Wednesday, December 24, 2008

English Muffin Bread

This was one of my favorite things my mom made when I was growing up. It is the pinnacle of comfort food if you use it to make open-faced tuna melt sandwiches, but equally satisfying toasted with peanut butter. It's light and spongy, goes from empty pan to warm, ready to eat bread in under an hour, and has just the right amount of flavor. No kneading, no mixer, just a wooden spoon and a little elbow grease. Plus, it makes two loaves, so you always have some to share with a friend, making you extra popular.

60-Minute English Muffin Bread
Makes two 8"x4" loaves
5-6 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 packages regular yeast
2 C milk
1/4 C water
Cornmeal to dust/coat

  1. In a large bowl, combine 3 C flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and yeast (dry mix).
  2. In a saucepan, heat milk and water until very warm (125-130 degrees).
  3. Pour warm liquid over dry ingredients.
  4. Stir. Add remaining flour cup by cup to make desired batter. Should be very stiff.
  5. Grease pans, sprinkling with cornmeal and shaking out excess.
  6. Spoon batter into pans. Sprinkle tops with cornmeal if desired.
  7. Cover with a dish towel. Let rise 45 minutes.
  8. Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 25 minutes (less for smaller pans).
  9. Test for doneness. Remove pans immediately. Cool on a wire rack.

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