English yeast muffins

Eggs benedict makes for a delicious breakfast and a favourite of mine. Soft eggs on bacon, creamy sauce and great muffins – nothing better.

Makes about 6

450 ml (250 g) cake flour
3 ml salt
10 ml castor sugar
5 g (½ sachet) instant dry yeast (6 ml)
15 ml butter or margarine, melted
about 250 ml lukewarm milk
about 80 ml lukewarm water
cooking oil for shallow-frying

Eggs Benedict

125 g rindless back bacon or ham
8 extra-large eggs
45 ml butter or margarine, softened
45 ml cake flour
250 ml milk
60 ml (25 g) grated mature Cheddar cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ml paprika
chopped fresh parsley for garnishing

1. Muffins: Sift flour and salt together. Add sugar and yeast.
2. Add melted butter, lukewarm milk and water to dry ingredients and beat to a smooth batter. Leave to stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Place a cutter of about 9 cm in diameter into frying pan. Pour mixture into cutter to about 2 cm deep. Fry slowly over very low heat until it starts to set, then remove cutter. Turn over and fry other side until golden brown and make sure it is cooked through.
4. Eggs benedict: Fry bacon in a medium, heavy-based frying pan and set aside. Poach eggs and, while poaching, make cheese sauce.
5. Melt butter in a medium, heavy-based saucepan. Add flour and stir over low heat for about 1 minute. Add milk and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until sauce is smooth and has thickened. Remove from heat and add cheese and seasoning.
6. To serve, cut muffins in half and toast. Top each half of toasted muffin with some bacon and a poached egg. Cover with cheese sauce and sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Serve immediately.