I haven’t done any posts about food yet, so here goes.
I noticed something interesting when I was making my breakfast this morning.
English muffins don’t really require cutting, more like stick a butter knife in to the side and pull it apart; and that’s what I normally do. But this time was different. This time I used a bread knife to cut through my English muffins.
The difference is subtle. Each method of splitting it into two produces a different texture and is accentuated more so by the toasting process.
I toasted the English muffins at the same time using a toaster oven, placed inside-up, until the tops started to brown. My toaster is a Black and Decker model that’s available on amazon.* It’s nice because it can easily toast 3 at a time (6 halves). I try to be efficient when it comes to time and power consumption, so being able to do more with the same amount of time checks those boxes.
There tends to be more crispy peaks and a tender inside when you pull the English muffin apart, whereas cutting through produces a flatter surface that has a ridged structure and tends to have more crispiness to it as a whole with few or no small peaks.
You will probably only notice this effect if you are going to eat more than one in a sitting and are going to toast each for the exact same amount of time using a toaster oven or 4-slice toaster*, for example. As for all foods, the more ‘done’ you want your food, extending the cooking time is the easiest way to do that.
It’s worth noting that the method we use to achieve relatively the same outcome will always have slightly different details and nuance to it that can change the perception of the final product, especially to the discerning person who is all about the detail of things. Another example of this is paint brush stroke size and direction used on finished carpentry, not to mention its’ use in a piece of art.
If you’re preparing the perfect English muffin, then the subtle details of the structure and crispiness of it will play an important role in the over all experience and I’m sure that this can be achieved many more ways than I know of, but I find it interesting that the choice of knife has an impact: tearing through or cutting cleanly.
As I was applying the cream cheese, I found that it was easier to get more cream cheese into the bubbles with the cut version due to the structure being more ridged, kind of like the bonus portion of cream cheese you get at the center of a bagel. In contrast, there wasn’t too much of an issue piling on the same amount of cream cheese with the pull apart version, it just happened to be above the surface, that’s all.
Did it taste different? Not at all, but it definitely had a different texture and mouthfeel to it, and quite possibly I only noticed because I was paying attention to see if there was a difference.
Test this out for yourself to see if the English muffin experience changes for you and let me know.
My own preference is to use the butter knife for the softer center. I always toast, top with an obnoxious amount butter or cream cheese while it’s still hot, then eat as they are or make a sandwich. Today was herb and garlic cream cheese in a turkey sandwich.
Is there really any other way to prepare an English muffin besides toasting it? For me, the English muffin is all about the texture, so that answer is a hard no. Don’t get me started on Tim Hortons and their under-toasting of an English muffin and every other bread product for that matter. It’s a travesty!
I’d like to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
If you haven’t yet, sign up for free and subscribe to my posts delivered directly to your inbox. Share this article with your friends if you think it’s worth sharing. Everyone needs a bit of Karsy in their life.
Until next time, have a great day!