Great British Bake Off Technical Challenge Week 2

By Clare Longley - September 02, 2013

I have been busting to have a go at this challenge all week but it was Sunday afternoon before I found the time to make these muffins. I just want to get a clock that could slow down time a bit. Work was manic all week leading up to a Friday afternoon deadline so I had to work through lunch then missed my bus home that evening as I had a phonecall from another member of the design team just as I was about to leave.

Then I hoped to make these muffins on Saturday but our landlord came over for our annual inspection and we got caught up in venue hunting for the wedding. By the time Sunday came around I knew I had to make time to make these.

Bread is usually my nemesis but these muffins didn't turn out too bad. A few were a wee bit misshapen and a bit on the darker side but overall I'm happy with how they turned out. I do wonder would they have looked better if I had used a metal cutter instead of a plastic one but ah well, it's all a challenge and important to learn from it. Also I cheated slightly cos I was pushed for time and kneaded the dough in the mixer. I am curious to see if I knead them by hand will they taste or look any different...

I have linked this post up on the Bakers Anonymous page, please check it out and see how everyone else has done in this week's (or should I say last week's) technical challenge. 

English Muffins (I am using the recipe from the BBC Food website)

300g strong white bread flour, plus extra for flouring
6g fast-action yeast
6g salt
15g sugar
15g softened butter, cut into small pieces
1 medium egg lightly beaten
170ml (should make a soft dough – you can add up to about 30ml extra if needed) 
oil, for greasing
15g semolina

  • Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on one side of the flour and the salt into the other side of the flour. Add the sugar, butter, egg and milk, then mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
  • Turn the mixture out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until soft, smooth and stretchy.Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. 
  • Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for at least one hour to double in size.



  • Tip the dough out onto the work surface and roll out to about 1.5cm/¾in thick. Leave to stand on the work surface for 15 minutes, to prevent the muffins from shrinking. 


  • Dust two baking trays with half of the semolina or polenta. 
  • Using a 9cm/3½oz straight-sided cutter, cut out eight muffins. 
  • Place four muffins, evenly spaced apart on each of the dusted baking trays. 

  • Dust the remaining semolina or polenta over the top of the muffins. Leave to prove for another 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the hot plate or a heavy-based frying pan on the hob to a very low heat. 
  • Griddle the muffins for approximately 5-6 minutes, then flip over and griddle for another 5-6 minutes on the other side. 


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