Thursday, March 10, 2011

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread

English muffins are my favourite breakfast bread. I'll take an English muffin smothered in jam instead of a bagel any day of the week. One draw back to English muffins is they are pretty finicky and time consuming to bake. This recipe is the perfect compromise.  Not only does the dough come together easy with no kneading, but you bake it together all at once in a convenient loaf pan. Plus, and this is an important plus, when toasted, this bread tastes like an English muffin!

Now this bread is not just great for breakfast; you can create some savory snacks with it as well. Spray a couple slices with olive oil.  Top the slices with diced tomato, onion, olives and garlic. Broil for a few minutes in your oven and...voila! You have brushetta! Do the same with minced garlic and you have garlic bread! There are so many options with this bread.

This recipe produces 2 loaves. I normally freeze the second loaf once its out of the oven and cooled. If you or your family are not big bread eaters then I recommend halving the recipe and then slicing the whole loaf once cooled. Then place the slices of bread in a Ziploc and freeze them. That way you can defrost/toast by slice instead of defrosting the whole loaf, allowing you to have a fresh slice of bread whenever you desire.

English Muffin Toasting Bread

5 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages (4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup warm water 

Directions:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add warm milk and water; beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat on high for 3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour (batter will be stiff). Do not knead. 
  2. Prepare two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Pour batter into the pans. 
  3. Cover the pans with plastic wrap, place them in a warm area and wait until the dough is doubled in size. This usually takes between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown. 
  5. Remove from pans immediately to cool on wire racks.