January 23, 2009

English Muffin Bread

I was inspired to make this bread after I had it at Arabica, the excellent coffee shop at the end of Free Street that serves toast for breakfast (love that!). At around the same time, my friends (who live on their boat) mentioned that they had English muffins rising back at home for breakfast the next morning. I thought, if they can make it on a boat, how hard can it be!

So I gave it a whirl and it was a huge hit. The Joy of Cooking doesn't have a recipe for bread (just muffins), so I turned to the Great Internet. All the recipes I found were for two loaves, god knows why, but after I made it, I sure was glad I had two loaves! This stuff went fast, so I recommend making the full recipe, although it halves easily.

English Muffin Bread

6 cups bread flour
2 packages yeast
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornmeal

Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, and soda. Heat milk, water, salt and sugar until warm, but not hot (too hot and you'll kill the yeast, if u have a therm. its about 140). Stir liquid into dry ingredients.

Add a cup of flour at a time until you have a sticky, but not dry dough. I omitted about 1/2 cup (some recipes only call for 5 cups total).

Put dough in a greased pan that has been liberally sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 to 1 hour (or more, don't be shy!).

Bake for 25 mins in a 400 degree oven.

To serve, toast slices and use lots of butter!

Oh and I almost forgot the best part - this bread requires no kneading!! The lazy girl's loaf, yes, I love it!