English Muffin Bread


Serving: 20
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus 2 hours rising and cooling

A quality bread like English muffin bread will have the same soft crumb and porous texture of individual English muffins. It also takes just a little time to prepare. The recipe we use makes two loaves, so you can freeze one to use future use (or in the case of being generous, gift one to a loved one).

Bread flour gave the breads their chewy and light consistency and, since bread flour is more able to absorb water than the all purpose flour it created a moist sticky dough that grew into loaves with consistently large holes. The addition of cornmeal to the batter made the crust have that iconic English muffin crunch. The preferred loaf pan measure 8 1/2 by 4 inches. when using 9 by 5 inch pans, make sure to check for readiness five minutes earlier. English muffins are made to be cooked after being cut.

5 cups (27½ ounces) bread flour
1½ tablespoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups warm whole milk (120 degrees)

1. Make sure to grease two 8 1/2x4 1/2-inch loaf pans and sprinkle with cornmeal. Mix flour, yeast, salt, sugar, along with baking soda and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in warm milk until well combined, approximately 1 minute. Cover the dough with plastic wrap greased and allow to rise in a the warm area for about 30 minutes or until the dough is bubbly and increased in size.

2. Mix dough, then divide into pans. Push into corners using a the greased spatula. (Pans should be approximately 2/3 full.) Place pans in greased plastic, and let the dough rise in warm space until it is at the edge of the pans, approximately 30 minutes. Set oven rack in middle position and then heat the oven to 375°F.

3. Recycle the plastic and then transfer pans into oven. The bread should bake until it is baked and registers at 200 degrees approximately 30 minutes changing pans and rotating them during baking. Place bread on wire racks and let cool completelyfor about an hour. Slice toast and serve.

To make ahead
Bread can be cut into slices (place the parchment between the slices) covered with aluminum foil and stored in a bag with a zipper lock, and then stored for up to a month. To defrost slices of bread to toast put them on a plate and microwave covered at high power up to 15-25 seconds.

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