January 6, 2022
My bread came out of the oven and I had to shoo my family away. They wanted to just tear into it. Although I usually allow tastes before something has cooled completely, I didn’t with this bread. This craggy loaf is truly best cooled, sliced, toasted, and then smeared with butter or jam. A perfect, simple breakfast treat.
The dough is very easy to make. There is no kneading involved. And the rise time isn’t long. It’s a great dough for beginner bread bakers or anyone who really haven’t worked with yeast. You just need bread flour and a thermometer (a meat thermometer works here) to keep track of the temperature of the hot milk you eventually add to the flour mixture. So roll up your sleeves and get to work on your english muffin loaf. You won’t be sorry!
English Muffin Bread
Adapted from Cookscountry.com
2 tablespoons cornmeal (for dusting the pan)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (1 packet)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole milk heated to 120ºF (until almost a simmer)
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and dust it with the cornmeal.
Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Heat up the milk in a saucepan. Heat until a thermometer reads 120ºF. The milk will just be starting to simmer. Add the milk to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined, about 1 minute. The dough will be very sticky. Cover the dough with a greased piece of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until dough has doubled in size.
Stir dough again and place in the loaf pan, pushing it into the corners of the pan with a rubber spatula. Cover the pan with the greased piece of plastic wrap and let the dough rise again for 30-45 minutes, until it reaches the top edge of the pan.
Discard the plastic wrap and put the pan in the oven. Bake until bread is well browned and when a thermometer is inserted into the center of bread reads 200ºF, about 30-35 minutes.
Turn bread out onto a wire rack and let cool completely for about 1 hour. Slice, toast and eat!