Thursday, January 22, 2015

English Muffins.

I am determined to bake a decent loaf of bread.  It is a family heritage that somehow skipped leaving an imprint on my DNA.

Not that it helped this time, but I was reading about bread making in The Joy of Cooking.  I came across a recipe for English muffins.  It involved scrubbing out a half dozen tuna cans so I did not attempt it.  What caught my eye, though, were the instructions for fork splitting them.  The method involved two forks held back to back and a prying motion.

Well, I had just never heard of that!  And it seems kind of awkward.  So I googled fork splitting English muffins, two forks.  Nada.  Involving two forks, anyway.

I did find this though.  (Had to post it, my friend!)


  1. I think if I were her , I'D leave home ... taking my muffins with me .

    I'm not too sure about the right way to eat anything these days , does anyone notice any more ? As long as there's no slurping ...

  2. Yes, I think you are supposed to pry the muffin open, but we have done it with one fork. It does do less damage to the surface of the muffin. Nice to be wealthy enough to discuss how to toast a muffin!

  3. Those shows crack me up. Well, I love baking bread -- yeast and quick doughs. I think I use a knife on muffins, though! Yikes, Peter Boyle would have killed me!

  4. I love Raymond. Cute video.
    As for English muffins, I haven't had one in years.

  5. This used to be one of my favorite shows. I never saw this show though. It's hilarious! I didn't know anything about fork splitting. I'll bet I might have just used my fingers. Sheesh! I can't remember.

  6. To slice or split? That is the question! Slicing is fast and efficient, the type of thing that one might want to do when serving a large group of people. There is some element of the sawing motion of slicing that will moosh the nooks and crannies which will cause distress in the purist. To be sure, one should avoid serving goddesses sliced English muffins.

    Fork splitting is slow and ponderous. It also has the disadvantage of chunks breaking off your muffin. This can be countered by only purchasing only premium English muffins. Alas those bargains at the supermarket are often hard to pass up.

    As such I offer the circumferential cut method. This is based on the methodology used in cutting tubing or light wall pipe. It avoids the crumbling effects of fork splitting and the excessive mooshing of the sawing slice method (although not entirely). It is not as fast as slicing, but can be faster than fork splitting.

    1. Set your knife on the very edge of the muffin as you would if you were to slice it normally.

    2. Rotate the muffin under the knife blade. Do not move the knife, avoid sawing.

    3. Gently feed the knife inward toward the center as you rotate the muffin.

    4. When the cut is complete the cutting edge of the knife will be at the center of the muffin.

    5. Experiment with rotation speeds and knife feed rates to procure the best balance of speed and non-mooshing. Very slow feed rates will moosh the least, but take longer.

    Great video!

  7. Love the video! And we love English Muffins too. Ours I think come slightly cut already and I just pull them apart. Never thought much about it.

  8. I've always been a forker. (I typed that very carefully). Only use one, not sure how to use two. Love my nooks and crannies. Aw, I miss Raymond.

  9. I split the muffin with one fork. Great video! Used to bake bread with my ids - haven't done it in years...

  10. I had no idea...I've never split an English muffin with a fork, always a knife. Funny the things you learn!

  11. I haven't purchased English muffins for a long time. I get the nooks and crannies, but they just weren't that important to me. A knife is faster.

  12. I succumbed to the fork method when I was in my forties. It really does make them toast better.
    Raymond's parents always reminded me of my in-laws.

  13. Was Sextant serious? Loves Arkansas Patti's response. The father on Raymond show was the best. He cracked my husband up. Forking is not a big concern for me these days. Great post Olga!

  14. I'm a cutter myself, but I've got to try that "circumferential cut method." You can still see Ray Romano on "Parenthood" -- in a dramatic role but with plenty of comic relief.

  15. Where have I been. I knew nothing, absolutely nothing, about fork splitting muffins. (I also slowed down when I typed that. ;)) I am still laughing over this great skit. Loved it.

  16. More opinions on the slicing / fork splitting divide:

    One gentleman who thinks likes an engineer provided that slicing creates a surface like this ------------ where as fork splitting creates a surface something like this ^v^v^v^v^v^v^v. Ahhh, graphical surface topography appeals to both my love for engineering graphics and topological cartography.

    I thought it ironic that a person from England did not know what an English muffin is. Do the American captains of commerce have the right to hijack national identities to serve their desire for profit? How English can an English muffin be, if the truly English do not know what it is?

    While I enjoy the debate, I must confess that despite having developed what I consider to be happy compromise of a techniques, in the overall big picture, who cares? My technique was developed with the reduction of "crumbulation" (the nasty tendency of the industrial brands to break off large crumbs and hunks during slicing) in mind rather than the preservation of nooks and crannies. A higher than average familiarity with tube cutting also fostered the technique.

    One could further argue that the mooshed ---------- surface is healthier in that a lesser amount of butter, jam, peanut butter, what have you, will be slathered onto the surface.

    For those curious about tube cutting, I offer this video, although I take exception to the quality of the tube cutter being used on 1" stainless tubing.

    The fact that the tubing is stationary while the cutter revolves is of no significance to the technique. The relative motion of the tool to material is the same at the immediate location of the cut regardless of which is rotated.

  17. Who knew that how to prepare your english muffin was such a point of contention! Almost as controversial as which way to hang the toilet paper! My best friend freaked out one day when she saw my daughter cutting an english muffin -- never really knew it mattered!


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