Food Network Magazine (October 2015)
We have completely fallen for "The Great British Baking Show," which has to be the most charming thing on television right now.
If you're unfamiliar, it's a BBC show that's rebroadcast on PBS here in the U.S. It's home cooks taking on weekly baking challenges, but it's perhaps the most pleasant, drama-free reality television we've ever encountered.
Don't expect anyone to throw a pie here: It's all incredibly civil and absolutely delightful. Each episode features 3 baking challenges, and someone -- or sometimes two people, depending on the whims of the judges -- goes home.
The judges, whose names are Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (yes, really), are keen but kind in their critiques.
In episode 2 of this season, the contestants were asked to make English Muffins (and yes, they referred to them as "English Muffins," even though they're in England). Here's what the judges were looking for: beautifully browned tops, with browned bottoms and white around the edges. Soft texture, with a good crumb structure and a muffin that's baked all the way through. As Mary put it: "I love the feel when I touch them, the sort of squidge at the sides."
We don't know much about squidge, but we were inspired. And then lo and behold, Food Network Magazine had a feature about making English Muffins at home. We dusted off our baking gloves and got to work.