These are apparently known as the bagels of the North, but they are quite different beasts (to bagels, I mean). D and I have been buying them for years; they are good for breakfast butties, burger buns and makeexcellent vehicles for spicy scrambled eggs among other things. It was only a matter of time and confidence before I had a go at them myself and I was chuffed with the results.
400g strong bread flour
7g instant dried yeast
10g sunflower oil plus a little extra
255g skimmed milk
Makes 6 large muffins
Have your stand mixer ready with the dough hook attached. Then place the bowl direct on the scales to weigh in the ingredients. I've listed everything by weight rather than volume which makes life slightly easier and saves on washing up!
Stir together the flour, salt and sugar then add the yeast and stir again.
Add the butter and oil, place on the mixer and set it off on the lowest speed. Meanwhile, weigh the milk into a separate jug.
After the fats have been mixed through - about a minute - up the speed of the mixer a notch and pour in the milk. I do this gradually, allowing the flour to absorb most of one splash of milk before adding the next.
When all the liquid has been added you will find that you have a rather sticky dough. At this point, I turn off the mixer and squidge it altogether with my hands before pushing the dough hook right into the middle of the ball of dough and setting it back off again. Knead, on a medium setting, for around five minutes at which point the dough should be silky and elastic.
Pour a little oil into the bottom of a separate bowl and then transfer in the dough, turning it a couple of times so it is lightly coated in the oil. Cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for an hour.
Once the dough has risen, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock the air out of it, folding it in on itself a few times. Divide into six, roll the pieces into rough balls and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Loosely cover (I put the tray in a large plastic carrier bag) and leave for another half an hour. Preheat the oven to 200.
Just before baking, push the muffins down with the palm of your hand to flatten and then make an indentation in the centre of each ball - this, apparently, is traditional.
Bake for 12 minutes, turning them over halfway through. Try and allow to cool before smothering with butter and shoving them in your face.