My hands crack and bleed from the dry Wyoming climate combined with the bottomless pile of dishes that stack up in our kitchen sink. Making every single thing from scratch without a dishwasher is beginning to take its toll. Dough rises, seeds soak, something roasts, and yet another dish is dirty. I find meaning in this alone. However, much motivation comes from a husband who appreciates every single thing these hands make. He notices the details and finishing touches. He notices the garnish, the pinch of paprika and love I sprinkle on top. He thanks me daily for his lunches and snacks and apparently speaks highly of my kitchen endeavors while my hands are at home, in another experiment, another mess, another dirty dish. Not enough can be said for how much this means to me. Surely I would chop, whisk, knead, arrange and garnish even if he didn’t find amusement and delight in these tasks but when he does, my joy is doubled. My heart spills over. I feel like I need a second heart to help carry this beautiful load. Like a handwritten letter from a friend or a snow day that keeps us all home together. Like not one but two cocktails on date night, to accompany appetizers, AND dessert, unexpected happenings mean so much. A pleasant surprise always makes the moment sweeter. Without expectations, joy is amplified.
One of my favorite things about Christopher is his lack on entitlement, how he expects nothing. When I cook or bake for him, I get to see yet another quality I adore so much…his passion for life, his zeal for the mundane, the value he puts on things others take for granted. I don’t know anyone who can talk about the smell of bacon, the freshness of grapefruit and the perfection of bread, butter and jam, like he can. He has a gift for finding symbols weaved in and around all that fills up our lives and a gift for the details. He has a gift for making even an English muffin seem like a feast for Kings. This means we can eat English muffins for dinner beneath eggs, avocado, jam and cream cheese. We can eat them on the floor with a cold beer and be completely content. This means I receive just as much thanks and honest excitement for English muffins for dinner as pulled pork taco’s or his favorite sun-dried tomato pasta. With him, English muffins are as good as cargo bikes, windy days, forts and limes. Almost as satisfying as pizza in Naples or croissants in Paris. We can eat English muffins for dinner and feel like we have got the whole wide world on our plates and at our fingertips. We have each other, and so I think we do…
Makes 8 Sourdough English Muffins
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1 cup whole milk
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. raw honey
This recipe is super easy you just have to plan ahead. You only knead about 10 minutes to prepare the dough before its long rise, and about 10 minutes the next day to shape before it has another quick rise. Then another 15 minutes to cook the muffins.
The day before you want to eat your english muffins, prepare the dough. This dough needs to rise for at least 15 hours but can go as long as 24. The longer you let it sit, the more sour the muffins. Combine starter, and milk in a stand mixer with the dough hook attatchment(this can also be done by hand, it will just take a little longer.) Let mix together until combined. Add honey and salt and continue to mix for another minute. Add flour and let the mixer knead for 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a towel and it let rise for 15-24 hours. I place my mine in the oven with the light on. After it has risen, generously flour your countertop and add a little more flour on top of your dough if is too wet. You don’t want it to be stiff, you just want to able to knead without it sticking to the counter. Knead for a few minutes by hand and separate into 8 equal pieces. Shape them into the balls and then using a rolling pin to flatten them out a bit. Sprinkle with cornmeal or semolina flour and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. In a well oiled skillet, on medium heat, cook muffins for about 5-7 minutes on each side. Once they are cooked on the stove, you can also put all the muffins in a oven heated at 350 for 5 minutes to ensure they are cooked all the way through. It just depends on how hot your skillet was before you stared. Once they are cooked, let them cool completely. This step is really important for the inside to resemble and taste like an English muffin. Wait at least an hour. Slice open, with a serrated knife, toast and spread on your favorite topping.