I have been thinking about and daydreaming about breakfast sandwiches basically since moving to Croatia. The main breakfast food in Croatia is anything you can buy at the bakery. That means dry wannabe muffins, greasy burek, or even a bakery slice of pizza. Yuck. I'm not a fan. I just can't get into the breakfast thing here at all. Plus, I wake up so early that I don't get hungry until I'm at work an hour and a half later. So, the best thing in the world for me would be if there were a food truck here in Zagreb that served amazing breakfast sandwiches and wraps (*note* I want to be the one to start and run that food truck here! Hello to any investors out there!). The next best thing would be the ability to get breakfast food at the only fast food joint in Zg, McDonald's (KFC doesn't count because there aren't any drive-thru's of it here). And can you believe they don't serve breakfast?!
Needless to say, I have had a huge craving for a Sausage Egg McMuffin and I've been working up the courage to make it. I just didn't think I would be able to make my own english muffins. It seemed impossible! I did a lot of research of other peoples' versions of english muffins and what not and I found a lot of them used ingredients I couldn't find here (like evaporated milk). I came up with my own recipes for it and let me tell you, I am so freaking proud of myself. They came out AMAZING! My own version of healthy, whole wheat english muffins, with all the nooks and crannies you hope for!
Take some time on the weekend to prepare this and you will have amazing (not to mention FREEZABLE!) breakfasts for every day of the week! And if you live in a country where you can buy English muffins...all the better! But I do suggest you try to make homemade ones at least once in your life because they came out so freaking delicious. Oh yum, I need to make them again like now.
The first thing I did for my breakfast sandwiches was prepare the ground turkey for the sausage. Now, McDonald's allegedly uses some kind of pork mixture for the sausage but my ground turkey sausages were so amazing. It's all about the spices!
For the Turkey Sausage:
Combine about 1 pound of ground turkey with a whole bunch of spices - fennel seed (if you have it, use it. I didn't know what it was called in Croatian so I bought "kim" which turned out to be cumin, which I needed anyway so that worked out), garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, a little paprika, sage, thyme, a little nutmeg (the perfect secret ingredient that really does make a difference!), and of course salt and pepper. Crack one egg into your turkey mixture and mix it up to combine everything together. Put it in the fridge for about an hour to chill everything (you can make your English muffins during that hour but if you have to skip the chilling, you can do that too).
Now, I have an awesome nonstick skillet that I used for my sausages. I used an ice cream scoop to scoop out the meat and then flattened them a little. Pan fry them for 4 or 5 minutes on each side until they're not pink anymore and voila - perfectly flavored and lean breakfast sausage! (You could also bake them on a baking pan at like 400F for 15-18 minutes.)
For the English Muffins:I used -
- 2 Cups of Whole Wheat Bread Flour
- 2 Cups of Whole Wheat All Purpose Flour
- 1¾ cups of 2% milk, warm
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- Heat the milk and butter until the milk has warmed and the butter melts
- Combine the milk & butter mixture with the egg and sifted dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. This can be done in a stand mixer or by hand with a considerable amount of upper body strength
- Once dough comes together, allow the dough to rise for at least 20 minutes but 40 minutes would be optimal.
- Once the dough has risen, either roll it out and use an English muffin ring or a large canning jar lid to cut out rounds. I just used my handy-dandy ice cream scoop to take about 1/4 cup of dough at a time and shaped them myself into rounds.
- Using a cast iron pan on low heat, or a non-stick skillet and cook the English muffin dough for about 5 minutes on each side until brown and crisped
- Transfer muffins to a 325° oven for 6-8 minutes so they can continue to dry out.
- Cut open and enjoy! They will keep for 2 weeks in an air-tight container (but I'm sure you'll finish them in a day or two!)
For the eggs:
To get my eggs perfectly round so they'd fit onto my English muffins, I lightly greased my muffin pan and cracked 6 eggs in the middle of the pan (that's how many I was making). Stick the muffin pan in your pre-heated 350F (about 175C) oven for 10-12 minutes until you see they're perfectly cooked!
I put my egg, sausage, and a slice of cheddar cheese into my English muffin and enjoyed them straight away. You could freeze these though! Assemble them and put them in the freezer for about an hour to get rid of some of the moisture (you can put them in straight on a baking sheet). Then take them out after an hour (no more than 2, you don't want freezer burn!) and wrap them individually in plastic wrap and/or foil and store them in a freezer safe plastic bag. They'll keep for a couple of weeks. Ideally, you'll reheat them in the oven (they might get soggy if you heat them up in the microwave). Again, I just ate them straight away but I've read about people freezing them quite easily! Give this one a try, people! These are absolutely incredible and one of my favorite things that I've ever made!