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.
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.
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.
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.
Slowly add more flour stopping after every 1/2 cup to check the consistency.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After 10 minutes remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a rack for 20-30 minutes.
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.
The bread was light, fluffy with the perfect amount of air bubbles. It has the same texture and taste of english muffins.