This is a loaf of bread that you can have on the table in about 2 hours. It’s a very easy bread dough to mix, it doesn’t have any fancy ingredients and it makes a nice loaf of bread that will remind you of English muffins. I made this bread one afternoon, and it didn’t make it to breakfast the next morning. The boys ate it with their dinner and they loved it. If any had been left, it would have been great as toast in the morning. I’m going to make another loaf because I have a feeling it’s going to make an excellent French toast.
If you have never made a bread with yeast before, this is a great recipe to try. It’s easy and it’s not too finicky – a great beginner recipe. For many years I was afraid of cooking with yeast, because I had tried it a couple of times and failed miserably. With a little practice I got better and now I bake with yeast all the time. Give this recipe a shot if you’re new to baking with yeast.
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English Muffin Bread
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
3 cups 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
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Be sure to stir the liquid well before measuring its temperature; you want an accurate reading. If you don’t have a thermometer, 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 very soft.
Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal.
Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible.
Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn’t be more than, say, 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, till it’s golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
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.
Yield: 1 loaf