They had the dormitory to themselves and the common room was far emptier
than usual, so they were able to get the good armchairs by the fire. They sat by
the hour eating anything they could spear on a toasting fork -- bread, English
muffins, marshmallows -- and plotting ways of getting Malfoy expelled, which
were fun to talk about even if they wouldn't work.
from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
by J.K. Rowling
You can bet that the English muffins Ron and Harry snacked on during their holiday break were not purchased in the supermarket. I'm fairly certain they were prepared at least by the dozens by all the hardworking Hogwarts house-elves.
Don't feel bad for them though. These are super fun to make. This was my first adventure with active yeast, and I was afraid it would be a huge flop. But it was easy as can be, and I basked in the smell of rising dough before the moment of truth. It almost felt like Hogwarts...
You could certainly buy English muffins at the grocery store, but here are four reasons why it's better to make your own...
1. Per muffin, even the cheapest store bought muffins cost three times as much as these babies. And I used some expensive ingredients too.
2. The store bought muffins are loaded up with all kinds of wonky chemicals. They might be harmless, but I prefer to be able to pronounce all recipe ingredients.
3. These are actually loads of fun to make.
4. The house-elves totally disapprove of store bought English muffins.
It's definitely okay if you toast them in the toaster though. Not all of us have a roaring Gryffindor fire in our living rooms.
Whole Wheat English Muffins
adapted from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook*
*I highly recommend this book to any HP fan, but know that it is full of meats and sweets, so major adaptation is required to get anything vegan or really healthy out of it. ;-)
3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, plus extra as needed
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
4 tbsp oil
1 packet active dry yeast (approximately 1 tbsp)
1 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
1 tbsp coconut sugar
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside. Heat the almond milk and oil together in the microwave until just warm, 10-30 seconds, and set aside. Mix the water, yeast, and coconut sugar and let the mixture sit until the yeast blooms at the surface (about 5 minutes). Pour the milk/oil mixture and yeast mixture into the flour mix, and stir to blend. Knead by hand, adding more flour as necessary (I needed an additional 2 tbsp).
When dough is smooth, grease the inside of the bowl and surface of the dough with oil. Return the dough to the bowl. Set in a warm area (I used the top of our oven). Wet a dish towel with warm water, wring well, and cover the dough. Allow dough to rise until about doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick on a floured surface. Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out 3 inch diameter circles. Heat a skillet on low and cook muffins for 5-10 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.