Breakfast Sandwich with Spelt English Muffins

Breakfast Sandwich with Spelt English Muffins
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Breakfasts during the week are often a rushed and dreary affair. Weekend breakfasts, on the other hand, give us the opportunity to go all out, try new things, and enjoy more substantial fare. Breakfast Sandwiches with Spelt English Muffins are one of my favorites. Think of this as a more refined, healthy and delicious version of the drive-through staple. For meat, I like to use home-cured corned beef, but you can also use bacon or skip the meat altogether. For a sauce, I find a light lemon aioli brings a bright contrast. What makes this dish unique, however, is the Spelt English Muffin adapted from Alton Brown.  Why spelt?  Spelt brings a mild sweet nuttiness which compliments the sandwich well. It also packs a healthy dose of fiber, nutrients, and protein. Using a 1/2 cup of whole spelt flour in this recipe provides the same amount of fiber as if we had made the recipe with 100% whole wheat. And...to put it politely...this version tastes much, much better than a 100% whole wheat version ever could!  The spelt and all-purpose flour ratio keeps these Spelt English Muffins light, chewy, and sweet. They are great for a breakfast sandwich, and lovely on their own. These Spelt English Muffins can also be individually frozen (for up to 3 months), and reheated in the toaster for a quick breakfast during the week.

 All purpose flour on left, whole spelt flour on right

All purpose flour on left, whole spelt flour on right

Ingredients:

     Spelt English Muffins

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup whole spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

   Quick Lemon Aioli

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of kosher salt

Steps for Spelt English Muffins:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 cup warm water with the yeast. Allow to rest for 5 minutes while you prepare the batter.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the powdered milk, sugar, salt, shortening and 1 cup hot water until fully combined. Add in the flours and yeast mixture, and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. The batter will be quite wet (see photo).
  3. Cover the batter, set in a warm spot, and allow to rest for 40 minutes.
  4. Preheat a cast iron skillet on high until it begins to smoke, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium. Lightly oil the pan along with as many ring molds as you can fit into your pan. We have a 12 inch skillet, and can comfortably fit 4 molds.
  5. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each of the molds until about half full. Cover the pan with a lid, and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Using a thin spatula, carefully flip each of the Spelt English Muffins in their mold. The top will not have set at this point so it can get a bit messy. The cooked side of the muffin should be golden brown.  Re-cover the pan, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  
  7. Using a thin spatula, lift the muffins out of the pan and on to a wire cooling rack. Carefully remove the rings from around the muffins. Depending on the size and number of ring molds you use, you may have another round or two of muffins to make. Simply repeat steps 5-7 until you have used all your batter. 
  8. Allow the muffins to cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing. They will be very tender and soft until cooled.
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Steps for Quick Lemon Aioli:

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  1. Whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt until smooth.  The sauce will be thin (see photo) and should have an assertive lemon tang. You can add more lemon juice, garlic powder, or salt to taste.

To assemble the sandwich

  1. Fry an egg to your liking.
  2. Cook your meat of choice, or skip this step if you want a vegetarian version.
  3. Slice a Spelt English Muffin in half. Generously spread each side with Quick Lemon Aioli. 
  4. Stack your muffin with a fried egg and meat(if using). Enjoy!
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