Before you run away faster than you can say "Home Made English Muffins and Strawberry Jam," I promise this isn't as hard as it looks! A few weeks ago, post run, Running Buddy Selena and I ordered breakfast (we don't just drink beer after we run, thank-you-very-much) and on this particular morning, I ordered, among other things, a buttered English muffin. And in between bite after delicious buttery bite, my crafty little self got to thinking, I wonder if you can make English muffins? Luckily, Running Buddy Selena pulled out her Blackberry and Googled it for me, right then and there.
The results were astounding! I learned that not only were English muffins easy to make, but they were cheap to make! As I've stated before, I'm not always Betty Bargain, but I do love making things myself and saving money that I could spend on other things, like, oh, this bag.
Anyways, I also found myself with a few pounds of strawberries in my fridge (on sale at the farmer's market this weekend), and thought I'd make a quick and easy (no canning or processing required!) strawberry jam to go with it. Make the jam the day before you make the muffins, as it needs to set for 24 hours.
First things first, the muffins.
Home Made English Muffins (adapted from Alton Brown's recipe)
Makes: 8-10 Muffins
Ingredients and Tools:
1/2 Cup Non-fat Powdered Milk
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Melted Butter
1 Cup Hot Water
1 Envelope Dry Yeast
1/8 Teaspoon Sugar
1/3 Cup Warm Water
2 Cups All-purpose Flour, sifted
Non-stick Cooking Spray
3" Metal Rings
GriddleIn a bowl combine the powdered milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, melted butter, and hot water, stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool.
Add this to the dry milk mixture. Add the sifted flour. Beat thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the rested mixture and beat thoroughly.
Preheat either an electric griddle to 300 degrees F, or place a non-electric griddle pan on your stove set to medium.
Place four 3" metal rings at a time onto the griddle and coat lightly with vegetable spray. Note: you can buy special 3" English muffin rings like these, OR you can cut the tops and bottoms out of used tuna cans and use that instead. Fill each ring 1/2 of the way full. (Isn't my heart-shaped wooden spoon adorable? It was a gift from The Boyfriend!)
Remove the greased cookie sheet and flip rings using tongs (careful, they're hot). Cover with the flipped rings with the greased cookie sheet again and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Next, remove rings and allow to cool. Split with fork by inserting the fork around the sides of the muffin. This will ensure your "nooks and crannies" stay perfect. If you cut them with a knife, you will lose your nooks!
Next, the Strawberry Jam!
Quick and Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam (from the Sure-Jell box)
Makes: Six or Seven 8oz. Containers
4 Cups Crushed Strawberries (About 3-4 lbs. or pints whole, I crushed a small amount at a time not to waste any that could be kept and eaten whole)
3 Cups Sugar
1 Pink Box Sure-Jell Premium Fruit Pectin
1 Cup Water
Clean and trim berries and place in a bowl.
Mash one cup of strawberries at a time in a bowl with a potato masher. Measure exact amount of strawberries needed (4 Cups).Place the 3 Cups of sugar and the box of Sure-Jell in a bowl, mix these dry ingredients well.
Put on stove, and stir in 1 Cup of water. Bring the mixture to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Do not walk away. Be patient, and just stand there and stir. Boil and stir for one minute. Remove from heat.Stir the 4 cups of mashed strawberries quickly into the pectin-sugar mixture. Stir for one minute until thoroughly mixed.
Pour into desired containers, leaving at least 1/2" of room at the top for expanding during freezing, cover with lids.
Let containers stand at room-temperature for 24 hours until set. Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or freeze for up to 1 year.