Homemade English Muffins and Homemade Bagels

Liven up your midwinter meals and snacks with some wonderful homemade English muffins and homemade bagels.

| January/February 1981

Even though the nearest store is 120 miles from our Alaskan home—and our one fall shopping trip must last the family for seven months—we manage to provide ourselves with all kinds of special goodies during the long winter. For example, instead of buying such "luxury" items as bagels and English muffins, I keep the cost of our grocery bill down with homemade bagels and homemade English muffins.

The fact is that once an ambitious chef overcomes his or her fear of the unknown, both of the distinctive "rolls" are extremely easy to make and require no special equipment. (You will find, though, that a tuna can—opened on both ends—serves as an excellent muffin cutter.)

Whole Wheat English Muffins

To prepare about 24 muffins, add 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, 2 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/4 cup of honey to 2 cups of scalded milk. Cool the liquid to lukewarm, and stir in 2 packages of yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup of tepid water, 2 beaten eggs, and four cups of sifted whole wheat flour. When all the ingredients are blended well, knead in another 3 to 4 cups of flour and then let the dough rise until it's doubled in bulk.

When it's "up to size," cut the sweet-smelling lump into two sections, roll each piece out until it's about a quarter inch thick, and use your converted tuna can to cut the individual muffins. (Knead the trimmings until they hold together, roll them out, cut more disks, and repeat the process until all the dough is used up.)

Next, cover the dough "patties" and let them rise for about half an hour. When the time is up, sprinkle cornmeal on an ungreased griddle, cook the muffins until their undersides are unevenly dark brown, then turn them over and "toast" the tops.

Whole Wheat Bagels

Preparing bagels involves two separate cooking steps, but the chewy goodness of the delicacies is more than worth the extra effort involved in making them!

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