This started as an exercise in ticking another "must cook" item off my list - I was to make hollandaise sauce. However, whilst the sauce was delicious, all my excitement surrounded the making of my own English muffins.
The muffins were surprisingly easy to make. The dough was light and fluffy and the muffins looked exactly like the real thing! The batch made 15 muffins so I gave some to friends, who reported back positively. I'll definitely make them again - maybe fruit ones next time! You can make the muffins a day or so in advance and then toast them when you're ready to eat. The recipe is here (note: I substituted Doves Farm organic self raising wholemeal flour for bread flour, and used baking powder where the recipe asked for baking soda, and semolina where the recipe asked for cornmeal. 2.5 teaspoons of instant yeast is one 7g sachet).
Although I must confess I devoured several of the English muffins slathered with butter and a smear of jam, I did actually make a proper meal from a couple of muffins too. We had toasted muffins, with cos lettuce sauteed in butter (odd, I know, but surprisingly good), poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
I followed these instructions for the hollandaise from Nigel Slater to the letter and had no problems. The smooth, silky, yellow sauce was delicious.
I am yet to master the art of poaching more than one egg at once. I am very good at swirling the water and poaching one egg, however, as you can't swirl the water for a second egg this is not the most productive method.
I have taken to covering a ramekin with cling film (loosely, so there's a dip in the cling film), greasing the cling film and then breaking the egg into the film, gathering the cling film at the top, enclosing the egg (much like if you were wrapping something in cellophane I guess, and tying a bow at the top) then dropping the package into the water (if my explanation made no sense at all, check out this You Tube video of someone demonstrating it. The guy filming gets a wee bit distracted at one stage, but it's a good demo!)
The result was a dreamy dinner! Gorgeous runny egg yolk, rich buttery hollandaise, fluffy English muffins with a light crunch. Ta-dah!