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Kerplooey (Part 2)

Our oven is being fixed in an awesomely effort-free (for me) fashion!  My Dadini came, saw, conquered, and will reappear later in the week on a chariot led by a fire-breathing lion with bat wings because that’s the only beast awesome enough to bear him, and will replace the element. He’s also fixed our wobbly dining room chairs, measured up my study cupboard for new shelves and fixed the blinds that weren’t opening and shutting. He’s like the most hardcore fairy godmother ever, only he’s my Dadini and that’s a million times better.

That rocks. But on the other hand: crap, no oven means neither bread baking nor pizza (-4 points) On the other other hand, I like the challenge of working around that kind of thing — artifical constraints encourage experimentation (+2 points).  On a new hand, Dadini to the rescue means I don’t have to arrange to have a tradesman come in, take time off work, etc., and also gives me a chance to learn how to change the element in an electrical oven, should this come up again (+2 points). On the, uh, fourth hand, a brand new element could make the oven faster (+1 point).  Total tally so far: +1 point in favour of the whole situation. Hooray!

Then I made these and that improved matters no end — arguably blew the whole points tally away like dust before the mighty gale of a cattledog’s belch.  Since Mumini and Dadini were coming over to (a) look at my oven (and generally put my domestic life back on track); and (b) have lunch with us, we had to have something for them.  No oven means no bread baking, of course — I’m embarrassed at how many ideas I had that demanded an oven: “Well, we’ll just put on a loaf of bread and…oh, yeah. Well, maybe just a quiche — ah, yep.  A potato bake is always a popular…what? Oh, right, yeah.  Well, I guess we’ll have…pancakes?” In the end: English muffins.  Made extra large so as to double as sandwich buns.

Oven not required!

These were easy and satisfying (which is how I like my…oh, forget it, it’s too easy). I used this recipe from The Frugal Girl, and it’s simply a basic soft bread recipe, with plenty of milk, butter and sugar for a soft, fluffy crumb. You rise the dough, roll it out and cut the shapes, then let them rise a little longer, before dry-frying them over a medium heat. Eeeeasy and no oven required. I could have made mine a little thicker, but that’s okay. I used a cocktail glass to cut them out, because I was slinging down martinis at breakfast and it was handy, and because I’m too hardcore to own anything like a biscuit cutter. Also I wanted them extra big. One other thing: everything I’ve read online about English muffins mentions the characteristic that you can split them open with a fork (as opposed to slicing them open with a knife) and I had never even thought of that.  I can’t seem to do it with store-bought ones without rupturing the muffin, puncturing myself and generally turning breakfast into a disastrous, bloody affair.


But holy cow you can totally split these with a fork, and they yield, revealing a fragrant and lush pastoral landscape of valleys and dells waiting to be flooded with butter and honey. If you like that sort of thing.

An epic bread landscape!

Next time I make them, I’ll probably use less sugar and substitute half wholemeal flour, but I’m like that.

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