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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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muffin a term connected with moufflet, an old French word applied to bread, meaning ‘soft’.

The English muffin is round and made from a soft yeast-leavened dough enriched with milk and butter. It is usually cooked on a griddle, which gives it a flat, golden-brown top and bottom, with a white band around the waist and a light, spongy interior. For serving, muffins are toasted back and front and then split with the fingers by easing them apart at the joint all the way round. Some butter is placed inside, and the two halves put back together and kept warm. This method appears as early as 1747 and was recommended by Hannah glasse, who said that the inside of muffins should be like honeycomb. Writers on the subject of muffins agree that they should not be cut with a knife, as this makes them heavy.