RECIPE: No-oven English muffins

A 10-inch cast-iron pan makes a perfect stovetop "oven" for cooking tigelle. 
Courtesy of Nicole Lewis

caption arrowCaption
A 10-inch cast-iron pan makes a perfect stovetop "oven" for cooking tigelle. Courtesy of Nicole Lewis

Not all bread is baked in an oven. Obvious, I know, but sometimes it’s helpful to remember that the world of baking is vast in both flavor and technique.

There are significant benefits to undertaking the breads you might find outside of a European bakery. Often breads not baked in an oven are easy to assemble, flavorful and generally more reflective of the everyday baking that happens in homes all over the world.

ExploreThe only biscuit recipe you’ll ever need requires just 2 ingredients

Tigelle are essentially a Bolognese style of English muffin that’s cooked on a stovetop and traditionally used to sandwich prosciutto and sharp cheese. In this version, a pinch of whole spelt flour — not that sold as white spelt or all-purpose spelt — gives your dough a wonderful mottled look and nutty depth. The dough is straightforward, and once you get the hang of cooking the tigelle, make a lot and freeze whatever you don’t use for later.

ExploreRegional grain is having a moment
caption arrowCaption
When properly baked, tigelle will have the same nook and cranny crumb of an English muffin. Courtesy of Nicole Lewis

Credit: Nicole Lewis

When properly baked, tigelle will have the same nook and cranny crumb of an English muffin. 
Courtesy of Nicole Lewis

Credit: Nicole Lewis

caption arrowCaption
When properly baked, tigelle will have the same nook and cranny crumb of an English muffin. Courtesy of Nicole Lewis

Credit: Nicole Lewis

Credit: Nicole Lewis

Tigelle
  • 1 ¼ cups (200 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) milk
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) water
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) whole spelt flour
  • 1 packet (7 grams) yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
  • 3 ½ teaspoons (15 grams) olive oil
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all-purpose flour, milk, water and spelt flour on low speed until the dough is just combined and no dry bits of flour remain. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let rest 20 minutes.
  • Add yeast and salt to dough and mix on medium-high speed 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and bouncy. It should pull back if you give it a gentle tug. With the mixer on low speed, add olive oil and mix until the oil is just absorbed and the dough has a uniform, smooth look. Cover the dough again with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm area to proof 1 1/2 hours. The dough will be ready when it looks alive, but not bloated and fragile. It should double in size, but if it has grown to the point that it looks like it might float away, it’s over-proofed.
  • On a very lightly floured surface, roll out dough 1/4-inch thick. Use a cookie or biscuit cutter to cut 12 to 15 circles. Reroll and cut the remaining dough. Cover the rounds with a clean tea towel and let rest 30 minutes.
  • Using a large, ungreased skillet over medium heat, cook tigelle until golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side another 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dough circles. Makes 15.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per muffin: 57 calories (percent of calories from fat, 20), 2 grams protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram total fat (trace saturated fat), 1 milligram cholesterol, 159 milligrams sodium.

Chris Wilkins has been a professional baker for 12 years. He is a two-time James Beard Award nominee and the founder and co-owner of Root Baking Co. and Pizza Jeans. Submit your baking questions to bakebetterajc@gmail.com.

ExploreRECIPE: Italian cake offers lesson for using less cinnamon
ExploreRECIPE: Better home baking begins with hero rolls
ExploreOur favorite dishes in Atlanta right now

Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.