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English Muffin Bread

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Recipe adopted from America's Test Kitchen.  [Recipe makes (2) loaves].

While I have made my own English muffins several times before, the shaping process can be somewhat difficult due to the wet consistency of the dough.  Some methods call for pouring the dough into a ring mold directly into a skillet, while others are dependent on excessive amounts of flour while you roll and cut out the muffins on a counter.  They are doable, but there has to be an easier way, right?  This recipe produces bread that has that crunchy exterior and chewy interior that we love in fresh English muffins, but takes out any room for error since the dough is just transferred to bread pans and baked.

INGREDIENTS:

Cornmeal
27 1/2 ounces (~5 1/2 cups) bread flour
4 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups whole milk, heated to 120° F

DIRECTIONS:

Grease two bread loaf pans and dust with cornmeal.  Remove any excess cornmeal.  Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk so that everything is evenly mixed.  Add the warm milk and stir until combined with a rubber spatula.  Cover the bowl with a greased sheet of plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 30 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

Once the dough has risen, gently stir with a rubber spatula.  Divide the dough evenly between the two bread loaf pans, making sure the dough touches all four corners.  Again, cover each loaf with a greased sheet of plastic wrap, and let rise for another 30 minutes, or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.  [Side note:  This bread will not rise more in the oven, so the height of the bread before baking is what you can expect when the bread is fully baked].

While the bread is rising for its second time, make sure you have an oven rack in the middle position and the oven preheated to 375° F.

Once ready to bake, transfer both loaves to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 200° F.  Let the bread rest for 5 minutes out of the oven, and then transfer the loaves from their pans to a wire rack where they'll cool for an additional hour.

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4 comments

  1. loving the sound of this english muffin bread, looks delicious. definitely need to make the recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Thalia! You'll love how easy it is to throw together :)

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  2. Do you think that English Muffins could be classified as a quick bread? I know they have yeast and you let them rise a short time before putting them on the griddle. What is there classification?

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    Replies
    1. The basic difference is that quick breads use leaveners other than yeast (or eggs)...so for the most part this means baking soda and/or baking powder. Contrary to its name, a bread that doesn't take long to make, doesn't make it a quick bread. Another way to look at it is that yeast breads use natural leaveners whereas quick breads use chemical leaveners. Thanks for the question!

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