It’s summer, which for me means a lot of crap television. All our regular shows are off the air (*sniff*sniff* come back soon Big Bang Theory) and all that is left is a lot of random reality television shows. Last night we watched America’s Got Talent and tonight we watched So You Think You Can Dance. So that means I actually sat on the couch for two straight hours playing Words With Friends (by the way, I suck) and rewinding the Tivo yelling to Jorge “How the hell do they do that?”. I can’t keep this up all summer. It’s just flat out unhealthy for my mental state. Plus if I keep watching So You Think You Can Dance I am pretty sure it will lead to a few muscle sprains…since I have to try out most of the outrageous moves. And considering my only dance “training” was at 6 years old in a “dance studio” that was just a trailer with hard wood floors and a creepy floor length mirror (p.s. Really, Mom? What were you thinking? …it was probably discounted)…it’s all just a horrendous recipe for disaster.

So my plan instead is to read and bake. But I have already read through my reading list and am now going on Amazon’s recommendations for me and waiting patiently for the next Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich to be released. So until then, my kitchen will be busy! First up, I wanted to tackle making my own English Muffins. Jorge LOVES English Muffins in the morning. He toasts his until it’s perfectly browned, tops it with a smear of butter, and a healthy dose of local Gallberry honey. Honestly it’s never as good when I make my own in the mornings…his are just so much better. Probably because he puts way more butter on them than I do.

Word to the wise, when Alton says to use the proper sized muffin tins…do it. Because the first time I didn’t and I ended up with weirdly shrunken, misshapen English Muffins. So luckily it was easy enough to remake the dough…and start again. I used the tuna can trick and it worked perfectly!

Whole Wheat Honey English Muffins

Yield: 10 muffins

*Cook's Note: Small tuna cans with tops and bottoms removed work well for metal rings.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup hot water
1 envelope dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
Non-stick vegetable spray
Special equipment: electric griddle, 3-inch metal rings, see Cook's Note*

Directions:

In a bowl combine the powdered milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, shortening, and hot water, stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool. In a separate bowl combine the yeast and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar in 1/3 cup of warm water and rest until yeast has dissolved. Add this to the dry milk mixture. Add the sifted flours and beat thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

Preheat the griddle to 300 degrees F.

Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to mixture and beat thoroughly. Place metal rings onto the griddle and coat lightly with vegetable spray. Using #20 ice cream scoop, place 2 scoops into each ring and cover with a pot lid or cookie sheet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and flip rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack, remove rings and cool. Split with fork and serve.

Adapted from The Mad Scientist Alton Brown