For those of you out there keeping score, let me put it to you plainly: Peter Reinhart's English muffins do not deserve the treatment I am about to give them. They have not earned the insult of just a few cursory paragraphs devoted to their glory. They deserve to be sung about; they ought to inspire the writing of a sort of 21st-century epic poem. The Faerie Queen of yeast breads, if you will.
But as it is, I have a date with a Qantas airplane in less than 48 hours, and my half-assed attempts at packing simply must take precedence over the magnificence of Reinhart's English muffins. Which is a travesty. But there it is.
However, were I not about to fly about as far as one can fly without starting back the other way, I'll tell you what I'd be doing: I'd be baking more English muffins. Because Reinhart's recipe is e-asy. Easy! And the resulting muffins -- especially if fork-split, toasted and slathered with a teaspoon of homemade blueberry jam -- are so much more delicious than anything anyone named Thomas ever baked. Reinhart's English muffins have a yeasty, vaguely sweet, roasted flavor and a dynamite aroma. And they even look professional!
When I return from Australia with a mind full of funny stories and a belly full of delicious food (not Vegemite, ahem) and a heart full of fond memories and a camera full of pictures, the first thing I'm going to do is whip up a batch of English muffins to welcome myself home. I might even do it before the jetlag subsides.
These English muffins are that good.
The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge asks that we do not share Reinhart's recipes. If you are going to be in the country for the foreseeable future, turn your copy of the book to page 157 and get to work. You will be really, really happy with yourself.