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|coffee and muffin
Written by Carolyn
(5/14/2007 9:52 p.m.)
here is a modernized version taken from Francis Collingswood's The Universal Cook and City and Country Housekeeper 1801. It appears in Cooking with Jane Austen by Kirstin Olsen
Mix the yeast into 1/2 cup of the warm water and set it aside for 15 minutes. It should become bubbly, proving that the yeast is still active. Meanwhile, mix the salt thoroughly with the flour in a large bowl.
Add all the liquid to the flour and salt. Stir for about 5 minutes until the ingredients are completely incorporated and the dough becomes very stretchy; the dough will be sticky and very soft. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and set it in a warm place for 1 hour.
Prepare some cookie sheets by lining them with nonstick silicone liners or with wax paper generously sprinkled with flour. When the dough has risen, dip one hand into the sticky mixture and grab a small handful of dough. Drop it into a bowl of flour and use your other hand to cover the dough lump with flour. Dip your sticky hand into the flour and toss the dough ball lightly back and forth from hand to hand to shake off the excess flour. Then set it on one of the lined cookie sheets. Continue until the cookie sheet is full; then cover it loosely with plastic wrap and fill and cover the other cookie sheets in the same way. Cover any leftover dough. I le muffins can be left to rise on their pans for top to 1 lour or can be cooked immediately just be sure that the plastic wrap covering them does not stick to the tops it you opt to let them rise for more than about 15 minutes.
When all the cookie sleets are full heat a nonstick griddle or large skillet at medium to medium-low heat. (the exact setting, just as with pancakes, takes a little experiment and depends on the performance of your individual stovetop.) Using a spatula, remove the muffins from the first tray you assembled and place them on the griddle. The dough will still be very soft, so try not to squish or roll the muffins as you remove them from the tray it is sometimes helpful to sprinkle some flour around the muffin, using the spatula to slide the flour under the muffin from all sides before attempting to lift it.
Cook the muffins for 2 to 5 minutes on the first side, then flip, press lightly with a spatula, and cook for 2 to 5 minutes on the second side; the exact time will depend on your griddle. Ideally, you want to adjust the temperature so that each side takes closer to 5 than to 2 minutes to cook. When done, the first side will have a generous scattering of medium-brown spots. The second side will usually have a larger area of browning toward the middle of the muffin.
To serve, split the muffins with a fork in the following manner insert the tines of a fork into the edge of the muffin and pry it slightly apart. Remove the fork and continue the same procedure all the way around the circumference of the muffin. When you have gone all the way around you can insert the fork more deeply and pry the two halves completely apart. Toast the muffins and spread them with butter. They can be toasted in a toaster, although in Austen’s day the muffins would have been speared on a toasting fork and toasted at the drawing-room fire.
|Cooking with Jane Austen|
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