One of my dear friends Mary Ellen who lives in Dallas, loves to cook. On her last visit down to Houston she brought be some of her home made English muffin bread, and boy was I excited! I’ve had this on my list to make, and I really wanted to try this soon. She made a bunch of these as Christmas gifts with jam, coffee and tea, so I’m excited to add these to my gift baskets in the future. She even has a super cute stamp which I’m gonna have to order one for myself.
The biggest thing to make a note of is toasting the bread, otherwise it’s ok eating it after it’s baked, but doesn’t have that true English Muffin taste unless it’s toasted.
English Muffin Bread
(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast; stir to combine.
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the milk, water, and oil and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Make sure to stir the liquid before measuring its temperature. If you don't have a thermometer, don't worry, King Arthur states that the liquid should feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.
Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Beat at high speed for 1 minute, the dough will be quite soft and sticky.
Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal. I just tossed in about a 1/4 of cornmeal and tilted the pan until the inside was thoroughly coated.
Scoop the dough into the prepared pan. I used a rubber spatula sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to level the top of the dough out a bit.
Cover the pan (I used plastic wrap), and let the dough rise until it's just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. King Arthur Flour notes that when you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn't be more than about 1/4" over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn't very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, until it's golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F. Mine baked for 26 minutes and it was perfect.
Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.