English Muffin Bread
English muffins have long been one of my favorite breakfast foods. My dad loved them, and so we always had them in the house growing up. He enjoyed his toasted and slathered with butter and his favorite jelly. It didn’t take me long to learn that English muffins were yet another vessel perfect for delivering peanut butter and jelly into my mouth. I got away from eating English muffins for breakfast during college, but recently my Chief Culinary Consultant and I have been on an English muffin kick. My preference is still toasted with peanut butter and jelly, but we’ve also been making a lot of sandwiches on them. A couple of years ago I finally tackled homemade English muffins and I keep meaning to make a few batches to keep in the freezer. In the meantime, though, I stumbled across this recipe for English muffin bread – the flavor and texture of English muffins in an easy-to-make bread.
Quite possibly the best part about this bread is how relatively quick and easy it is to throw together. For a yeast bread, you can’t get much easier or foolproof than this recipe. Once you get the dough mixed together, you beat it at high speed and then transfer it to your loaf pan. The fast mixing of the dough helps to aerate it, which is what gives it all of those nooks and crannies!
No kneading. Only one rise. No more than an hour. Simple!
The bread takes less than 30 minutes to bake, so you can easily have the bread completely done, start to finish, in less than 2 hours. You pretty much can’t beat that for a homemade, yeast-based bread. If you haven’t experimented with yeast yet, this would be a great place to start. You don’t need to worry about kneading, or multiple rises. A great beginner bread recipe!
For as much as I love English muffins with peanut butter and jelly, I think I was channeling my dad with this loaf. After experimenting with it plain, used for a sandwich, toasted with butter, toasted with butter and jelly, and toasted with peanut butter and jelly, I came to my conclusion. I definitely preferred it either toasted with just butter or butter and jelly. Of course, you can’t beat warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread slathered with butter. That’s the best.
What’s your favorite way to eat an English muffin?
English Muffin Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
Cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan
1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Be sure to stir the liquid well before measuring its temperature; you want an accurate reading. If you don't have a thermometer, the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.
3. Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.
4. Lightly grease an 8½" x 4½" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal. Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
5. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray, cover the dough, and let the dough rise until it's just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn't be more than ¼-inch over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if the liquid was heated to the correct temperature and the kitchen isn't very cold.
6. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
7. Remove the plastic wrap, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, until it's golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
8. Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes, turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.