yeast doesn’t die.
Grease foil pie tins (or the slightly larger metal pie tins) with spray oil, sprinkle polenta on the base and up the sides and set aside on a couple of trays.
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture to combine. Still on low speed – blend in oil and vinegar then egg whites. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Dough will be somewhat soft. If you’d like to turn these to vegan, see note at the bottom.
Spoon evenly into prepared baking pans about 100-120 grams each and press dough out evenly using your hand greased with a little oil so your hand doesn’t stick to the dough. Brush with beaten yolk egg or olive oil and sprinkle more polenta on top.
Place straight into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. You can now either freeze them or use them straight away.
I like mine toasted even though they may be freshly baked. You can use these for bacon and egg muffins, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or the traditional eggs Florentine or eggs Benedict with hollandaise. Smashed avocado spiked with lemon and/or feta is also divine
Egg replacer for vegans
To each egg or egg white add 1 tablespoon (20ml measure) of chia seeds ground to 3 of the same tablespoons of water. Allow to sit in a bowl where they will congeal. For this recipe it is 3 tablespoons of ground chia seeds to 9 tablespoons of water