Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mrs. Gray's Muffins

Yesterday I decided to bake. Yes, bake. I haven't done much baking in the past 4 months, an infant keeps you on your toes! I wanted something easy- so I pulled Nancy Crump's Hearthside Cooking off the shelf since she has already done all of the hard work for me.

I browsed through the pages and landed in the "Breads" chapter, and there was Mrs. Gray's Muffins. I had previously made Mrs. Gray's Light Biscuits, and they turned out wonderful, so I trusted Mrs. Gray- and went with her muffins.

"To be made ten o'clock at night for breakfast, or 12 in the day for tea. Sift a quart of flour, work in it a piece of butter large as a hen egg-a teaspoon full of salt, & a large tablespoonful of lard beat 2 eggs, have a quart of milk ready & pour a little in the eggs, then add flour & milk alternately until all the flour is in, beat all well, for five or ten minutes then stir in gently a gill of yeast. Some cream or all cream is still better than milk. If ou want waffles, stir in gently half a pint of cream, at day light." 

What I love about Crump's book, is that she gives the period and modern way to execute the recipe- I was making these for tea, so I wanted them to turn out right the first time, so I followed the modern directions. 

Proof yeast- sift flour & salt- work in butter & lard. Combine egg and milk- blend into dry ingredients. Add yeast. Beat batter with a spoon for five minutes to aerate. 

5 minutes!  This is important- you'll see why in a moment. Really mix in that yeast- the batter will be light, but similar to a cake batter. 
Batter ready to rise. (This picture was an afterthought) 
Let rise for about 30 minutes. Then fill greased muffin tins half full. (Note: She does include directions on how to cook these on a griddle using rings.) Place in a 375* oven for 25 minutes, until golden brown. These muffins do rise well.
Muffins Plated with jam and marmalade, 

The muffins turn out very much like a bread. Not sweet, but good flavor. A friend compared the taste to a nice fluffy pancake- which may explain the "if you want waffles" comment in the original recipe.
Muffin insides! 
Remember how I said it was important to beat the batter for 5 minutes- to get it nice a fluffy? Look at the inside of that muffin! It's so airy! We served these at tea with jam and marmalade, but the would also be very good served with butter.

These will defiantly be made again!

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