- 12 eggs
- 12 thick slices leg ham off the bone
- To serve: chervil sprigs
- 1 tbsp dried yeast (14gm; about 2 sachets)
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 600 gm plain flour (4 cups)
- 310 ml milk, warmed (1¼ cup)
- 1 egg
- 40 gm butter, melted
- For dusting: polenta
- 250 ml white wine vinegar (1 cup)
- 1 bunch tarragon, torn
- 4 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 3 egg yolks
- 250 ml warm clarified butter
- 1For English muffins, combine yeast, sugar and 60ml lukewarm water in a bowl and stand until foamy (5-10 minutes). Add flour, milk, egg, butter and 1 tsp sea salt to yeast mixture, mix well to combine. Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, stand until doubled in size (40-50 minutes). Preheat oven to 180C. Dust a work surface with polenta. Knock back dough, scatter with polenta, then roll to 1cm thick. Cut out muffins using a 9cm-diameter cutter (re-roll scraps) and set aside to prove slightly (10 minutes). Heat a large frying pan over medium heat then toast muffins, in batches, wiping pan clean between batches, until golden (5-10 minutes). Transfer to an oven tray and bake, turning once, until cooked through and puffed (8-10 minutes). Set aside.
- 2For hollandaise, combine vinegar, tarragon and shallot in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 50ml (15-20 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into the bowl of an electric mixer, pressing to extract liquid. Add yolks, then place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until pale. Transfer to mixer, add 20ml hot water and, while whisking, gradually add clarified butter in a thin steady stream until thick and pale. Keep warm.
- 3Preheat a grill to high heat. Poach eggs in a saucepan of simmering water until soft-poached (3 minutes). Drain.
- 4Grill ham on an oven tray to warm (2-4 minutes), halve muffins and grill, turning occasionally, to lightly toast (2-4 minutes). Place ham on muffin bases, top each with a poached egg. Spoon hollandaise over, garnish with chervil, sandwich with muffin tops and serve.
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