Imagine our surprise when we were researching this week’s blog and discovered that an English muffin is not actually English at all!

That certainly set the cat among the pigeons, especially as Chef Chris has already prepared his recipe (more on this shortly) with this in mind.

In a month of blogs dedicated to great British food, could we really talk about something that did not originate from these shores?

So, what do you think we did:

  • Sack the research team
  • Ask Chris to throw away his amazing dish and start again
  • Publish and be damned

The answer is of course (C).

If we are anything, it’s stubborn in the SK kitchen and we were certainly not going to let facts get in the way of a great story (for that, read incur the wrath of Chris!).

So, dear blog reader, we are pressing on regardless. It turns out that the English muffin (grrrr) was invented by a man called Samuel Bath Thomas in New York City in 1874. But he was a British ex-pat so we are going to suggest he got the idea when he was still in merry little England, so technically it does belong to us right?

Regardless, Thomas’s English muffins are now synonymous around the world and the best thing about this particular story is that according to The New York Times, only seven people in the world know the recipe.

Now that’s how to keep a recipe under lock and key, although to be fair, we also closely guard our dishes in the SK kitchen, so we’re totally on board with this. We could tell you how we make our onion bhajis but then we would have to…..well you get the drift!

Undeterred, Chris has made his own version and to reclaim the English muffin, he’s done his take on the McDonald’s breakfast muffin.

Did you know that McDonalds originated in Britain? That’s because the McDonalds’ brothers who opened the first Maccies in California were from Manchester. Granted it was Manchester, New Hampshire, but we can still claim this as our own can’t we………

The mighty ENGLISH muffin

  • 320g strong bread flour (plus extra to work with)
  • 1 packet of fast acting dried yeast
  • 8g salt
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 20g softened butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 170g milk (warmed slightly)
  • 20g polenta (plus extra to work with)

In a kitchen mixer with the dough hook attached, add all the ingredients making sure that the salt the yeast are in separate parts of the bowl as the salt will stop the yeast working. Mix the ingredients until a smooth pliable dough is formed – about 8 minutes mixing on a medium speed. Once mixed transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and place somewhere warm to allow the dough to prove and double in volume about an hour.

Dust a work surface with a mixture of flour and polenta, tip out the dough onto the surface and knock back the dough, then roll out the dough to about 2.5cm thick, then using a round edge flat 80mm cutter, cut out your muffins, place on a tray sprinkled with polenta and the sprinkle the rest on top. Preheat a flat bottomed dry frying pan on a medium to high heat.

Allow 30 minutes for the second proving. Then gently place the muffin in the frying pan and cook for 5-6 minutes each side, place to one side allow to cool.

Potato hash cake 

  • 450g peeled par boiled potatoes
  • 220g plain mash
  • 50g soft butter
  • 1 egg
  • 10g salt
  • Pinch of white pepper

Preheat oven to 180oc.In a bowl grate the potatoes, then mix in the mash, egg butter and seasoning. And form into 100g ball then flatten place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake in the oven until golden brown.

Sausage and apple patties

  • 500g seasoned sausage meat
  • 100g diced peeled Bramley apple
  • 1 pinch of dried time
  • 25g ketchup (plus extra for finishing)
  • 10g English mustard
  • 15g fresh breadcrumbs

Preheat a frying pan over a medium to high heat.

In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients, then weigh into 100g patties. Without adding any oil to the pan (there should be enough fat in the sausage meat to allow you to fry the patties without adding any oil) fry for about 5 minutes each side or until piping hot all the way through.

To finish

  • 5 large field mushrooms
  • 100g grated mozzarella cheese
  • Cooked patties
  • Cooked potato hash cakes
  • 5 fried eggs
  • 5 halved butter muffins

Grill the mushrooms for about 8 minutes, then sprinkle over the grated cheese and grill for a further 3-4 minutes.

To build place a spoonful of ketchup onto the base of cut muffin then the sausage patties followed by the grilled cheesy mushroom, then the fried egg and finally the potato hash cake. Serve with extra ketchup and enjoy. 

Chris Brown
About Chris Brown
Sous Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.