Earlier this week Nick over at Macheesmo made english muffins.  This reminded me of the english muffin bread that my mom buys from the local Amish Community.  The bread is light and airy and toasts beautifully.  I wanted to recreate that bread.  Here is my shot at it.

Perfect with homemade strawberry jam
Perfect with homemade strawberry jam

Unlike most bread dough’s you do not knead this one.  It is a wetter batter than most bread doughs.  Since it is a wet dough make sure to immediately wash all utensils and bowls that had the dough in it.  If you don’t it will be really hard to clean as the wet dough dries into cement.

English Muffin Bread

  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 package of yeast or 2 1/4 tsp of yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbs butter
  • handful of cornmeal for dusting

The first step is to heat all of the wet ingredients in a pan.  Combine the water, milk, butter, salt and sugar into a sauce pan and slowly heat it.  When the butter melts it should be at the right temperature.  You can check this by touching it.  If it is slightly to moderately warm then it is perfect.

Wet ingredients  Melted

While the wet ingredients are heating up sift your flour and baking soda.  I sifted about 3 1/4 cups.  You might not need all of it, but it is easiest to sift everything at once.

I use a wire strainer but you can use a sifter.  I know it is an extra step but when it comes to the final texture it makes all of the difference.
I use a wire strainer but you can use a sifter. I know it is an extra step but when it comes to the final texture it makes all of the difference.

Put 2 cups of the flour mixture into a mixing bowl and add the yeast.  Stir to incorporate the ingredients.  Then while you are mixing on low speed add the wet ingredients.  It is going to be really runny.  Don’t worry.

Pour slowly as you don't want to get wet.
Pour slowly as you don't want to get wet.

Slowly add more flour stopping after every 1/2 cup to check the consistency. 

If you sift the flour onto a piece of wax paper you can easily funnel it into the mixing bowl.
If you sift the flour onto a piece of wax paper you can easily funnel it into the mixing bowl.

Once you stop the mixer, if the dough holds its shape you are at the right consistency.  Once you hit the right consistency, mix for 1  minute.  Remember when adding flour that you do not want the dough to form a ball. 

 

Ad you can see the dough keeps its shape after the mixing blade moves through the dough.
Ad you can see the dough keeps its shape after the mixing blade moves through the dough.
 

Another consistency pic.  This is the hardest part about making dough.  When do you stop adding flour?  When it looks like the dough above.
This is the hardest part about making dough. When do you stop adding flour? When it looks like the dough above.

While the dough is mixing, grease a standard loaf pan.  Then place a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal in a pan.  Over a sink shake the pan to get cornmeal on all sides.

 
I use a standard non-stick cooking spray to grease the pan.
I use a standard non-stick cooking spray to grease the pan.
Tap the pan on each side to evenly coat the pan with cornmeal.
Tap the pan on each side to evenly coat the pan with cornmeal.

Once the dough is done mixing, scrape it into the pan.  The dough is extremely sticky so it will be hard to distribute evenly.  Dust another tablespoon or two of cornmeal on the top of the dough.  Once you have it dusted you can use your fingers to evenly distribute the dough.

 

 Scrape into a pan Dust and Distribute

Cover and let rise for 45-75 minutes.  You want the dough to rise over the lip of your pan.  Since it is a wet dough, the top will not rise in the oven.  So be patient and let it rise now.

After an hour it has a nice crown.
After an hour it has a nice crown.

Once the dough is fully risen place it on the center rack of 400 degree preheated oven.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.  Once the bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped it is cooked.  Remove and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. 

The bread is down when it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped with a finger.
The bread is down when it is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped with a finger.

After 10 minutes remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a rack for 20-30 minutes. 

Don't remove the bread from the pan right away as it needs time to cool before moving.  There are so many air pockets in the bread that it could collapse.
Don't remove the bread from the pan right away as it needs time to cool before moving. There are so many air pockets in the bread that it could collapse.

Once cooled slice and toast.  Serve with butter or strawberry jam.  My mother made me fresh strawberry jam.  It is delicious.  I will have to get the recipe.

Perfect with butter or jam.
Perfect with butter or jam.

The bread was light, fluffy with the perfect amount of air bubbles.  It has the same texture and taste of english muffins.

One more pick since it looks so tasty!!
One more pick since it looks so tasty!!

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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