Every once in a while my hubs gets really into a hobby and dives in. Recently it has been bread baking. I’ve baked some bread in my time, but in all honesty none even come close to how yummy some of his loaves are! The other day he even made some challah bread that reminded me of the little Jewish delis in Miami. Yummm

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In the words of Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there!”

It all started with a book. One of his friends recommended, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and since then he reads it all. the. time. He talks about it nonstop, to anyone who will listen and critiques every bread we buy!

Even though I love all the bread, my favorite part is really sleeping in on Saturday mornings while he and Starr Lily do some baking in the kitchen.

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Much more useful than rolling out play dough. I need to put my kids to work.

I often wake up to her enthusiastically proclaiming. “I want to mix Papi!” Since the arrival of baby Stone (I can’t believe I have a 3 month old already!) Starr Lily has really taken to spending extra time with her dad.

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If only all husbands woke up early to play with the kids and bake…..that’s what dreams are made of….

He teaches her how to scoop, how to measure, how to crack eggs, how to turn on machines; they count, they explore different textures, they taste, they make a mess, they dance and they sing. I hope these are the times she remembers when she’s older! Meanwhile, I get to have some morning giggles with baby Stone, and cherish these moments. Oh, and delicious bread is definitely a plus!

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Look how big I am, Mommy!

So I asked Morgan if he would like to make some bread to share with you all! He quickly opened his book looking for inspiration, and after flipping through a few pages, stopped on the English Muffin recipe. (Adapted from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)

Here is what we used:

2 cups milk

2 tbsp butter

2.5 tsp instant (bread machine yeast)

4.5 cups flour ( we used bread flour because it’s what we have on hand, but all purpose or wheat flour work as well)

1.5 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

cornmeal

First, warm the milk and butter to about 105 degrees.

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Meanwhile, get your dry ingredients together: flour, sugar, salt, yeast. Make sure your yeast is alive and kicking! There have been many a batch of dud dough that doesn’t rise. Make a little well and add the wet ingredients.

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tip: you can proof your yeast before adding it into other ingredients by putting some into a bowl with warm water (like bath temp). Wait a few minutes. If it starts to foam, you’re good! If not, throw it out 😦

Mix and knead.

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Maybe have an occasional taste, or 2, or 3!

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Starr Lily loves her carbs

And knead some more. You want the dough tacky, but not sticky.

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The book suggests your dough pass two checks. 1) the temperature check, where your dough should be between 75-85 degrees.

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hehe I love his thermometer. Every kitchen needs one…hint hint…..

and 2) the window test. Hold your dough up to a window and let it stretch out a bit. You should see some light coming through but the dough shouldn’t break.

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If it does tear, keep on kneading for another 2-3 minutes and check again.

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Then, oil a bowl and let it rise for 90 minutes. Just cover it with some plastic wrap.

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or a damp tea towel if you are slightly anti plastic wrap

In the meantime, put on some sunblock and head out to the garden!

Here is the dough after 90 minutes!

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It’ll need to rise a second time, so punch it down again and separate it into 12 equally sized pieces and form them into little balls. You want to them coat them in olive oil again and dust them with some cornmeal. Do the same to the surface you place them on.

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Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rise for another hour. Next comes the fun part. You’re going to grill these fantastic little balls of dough! Pull out your griddle or skillet and bring it up to 350 degrees. Oh, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees too. Using a spatula, place them on the griddle about 1 inch from each other. You don’t want to squash them, so be careful. And let them turn golden brown. It’ll take 5-8 minutes.

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Flip them over and cook another 5 to 8 minutes. Now they’re starting to look like English muffins!

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my stomach literally grumbled….need to make a visit.

Once both sides are nice and browned, place them in the oven for another 5 to 8 minutes to make sure the center is cooked. Let them cool for 30 minutes and there you have it! Delicious English muffins.

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Pin Me!!

These didn’t come out exactly like Thomas’ English muffins. They are a little more dense inside and a bit crumbly, but most definitely delicious. Let me know if you try these out and what you think of them! Now I just need some of Amanda’s strawberry jam or some Hollandaise sauce!

Is there something your littles like to do with their dads?

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