English Muffin Bread

by Handjobs For The Home on August 29, 2011

I love me a good English muffin. Toasted with a little butter, alongside a runny poached egg and some maple smoked bacon…is there anything more comforting? Plus, in my opinion, it’s the best vehicle for jam and fruit butters ever. Which is why I was so excited when I noticed a recipe for english muffin bread in the back of one of my favorite canning books, Canning For a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. It has all of the qualities of a good English muffin, but with much less work and in loaf form.

If you ended up saving all of your whey from last weeks’ DIY Ricotta project, you are in luck! This recipe calls for a lot of whey, though you can substitute water or milk in certain spots. So even if you didn’t take my advice (told you it would be put to good use) you can still make this lovely loaf. Or you can make some cheese today and bread tomorrow. Then put your homemade cheese on your homemade English muffin bread! Genius, I’m telling you.

The benefit of using fresh whey is that it makes for a more even-textured bread, along with even browning. If you’re interested in using whey in other recipes like pancakes, cookies, or pie crusts, I found this nifty article you might find interesting.

Whenever I go to make a bread recipe, I always find myself discouraged because I only have one loaf pan. The economical solution would be to go out and buy another loaf pan, but I’m not always such a sensible person. Believe it or not, I’m actually quite a procrastinator. This blog is the only thing that I’m good about updating on a regular basis. In all other aspects of my life, I wait until the last minute to do everything, which usually comes back to bite me in the ass—just ask my boyfriend, he’ll validate. So when I decided I was going to make bread, I found myself in the usual situation—no loaf pans. Luckily, while I was out buying some other ingredients, I discovered these fantastic disposable loaf pans. I know, I know, I’m doing bad to the environment by buying disposable trays, but I really don’t make bread very often so I decided it was OK. But for everyone interested in more bread projects, loaf pan donations are now being accepted…

Bread rising atop the refrigerator.

Risen Bread

This recipe makes two loaves of bread, so you can eat one this week and freeze the other. You’ll be glad to have a frozen loaf on hand when you throw your next Sunday brunch, and so will your guests! Also, this bread is so fabulous toasted. I’d even go so far as to say that it’s better toasted than when it’s fresh out of the oven. It gives it just the right amount of crispiness and browned nooks and crannies; perfect for nuzzling creamy butter into.

English Muffin Bread
adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff

What You’ll Need:

2 tsp Cornmeal, plus more to coat the pans (I used polenta, which works just as well)
1 Tbsp sugar
3/4 C. warm whey from making cheese, or water
1 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 C. Whey or milk
2 tsp Kosher salt
6 C. flour
1/4 tsp baking soda

Begin by greasing two loaf pans with a little bit of vegetable oil and dust the sides and bottoms with cornmeal.

In a small bowl combine the sugar, 3/4 C. whey and yeast and let them sit for 10 minutes. The sugar will activate the yeast, and it will become bubbly.

In the meantime, combine the remaining whey and salt in a small pot and warm over low heat until it is just slightly warm. You can also do this in a mason jar in the microwave if you prefer.

Combine whey with the now activated yeast in a large bowl. Carefully sir in the remaining dry ingredients—salt, flour and baking soda. Once the dough is well combined, evenly distribute it between two loaf pans. Smooth out the tops, and sprinkle with 1 tsp of cornmeal on top of each loaf.

Cover with a damp kitchen towel and place in a warm spot in the kitchen for 30 minutes. I like the top of the refrigerator because it is just warm enough to let the dough rise nice and evenly, while allowing it to sit completely undisturbed. It should double in size and rise just above the tops of the loaf pan.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

When the dough has finished rising, place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until it is golden brown on top. After baking, place pans on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the bread molds. Once the loaves have cooled, run a knife around the edges of the pan, and turn the loaves out. Let cool completely before slicing.

To store, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, or place in an airtight bag.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ann McCann (@2Newfs) August 29, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I lurked the clearance aisle at Homegoods to get some new non-stick bread pans. oh whoops – you’d have to not procrastinate about heading to a store. Good luck!

One other idea – earlier this summer King Arthur had a sale on their really nice paper disposable baking pans, and I really stocked up. Last year I used their ring pans to make cranberry cocoa brioche for presents. I could share!

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