Out of all the meals in the day, breakfast is possibly my favorite, though dessert at any meal is pretty high up there too. When we go out for breakfast, Dustin often gets an eggs benedict with either crab or salmon. I have fewer options. I’ve been a vegetarian off and on for 10 years and have slowly found ways to add protein to my diet without using faux meat, which is a good transitional product, but can have a lengthy ingredient list.
We decided to cook everything from scratch for this one, even the muffin. If you want to save some time, buying muffins from the store will of course work too. Dustin is more of a planner than I am and likes to set all his ingredients out before we start cooking. I’m more of a spontaneous cook, but it does save time to organize all of one’s supplies. After getting some yeast started, flour, bread flour, salt and milk went into the food processor. After a few minutes in there, the dough stuck together as planned. So much easier than doing it by hand. I’ve tried.
Following a couple of rises, I cheated a little and used a cookie cutter to make semi-perfect circles. The dough continued to expand while I waited for my cast iron skillet to warm up. After several minutes on each side in the skillet, the muffins turned golden brown. I know it’s not polite to gloat but these were so much better than the muffins you get from the store! We ate the first one without any toppings while it was still warm from the stove.
Dustin poached the eggs for his benedict in lightly boiling water with a splash of vinegar. I’ve always been a little grossed out by eggs, but it was cool to watch them cook this way. It was super easy too. After watching the movie, “Julie & Julia“, I thought it would be more difficult.
Switching to my vegetarian option, I used my cookie cutter again to cut out my tempeh patties and to mold my egg whites into a circle while they were frying in their pan. Most people are not aware of tempeh unless they’ve been a vegetarian for a long period of time. It comes from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and, unlike tofu, it is very firm. A huge plus is it has a lot of protein and calcium and is low in fat and cholesterol. For my own peace of mind, I look for non-GMO tempeh and organic veggies to avoid any potential issues that have been raised lately regarding GMO products.
I loved the way both dishes came together. It was interesting to compare the presentation of the casual benedict to the perfect stack of bread, egg, and tempeh in the sandwich. Both indeed have their place of course, so we’re hoping to experiment like this some more in the future.
In the end, everything came together and photographed well. Maybe too well…I was too hungry to experiment with angles and lighting when it came time to shoot the final photos. Deeelish.
I topped my vegetarian muffin with a pan seared tempeh patty, salt, pepper, tomatoes, egg whites, and micro greens. I drizzled balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top. The eggs benedict was a muffin topped with wild salmon (supposedly caught the day prior), salt, pepper, sauteed garlic, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. Dustin said he will use a blender instead of a mixer for the hollandaise next time as he felt it was under-whipped and separated too easily. I think there is a lot of room in both of these recipes to experiment with different flavors and taste. We just added what we like. Dustin thought dill might be a nice addition to the salmon benedict. I’m thinking Thai chilis and/or avocado might be a nice addition to the sandwich.
- 1/2 cup of warmed water
- 2 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast (usually one packet of yeast from the store)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/2 all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 2 teaspoons corneal
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3/4 cup of milk, slightly warm
- Make the dough:
Preheat oven to 250°F. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl and let stand until bubbly — about 8 minutes. Combine the flours and salt in a large, ovenproof bowl and warm in the oven for 5 minutes. Place the flour mixture and the yeast mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. With the motor running, add the milk in a steady stream. Process until the dough is smooth and rides the blade. If needed, add more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until dough is smooth and supple. Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in volume — about 1 hour. Punch the dough down, transfer it to a clean work surface, and knead for 3 minutes. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Shape the muffins:
Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and set aside. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, gently form each into a patty and place the patties on the prepared baking sheet, turning to coat both sides lightly with cornmeal. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Cook the muffins:
Lightly oil a cast-iron skillet and heat over low heat. Place 4 muffins in the skillet and cook until the bottoms are golden brown — about 15 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining 4 muffins. Store in an airtight container for 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. Serve toasted.Homemade English Muffins – Country Living
- 10 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Dash of cayenne or tabasco
Melt the butter either by stove top or microwave. Put egg yolks, lemon juice and salt into a blender or food processor [we'll use a blender next time]. Blend on medium speed for a few seconds until the eggs change into a lighter color. Turn blender on low and slowly add the melted butter. Add cayenne, tabasco, lemon juice, or extra salt to taste. [I recommend making this last since it starts to turn to a solid if left out too long.]