ENGLISH STOVE TOP MUFFINS
500 g strong white bread flour (3.5 cups)
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
1.5 tsp (7.5 ml) powdered dried yeast
325 ml warm water
1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus a bit extra
1 handful semolina/maize flour, for coating – this is essential to get the perfect crust
Mix the flour, salt, yeast and water in a bowl to form a sticky dough. Add the oil, mix, then turn out on to a work surface and knead until smooth and silky (this took around 10 minutes). Shape the dough into a round, coat very sparely with oil and place in a clean bowl covered with a plastic bag. Leave to rise in a warm place until roughly doubled in size.
Tip out the dough on to a work surface and press all over to deflate. Divide into 12 pieces, shape each into a round and flatten to about 1.5 cm. Dust with semolina flour – this gives a lovely texture to the crust – and leave to prove on a clean linen tea towel on a wooden board (slip into a plastic bag to help it along) for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Heat a large, heavy frying pan or griddle over medium heat (I found there was no need to grease the pan). Cook the muffins in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan (or have two pans going at once). Lay the muffins in the pan, cook for a minute, then turn gently. Cook slowly for another 10-12 minutes, turning every now and then. You may need to adjust the heat if they seem to be colouring too fast or not fast enough. Cool on a wire rack.
Serve split in half and toasted with your choice of topping.
Photo: Adam Cloete