Once upon a time, Oroweat produced and sold a product called Australian Toaster Biscuits, and they were fucking delicious. They were light and airy, yet dense and squishy at the same time, and essentially melted in your mouth, even, and especially, after toasting them. Top them with butter and jam and life was good, man.
However, at some point, in a fit of apparent insanity, they stopped making them. What the everliving fuck, Oroweat? You also used to make very decent breads that are now essentially all nearly tasteless and sliced so ridiculously thin, they turn to hard, crunchy wafers long before they're even properly toasted. For shame, Oroweat. FOR SHAME.
The other day I got a wild hair up my ass to find a copycat recipe and try them myself. Many references I found online compared them to crumpets. Now, clearly an American bread company is less likely to care about making an authentic Australian recipe, and hell, perhaps nothing akin to their product ever even existed in Australian cuisine. What I do know, though, is that Australian toaster biscuits ARE NOT CRUMPETS. Don't get me wrong--I love me some crumpets. And they're definitely on my list of things to try at home, with all those little tunnels for the butter and jam to hide in, and the juxtaposition of the crispy edging and squishy, buttery, jammy interior. Mmmhmmm. But if I wanted to make crumpets, I would just make crumpets, people. What I want is some godsdamn toaster biscuits. SHEESH.
So I eventually landed on this one and gave them a go. The verdict? SO FUCKING DELICIOUS. However? NOT FUCKING TOASTER BISCUITS. LIKE, AT ALL. And I've made the recipe three times now and the dough has never turned out thin enough to even need the baking rings she has you make, so, yeah. I'm pretty good at following recipes, but something doesn't translate with this one.
The good news? These are actually AMAZING English muffins! Who knew?! And seeing as we're big fans of English muffins around here and they were also on my list of things to try at home, I think of this recipe as a total win. Especially because the wee folk LOVE them. Like, so much. Like, King Toad Agooga will eat three of them toasted with butter in one sitting much. And they're perfect and super tasty toasted and used for little sandwiches. Hell, they're even delicious just eaten as is. And the measurements and method are easy to remember, too, which is something I always appreciate, not liking to have to refer to recipes all the time.
Let's do this, then, shall we?
1 cup warm water (110F)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons oil (mild-tasting, I like grapeseed)
3/4 cup warm milk (110F)
Dissolve sugar and yeast in water and set aside to activate for 10min. Whisk flour and salt together, then add oil, milk, and yeast water, mixing with a hand-mixer till smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set somewhere warm to rise for an hour.
Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-low heat and sprinkle fairly generously with corn meal. Give the dough a stir to deflate it a bit, then, working in batches, scoop out 1/4 cup at a time and drop into skillet. Cook for 10min, then flip and cook for another 8min. Add more corn meal between batches. Cool on wire rack at least 10min before slicing.
Makes roughly a baker's dozen and I have no idea how long they'll stay fresh because we've literally never had any last longer than the next day. I'm guessing they'll stay pretty tasty for at least a few days in an airtight container. Pre-slicing and freezing would also work well.
-My sister Auntie Fancy once recommended years ago using the oven with the light on as a good place to let dough rise and I still use this method, the light helping to achieve just the right ambient temperature.
-The second time I made them, I subbed 1 cup whole wheat flour and although they didn't rise nearly as much, they were also delicious.
-Definitely aim for the lower end of medium-low, as they need to cook long and low and will brown too quickly if set too high. Aim for even lower if using whole wheat flour.
-Since this is a yeast dough, it'll be airy and bubbly and tricky to scoop. I use my opposite finger as I'm scooping to help squish the dough into the measuring cup to make sure I'm getting the proper amount, and then wipe the excess off the sides/rim before scooping it all back out into the skillet with said finger.
And I always love being surprised while making new recipes, especially when it comes to a method I had never before considered, like how English muffins end up toasty on top and bottom but not around the sides. I literally never considered the fact that they aren't baked in an oven, they're toasted on a hot surface. Mind blown.
So there you have it! These do take some prep time, but since my wee Hobbits prefer many breakfasts, I like to start the dough first thing and then cook them a little later in the morning for second or third breakfast.
Then we snack on them all day.
Because why not?