Thursday, January 7, 2010

English Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches

Behold: beautifully browned English muffins!

Ok, I know that English muffins aren't exactly the most exciting thing ever, but work with me here. Give it a chance. Read through this entry first and then decide to write it off or not. This way, you can rest assured that you're making an informed decision!

Truthfully, I've never really given these a lot of thought. I always preferred other breakfast items and only on occasion would we buy a pack of them. They never seemed like anything special to me and there were so many better things to consume for breakfast... like lattes and pastries.

But recently, we've had an obsession with Dahlia's Bakery, a Tom Douglas restaurant that's super famous in Seattle. If you'll remember, the Coconut Cream Pie that I recently did was one of his amazing recipes. On a few consecutive Sundays, we've driven all the way out to Seattle and back just to have breakfast there. It's worth the effort!

Hubby has been obsessed with one of their breakfast sandwiches (and with good reason). It's the most amazing thing ever and quickly became one of our favorites.

It's a freshly baked and toasted English muffin sandwich with melted cheddar, a fried egg, crispy bacon, and fresh arugula. Mmmm... now there's something to wake up to!

I never thought I'd be inspired by something as mundane as an English muffin. But I guess if anyone could turn the mundane into inspiration, I shouldn't be surprised that it would be Tom Douglas!

I found a great recipe on Tracey's Culinary Adventures. I was surprised at how fun it is to make these! The recipe is actually pretty involved, for something that's so seemingly plain. I felt like I was reading a suspense novel, with lots of unexpected twists and turns! Ok, I exaggerate. But only a little.

I used the paddle attachment for this one.

Combine sugar, flour, salt, and yeast.

Mix in butter and milk until all of the dry ingredients have been combined.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes on a floured surface until it passes the window pane test. (Click on the link I've provided for more information on this test. They explain it better than I can and have pictures to illustrate.) Basically, your dough should look like a thin window pane when pulled apart. You can also test it via temperature. Your thermometer should register between 71 and 88 degrees F. If it passes either one of these tests, that means you've kneaded the dough enough and you can allow it to rest and rise.

Once you've kneaded it to perfection, lightly oil a bowl and roll the dough to coat. Cover it in plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm place. The "warm place" part is crucial, as I figured out the hard way! My house was really cold and there was a draft from someone leaving the sliding glass door open, so I had to let it sit twice as long, and I even turned on a burner near it.

But don't worry, it'll eventually rise! Double, in fact!

Sprinkle a parchment lined pan with corn meal.

Flatten your dough into a rectangular disk and cut into 6 equal pieces.

Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place them on the pan. Make sure to space them evenly apart because they will rise again! Sprinkle with more corn meal on top and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow them to sit in a warm place until they've doubled in size.

Ta-da! They turned out to be huge!

Ok, here's where it gets interesting! Transfer them onto an oiled skillet and brown both sides. What I tell ya? Exciting, is it not??

This won't cook them completely through, but it will give it the beautiful brown crust that English muffins are known for!

After you've browned them on both sides, place them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 5-8 minutes.

They turned out so beautifully! I agree with Tracey, they were definitely super light, fluffy, and oh-so-delicious! Have you ever had one straight out of the oven with warm melted butter?! Now there's something to get excited about! I've been missing out all these years with the store-bought kind. Maybe that's why I've always been luke-warm about them- I've never had a homemade one! It's amazing with jam too!

Anyway, onto this Tom Douglas sandwich! It's super easy to make.

Fry an egg in olive oil so that you have a little "egg patty." Brown up some crispy bacon! I like to use thick cut, center sliced bacon. It's the best!

Cut an English muffin in half, then butter and toast it with a slice of cheddar on top, so that it melts and becomes deliciously gooey!

Top with the crispy bacon...

...add your fried egg patty...

...and finish it off with some fresh arugula!

Only one thing to do when you've go something this amazing in front of you: PIG OUT!

I'd like to encourage everyone to give these a try! It's super easy and fun to make. Everyone deserves to know what a real English muffin should taste like! You'd be surprised at how much of a difference it makes!

Click HERE for the English Muffin Recipe!


  1. Oh my, I know what I'm making Saturday morning!! I l-o-v-e english muffins and homemade sounds even better! Thanks!

  2. i want some bagels...had them all the time when we were in SF

  3. I never thought to put arugula on an egg sandwich! Looks great!

  4. YUMMY! They look so good! I'm inspired! We're making homemade pretzels tomorrow. I'll take pictures and let you know how it goes.

  5. i am completely obsessed with egg sandwiches. I've never had arugula on one but it looks delicious! mmm now I want one

  6. I made English muffins a while back too, and was just giddy that I could do that myself. : ) Great way to start your day!

  7. Have you tried the English muffin recipe in David Chang's Momofuku?

    This is Bryn's dad.

  8. I told my husband today that I am not buying any more food until we eat what we have - we spent so much money on groceries over the holidays and leftovers are spilling over in my deep freeze.

    But this recipe is perfect - every good pantry has flour, salt and yeast!

    I see a breakfast sammie in my near future! :D

  9. Hi Bruce! I'm so excited by the fact that you read my blog! hehe.

    No, I haven't tried that recipe. This is the first I've heard of it. What's unique about it?

  10. Hi Judy,
    I live in Sydney , this breakfast is very popular in Australia even MC. DONALD have them and is the same with your one.We also eat them with butter and jam or honey. The good thing is we can buy the muffin from supermarket they are available in wholewheat,raisin, blueberries and spices one.
    Love reading your Blog.


  11. Ohhh Judy. This is spectacular! Really, and not just the sandwich. EVERYTHING. You are a true find. Wish you had a follow button. One of these days when you have a minute, come and see my blog. I'd be proud and honored to have you as a friend/follower. Happy New Year, Keri (aka Sam)

  12. Well, now I'm just going to throw out that bag of english muffins sitting in my freezer! I swear, I have one and that's about it... VERY impressed Judy, I'm sure these are far superior to store-bought, and well worth all the effort. Love your progression photos, they help so much! What type of lighting system do you use? I know you don't have THAT much sun in Seattle! They look so nice and tender, puffy and comfort-food-ish! I grow arugula every spring/summer (LOVE the stuff). Bookmarking this to make (and again in the spring)!

  13. Hey Judy, Thanks for the visit/follow. Looks like you had a follow button that wasn't visable to me or that your subscribers showed up when you added the widget. The difference (that I'm aware of) is that every time you post, your subscribers get an email, not so with the follow button. Have a fabulous day, nice connecting with you. Keri

  14. Nice. I like to put the bacon on the melted cheese so that it doesn't fall out when I bite into the sandwich =D

  15. I think I should come over for brunch, Judy. they look stunning!

    Personally, I don't do yeast. Scares me. There's been a packet on my shelf for years (I even moved with it). But maybe I should get it down. I always figure it'll take too long to cook with, letting dough rise and all that.

    But you're a busy girl, and if you found time, I have no excuse, right?


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