English Muffin Bread is full of nooks and crannies just like an English muffin but in a loaf form. It’s dense, chewy and makes the best French toast.
We’ve been on a bit of a bread and baked goods kick at my house lately. In fact, Kale just came to tell me goodnight and asked if I would make more “bread like” products soon. Of course, I said yes. Then I started thinking, we had three different types of bread just last week. That was just a few days ago, and all three are already gone. Can you tell we really like homemade bread?!
Maybe I’ve said this before, but I think bread should be its own food group. Next, to cheese sauce, it’s probably my favorite food. Then again, it may be better than cheese sauce. 🙂 Nothing is better than the smell of a freshly baked loaf straight from the oven.
I used to love going to a bakery and getting a whiff of that warm, yeasty smell. Packaged breads don’t compare, so I was determined to learn how to make fresh-baked bread at home.
The first couple of times I made homemade bread without a bread machine was intimidating. I didn’t know how the yeast would behave, and I certainly didn’t know about overworking the dough. Lucky for me, there were some great blogs with easy recipes. Once I got a feel for what I was doing, making bread at home was simple!
It wasn’t long before I was making at least two loaves a week. After a while, I got ambitious and started adding cheese, jalapenos, garlic, and herbs. I added anything I could to dress it up a bit. Then I found different variations and new recipes and began to branch out. English Muffin Bread was one of those finds. We love English muffins, so why not try making it in a bread form?
I got to work trying a couple of different recipes. One of them ended up too flat, and the other was a little too dry. After some trial and error (and more research), I finally found something that worked. This recipe was just right and only last a couple of days at our house. In fact, Kale watched John make French toast one morning and insisted on learning how to make his own. He used a couple of slices of the English Muffin Bread, and it turned out beautifully!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. I’ve listed the steps below along with some tips I learned along the way.
Prep the Yeast:
Combine the milk, water, and oil in a microwave-safe bowl and heat to 110 to 115 degrees. (I like to use a Pyrex glass for easy measuring.) The liquid should be warm to the touch but not so hot that it burns. *Remember, if it burns your skin, it will kill the yeast! Make sure to stir the liquid to ensure the temperature is even throughout.
After the liquid reaches the required temperature, add the yeast and sugar. Stir slightly to combine and break up any clumping then set aside. Allow mixture to sit, undisturbed, for about 10 minutes. The yeast will activate and become light brown and foamy.
If the mixture fails to foam, the yeast may be dead. Check the temperature of the liquid and the expiration date of the yeast and repeat the process if necessary.
Prep the Pan/Dry Ingredients:
Now is a good time to prepare the loaf pan and measure out the dry ingredients.
Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and sprinkle the sides and bottom lightly with cornmeal. I’ve used cooking spray to grease the pan, and it absorbs the cornmeal leaving a soggy mess. I highly recommend using a light coating of butter instead.
Next, place the flour, salt, and baking soda into the bowl of a stand mixer. You’ll be using the dough hook attachment so have it handy.
Make the Dough:
Add the activated yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Using the dough hook, mix the ingredients on low for one minute then increase the speed to medium for an additional three to four minutes. The dough will be slightly sticky but should be smooth. It shouldn’t be so sticky that it sticks to the bowl. If needed, add additional flour a tablespoon at a time. Take care not to add too much flour or the bread will become too dry and dense.
After the dough is mixed, remove it from the bowl and place it in the prepared loaf pan. Use a silicone spatula to smooth it into one even layer. I’ve found that spraying the spatula with cooking spray makes the spreading process much easier. You can sprinkle additional cornmeal across the top if you wish. I chose not too on my loaf, but I’ve done it both ways in the past. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise until it barely comes over the edge of the pan, about 1/2 an inch.
In the meantime, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the Bread:
After the dough has risen, place the pan in the preheated oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes. The bread will continue to rise and become golden brown. When it is finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for five to seven minutes. Transfer the bread from the pan to a cooling rack to continue to cool.
Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. Store in an airtight container for up to three days.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking!
- 3 - 3 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon yeast
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Butter for pan
- Cornmeal to sprinkle in pan
Heat milk, water, and olive oil in a microwave-safe container to 110 to 115 degrees. Add the yeast and sugar. Mix to combine and set aside.
Allow yeast to activate and become foamy.
Prepare a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with a thin coat of butter. Sprinkle a light layer of cornmeal on the sides and bottom of the pan and set aside.
Add the flour, salt, and baking soda to the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add the activated yeast mixture to the dry ingredients.
Using the dough hook attachment, mix the ingredients on low speed for 1 minute and increase to medium speed for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.
The dough should be smooth, slightly sticky, and soft.
Carefully remove the dough and place in the prepared pan and use a silicone spatula to smooth until level. Cover with a clean kitchen towel.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Allow dough to rise until it comes just above the edge of the pan, about 1/2 inch. The dough takes about an hour to rise.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes until bread is golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow bread to cool in the pan for 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer bread from the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Start with a lesser amount of flour (3 cups) and add additional flour if needed. Climates with more humidity may require the additional 1/2 cup.