Wednesday, June 20, 2012
English Muffin Bread
This was one of those breads when as soon as I saw the recipe, I knew I needed to make it and I couldn't quite explain why. Maybe it was the novel concept of turning and English muffin into a whole loaf of bread. And wondering if it would still have nooks and crannies for all the yummy goodness I'd put on top. So I made this loaf. And then sent it to my Grandma for her birthday with some jars of jam. She's a huge fan of bread and jam, and even though I hadn't yet tasted this, I knew she'd love it (she did). But I couldn't very well post a recipe for you without having tried it. so I finally got a chance to make this again and again I was impressed with the simplicity of the recipe. Better still, these slices really do taste like an English muffin. Airy and chewy, I enjoyed some slices lightly toasted with blueberry jam that made its way into the nooks, as well as stuffed full of sandwich fixin's.
Michelle at Brown Eyed Baker really knows how to come up with a fun recipe that blurs the lines between traditional standards and new twists. I appreciated that the bread pan is dusted with cornmeal to give you that extra touch from an English muffin. Plus, this recipe is easy with or without a stand mixer. I used a stand mixer the first time I made this, but then just used a bowl and whisk the second time around. Both turned out very well, with the doughs being soft and easy to incorporate all the ingredients. I'm excited to keep this bread in my rotation. It's great for sandwiches or a quick slice for breakfast. But I also think it might make a nice french toast too. Or adapt it to a cinnamon raisin version by swapping brown sugar for the sugar, adding cinnamon and mixing in raisins. I love a recipe with options!
English Muffin Bread
3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Cornmeal, for sprinkling in pan
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and yeast.
In a large measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, milk milk, water and oil. Heat in microwave to between 120 and 130 degrees F. (Note: This was about 2-2 1/2 minutes at high power in 30-45 second increments for me.) Be sure to stir the liquid before measuring the temperature to ensure no hot or cold spots. (Note: If you don't have a thermometer, the liquid will be hotter than lukewarm, but not so hot you couldn't touch it for more than a few seconds.)
Pour the hot liquid over the flour mixture and beat at high speed for 1 minute (or stir, working quickly, to combine). The resulting dough will be very soft.
Lightly grease an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal. Transfer the soft dough into the loaf pan and level it as much as possible.
Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover dough. Let rise until it just barely crowns over the rim of the pan, not more than 1/4 inch over the edge of the pan, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When dough has risen, remove plastic wrap and bake at 400 degrees F for 22-27 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Then remove from pan to wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.
The Cookie Princess
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