My aunt got me hooked on English muffins.
As a grade schooler I spent a week with my aunt up in Rhinelander, in northern Wisconsin. I had no idea what I thought we would do, with me being so young and her being a teacher and no doubt tired of spending day in and day out with kids my age. Because I have an older brother, the idea of a vacation where I would be by myself with my aunt sounded like the ultimate experience.
I don’t recall doing anything remarkable, although at the time we had a fondness for the gem and mineral shows that would come around, and I of course was usually found with my nose stuck in a Babysitters Club book or other preteen serial. (Anyone else remember the Sleepover Friends series? I was *obsessed* with Stephanie, the “cool” one who only dressed in black, white, and red. Oddly, those books are where I first encountered edible violets. I was pretty confused about it.)
Until a few months ago it never occurred to me to attempt making my own version. Having never had homemade English muffins before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, nooks and crannies are the selling point but beyond that there seemed to be a great number of methods out there. I had to try a couple different recipes before I was satisfied enough with the result. The first go resulted in muffins that were tall and doughy, more like dinner rolls than English muffins. All in all not too bad if you like bread, but I kept searching.
I think the second recipe might be what I’ll keep using. They still were quite tall but the final taste test revealed what I was looking for. I’m really quite a novice when it comes to baking bread, but I’ll continue to learn and perfect my methods in the year to come.