I dabbled in bread making as a kid, but became more skilled as a baker in my early 20’s – newlywed, just out of college and a brand new commissioned Air Force Officer, I found myself with a lot more free time, especially after work (which was a new experience after four years of a rigorous Aerospace Engineering program that had consumed my every waking hour). I needed a hobby I could sink my teeth into…..(okay that is a bad pun).
I initially got into making bread for our lunch sandwiches but soon dove into this new hobby like folks did during the pandemic. I was feeding a sour dough starter gifted from a neighbor and learning the ins and outs of making various types of breads. One of the breads I made at the time was an “English Muffin” bread. I don’t remember where I found the recipe for this, but it called for putting cooked rice in the dough to create a bread with the classic English Muffin nooks and crannies. I’ve scoured google for this specific recipe, to no avail. Since I made that first loaf of English Muffin bread in 1985, well before the proliferation of bread recipes on the Internet, who knows where that recipe is?
I’ve been making versions of this recipe ever since. Years ago, I decided to test out this recipe for making more conventionally shaped English Muffins. But unlike the actual recipes for English Muffins, or Crumpets that are cooked in a skillet, I cook mine in the oven, more like rolls. Because of the cooked rice, they look like a hybrid between English Muffins and Crumpets – the reason I call them “Crufins.” They freeze well and are even more delicious toasted.
When I got into making bread using sprouted grains, of course I had to adapt my crufin recipe to create Sprouted Grain Crufins!
This recipe makes 15, 4 inch Sprouted Grain Crufins.
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 package rapid rise yeast (sprouted grain flours work better when they rise faster)
- 1 cup cooked short grain brown rice (even better if it’s sprouted brown rice)
- 3 cups of milled sprouted hard red winter wheat (save 1/2 cup for kneading)
- 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger (this helps the yeast work better)
Make the Crufin Dough
- Mix the butter, honey and milk. Heat to melt the butter and the honey in the milk. Remove from heat and cool to 104 degrees F. (I use a couple of ice cubes to bring down the temperature quicker).
- Mix the 2 1/2 cups of the flour, gluten, salt, ginger, and rapid rise yeast.
- Add the tepid liquid to dry ingredients, and mix until it’s dough (it’s likely to be a bit sticky).
- Add in the cooked brown rice.
- If the dough is sticky, knead in the extra flour a couple tablespoons at a time until dough is less sticky (it’s a very soft dough).
- Knead the dough with either a kitchen aid mixer or by hand for 7 – 9 minutes.
Rise the Crufin Dough
- Sprouting grains activates the enzymes that non-sprouted flours activate over longer ferments. Sprouted grains lose some of their rise, the longer they are fermented, An hour or two is usually all it takes to get the dough to double in size – especially if you can do the ferment in a warm, moist space. I used a proofing box with a temperature 90 – 95 F.
- Spray the dough with spray ghee, put in a glass bowl and cover with saran wrap.
Shape the Crufins
- Use a 3 – 4 inch biscuit cutter for making crufins.
- Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to 1/4 inch thick.
- Place the crufin disks on a cookie sheet on top of parchment paper.
Rise the Shaped Crufins
- Spray the crufins with spray ghee.
- Cover the cookie sheet with saran wrap – make sure the wrap is taut and not touching the crufins. This gives the crufins more space to rise.
- Put the cookie sheet over the proving box with the temperature 95 to 99 (depending on high it is over the proofing box heat source).
- The crufins will rise 1/2 to 1 inch. This will take an hour or two.
Bake the Crufins
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F
- Sprinkle coarse kosher salt on top of each crufin
- Bake for 15 – 18 minutes.
- They are done when the top is golden brown (or 200 F)
- Place on a cooling rack
Slice in half and use for breakfast or lunch sandwiches, burgers, or enjoy with butter and jam.
Crufins freeze well – slice in half and freeze. Toast as you would an english muffin.