|Snack or side dish|
A split muffin
|Flour, shortening, milk, sugar, yeast|
|Recipes at Wikibooks:|
|Media at Wikimedia Commons:|
A muffin or English muffin is a small, round, flat (or thin) type of yeast-leavened bread which is commonly served split horizontally, toasted, and buttered. Muffins may be clean-sliced or fork-split, the latter yielding a less regular, more textured surface. The term "English muffin" is most commonly used in North America to distinguish between the savory bread and the more well known sweet, cake-like muffin, which are sometimes known as "American muffins". They are commonly eaten in the United States and the rest of the English-speaking world.
An old English nursery rhyme, "The Muffin Man", describes a door-to-door purveyor of muffins. The rhyme was known at the time of Jane Austen in the early 19th century, and a muffin man is mentioned at one point in her novel Persuasion. The muffins sold at this period were made of yeasted dough and baked on a hot griddle.
The name is first found in print in 1703, spelled moofin; it is of uncertain origin but possibly derived from the Low German Muffen, the plural of Muffe meaning a small cake, or possibly with some connection to the Old French moufflet meaning soft as said of bread.
Muffins may well originate as far back as the 10th century, yet the muffin became a fashionable bread during the 18th century. By the beginning of the 19th century, there were dozens of muffin factories in existence, and the "muffin man" was a common sight.
In North America and Oceania
Muffins are commonly available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. Outside the United Kingdom they are commonly called English muffins. They are most often toasted and then topped with butter and/or jam. They are also used in breakfast sandwiches with meat (bacon, ham, or sausage), egg (fried, scrambled, poached, or steam-poached), and/or cheese. They are the base ingredient in the traditional American brunch dish Eggs Benedict. They can be found in a wide range of varieties, including whole wheat, cinnamon raisin, cranberry, and apple cinnamon.
Most British supermarkets sell variations on the standard bread muffin, notably cheese, wholemeal, and fruited. Muffins are also available in traditional British tea rooms, served with breakfast or low/afternoon tea, although tea cakes are more commonly found in such places. American-style muffins are sometimes sold as muffins as well.
- Dempster – Maple Leaf Foods brand selling English muffins in Canada
- Foster's English muffins – sourdough English muffins that were the favorite English muffins in San Francisco from the 1940s to the 1970s
- George Weston Limited Wonder Bread – Canadian brand sells English muffins
- Muffin – the type of small sized, quick breads in American English
- Thomas' – the most common American brand
- Elizabeth David (1977) English Yeast and Bread Cookery, Allen Lane, London ISBN 0713910267
- Boyle, Laura. "English Muffins". The Jane Austen Centre. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- R. Thoresby in a letter dated 27 Apr. 1703 and quoted by J. Ray in 1848. vide: The correspondence of J. Ray, consisting of selections from the philosophical letters published by Dr. Derham and original letters of J. Ray in the collection of the British Museum (1848) p. 425
- Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed. (1989)
- Harper, Douglas. "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 30 April 2006.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to English muffins.|
- English Bread and Yeast Cookery by Elizabeth David, Penguin Books, 1979, contains a discussion on the origins and use of the English muffin.