English Muffin Bread (aka a very, very easy bread recipe)

How to make no-knead English muffin bread

Kneading is probably the number one thing that discourages people from making bread.  I did write a “How to knead” post, but in case you are still terrified of kneading, I have a recipe that requires no such thing!

In addition, it only needs to rise one time, so it’s a good first yeast bread recipe to try.

Totally not-scary.

You will need a stand mixer, though, because this recipe uses the mixer’s strength in place of kneading.

(I have the KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer and it is marvelous.  Highly recommend it.)

Like English muffins, this bread has a somewhat hole-y texture, and it’s at its best when toasted.

sliced English muffin bread

And of course, butter and jam elevate it to heavenly levels.

jam and butter on toast

Here’s how to make some for yourself.

English Muffin Bread

Printable English Muffin Bread Recipe

6 cups all-purpose flour (You can use half whole-wheat if you prefer.)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 packages (4.5 teaspoons) active dry yeast
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
cornmeal for dusting pans

Combine 3 cups of all-purpose flour with the yeast, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a mixer bowl.

dry ingredients for english muffin bread

Heat liquids to 120-125 °F (I do this in the microwave).

Add warm liquids to dry ingredients in mixer bowl, and mix for 2 minutes.

It will be rather runny at this point.
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Add remaining flour and beat for two minutes. The dough will be quite thick.

english muffin dough

Spray two 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pans with nonstick spray and then sprinkle with cornmeal.

You can use 9×5 inch bread pans, but your loaves will be flatter and a little less attractive.  Still tasty, though!

grease pan and sprinkle with cornmeal

I do this the same way that I grease and flour a cake pan…I put the cornmeal in and tilt and shake the pan until it’s evenly covered.

My recipe says to pour the dough into the pans, but this dough is so thick, pouring is an impossiblity!

I usually try to roughly divide it in two using a metal spoon, but I normally get it wrong and have to take some dough from one pan and put it in the other.

spoon dough into pan

I smooth the dough out a bit with wet fingertips, but you don’t have to worry about it being pristinely neat…the lumps and bumps will straighten themselves out as the dough rises.

You do want the pans to have relatively equal amounts of dough, though, or the loaves will need different baking times.

english muffin bread ready to rise

Cover with a wet tea towel (the type of towel that is not fluffy) and let it rise in a warm place for an hour.

dough covered with wet tea towel

After rising for an hour, it should look like this.

risen English muffin bread

Bake the risen loaves in a preheated 350°F degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

Turn the loaves out of the pans and cool on a wire rack.

Here’s what the finished product should look like.

baked no knead English muffin bread

And here’s the inside texture.

sliced English muffin bread

Because this dough has very little fat and sugar (which are preserving agents), it will only stay fresh for a day or two on the countertop.

toast with raspberry jam

It freezes well, though, so eat one loaf and freeze the other, because if you need a little something to go with dinner on a busy night, it’s awfully handy to have a loaf waiting for you in the freezer.

If you have a small household, another option is to cut the loaves in half and freeze each half individually. That way you only have a half loaf to contend with each time.

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P.S. My favorite bread pans, cooling rack, and mixer are listed in this post.

P.P.S. In case you missed it, here’s the Printable English Muffin Bread Recipe.

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Wednesday Baking | Cornmeal Loaves

Every now and then, I share a baking recipe with you on Wednesdays. And lots of pictures of said baking recipe. I don’t call this Wednesday Baking because I bake solely on Wednesdays…no, my oven gets a workout much more frequently than once a week! All the past baking posts are archived in the Wednesday Baking category.

This is bread, and it’s made with cornmeal, but it’s not cornbread.

No, this is a yeasted bread, and it’s quite different from the baking-powder-leavened variety. I think it’s a nice change of pace when you’re serving a meal that seems to call for cornbread (like maybe Tortilla Soup).

The dough is fairly sweet and it contains milk and two eggs, so the texture is soft, sort of like a sweet bread dough is. Except this isn’t officially a sweet bread, so you can totally eat it at dinnertime. ;)

Like most of my favorite bread recipes, this one starts with flour and yeast in the mixer bowl.

Next, combine the milk, salt, sugar, and butter in a measuring cup and heat to 120° F. I do this in the microwave, but you can also dump it all into a pot and heat it over medium-low heat on the stove.

Hi! My name is Kristen and I take lop-sided pictures. Also, I am too lazy to fix them sometimes.

Ok. Mix the heated milk mixture into the flour mixture, add 2 eggs, and beat for 3 minutes. This will produce a pretty soupy batter.

Beat in 1 cup of cornmeal. You can use white cornmeal, but I like to use yellow for the color (I usually buy the Indian Head, which is stoneground whole grain cornmeal.)

Add in enough additional flour to make a soft dough. I never measure my flour at this step, instead relying on what looks right. Turn the soft dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes.

That will take the dough from this:

(psst! See the bench knife over there? I think you need one.)

to this:

Place the dough back into the mixing bowl (I don’t even bother to clean mine), cover with a wet tea towel, and let it rise in a warm place for an hour. If your house is cold, turn your oven on for 1 minute, turn it off, and then place the dough bowl inside.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down, turn it out onto a floured counter, and cut it in half. Roll each half out into a rectangular shape, roll it up, starting from the short side, and place each loaf into a bread pan.

You can use 4×8 or 9×5 inch loaf pans for this recipe…the ones in the 4×6 pans will just be kind of tall. I can never decide which I prefer!

Cover the loaves and let them rise 30-45 minutes, or until they look doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated 350° F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until they look browned and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Place the loaves on wire racks to cool.

Here you can kind of see the difference between the 4×8 inch loaf (on the left) and the 9×5 inch loaf.

Once it’s cool, slice with a serrated bread knife. And spread with butter.

Cornmeal Loaves-makes 2
Printable Cornmeal Loaves Recipe

6-6 1/2 cups flour, divided
2 pkg. (2 1/4 teaspoons each) active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup yellow cornmeal

In a large mixer bowl, combine the yeast and 3 cups of the flour. Combine milk, sugar, butter, and salt, and heat to 120° F. Add to dry mixture in bowl; add eggs. Beat at low speed to combine, then beat at medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in cornmeal and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 3-5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place dough into a bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll each half into a rectangular shape and roll up, starting with the short end. Pinch seams to seal and place each loaf into a 4×8 or 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise 30-45 minutes, or until doubled.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes, or until browned. Cool on wire racks.

source: Better Homes and Gardens 1973 Bread Cookbook

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Today’s 365 post: “You made more applesauce??”