These beauties are light, fluffy and mega cheesy (“cheesy” in the best possible way, that is.) – perfect for breakfast, lunch and tea time; pretty good for any other time too.
Makes: 10 muffins
Time: Approx. 1 hr 15 min + proving time
Equipment: A cast iron skillet or large heavy frying pan
- Rice flour or semolina for dusting
- 480g white bread flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 375ml lukewarm milk
- A 7g sachet of fast action yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 20g melted butter or olive oil
- 80g grated cheese (40g Cheddar and 40g Red Leicester recommended)
1. Prepare two baking sheets. Either lightly grease them or use baking parchment. Spread over a thin layer of rice flour or semolina. Lightly grease the griddle or frying pan. (Smear the surface using a piece of oiled kitchen paper.)
2. Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
3. Warm the milk in the microwave – only lukewarm, no more. Pour about 100ml into a separate jug or bowl and stir in the sugar and yeast then stir in the rest of the milk and the melted butter or olive oil.
4. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and mix well, either with a wooden spoon or in a stand mixer. Knead until smooth and elastic. Probably about 10 minutes by hand, 7 minutes using a dough hook.
5. Form into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Lift and turn the ball to coat with oil then cover* the bowl and leave in a draught free area until it has doubled in volume, probably about 60 minutes depending on the warmth of the environment. (*The best item for covering is an elasticated shower cap)
6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and punch it down to release the air then mix in the grated cheese, making sure it’s well distributed. Roll the dough out to around 1cm/½” thickness. Using a floured 7.5cm/3” plain cutter, press out circles and place on the prepared baking sheets.
7. Dust the tops with rice flour or semolina and put each sheet inside a plastic bag* for their second prove. (*I use the white kitchen bin liners.) Leave in a warm area for about 30 minutes, until well risen.
8. Warm the griddle or frying pan over a low to medium heat. Carefully place the muffins into the heat in batches. Cook slowly for about 6 – 8 minutes on each side. Rotate each muffin during this time and check to make sure the heat is not so hot that they’re burning. Cool on a wire rack.
Finally – Muffins should not be cut right through. The “correct” technique is to prick around the outer edge with a fork then gently prise them apart by hand. This is to ensure that the airy inner texture remains intact.