Monday, November 25, 2013
English Muffin Bread
I'm feeling a little left out. The food blogosphere is full of Thanksgiving fare; some folks even have the leftovers accounted for! And here I am with my humble loaf of bread. I'm not cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, or Christmas dinner for that matter. I will be away for both holidays and it will be be wonderful! I can't remember the last time this happened; it might have been about twenty years ago. As much as I enjoy the holiday meal planning and preparation, this year's plans are going to be a welcome change. It's all about spending time with family, which is what the Christmas season really ought to be about, don't you think? I will be in Paris later this week and then home to Winnipeg for Christmas next month. There will be lots of fun time with my family, and plenty of good food, no doubt. Sightseeing, shopping, reconnecting, relaxing, eating, drinking, laughing, visiting...I can hardly wait! In the meantime, I leave you with this simple loaf of bread. Fashioned after the texture of an English muffin, it has all the nooks and crannies needed to soak up butter and jam. It mixes up like a quick bread, with no kneading required and only sixty minutes of rising time before going into a hot oven. This is the perfect addition to a breakfast table shared with the ones you love. Happy Thanksgiving all! I'll be back next week...
English Muffin Bread
(makes one 9x5-inch loaf)
Fine cornmeal, for dusting the pan and the top of the loaf
Softened butter or pan spray for greasing the loaf pan
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 envelope rapid-rise or instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups whole milk, heated to 120°F
Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan and dust generously with cornmeal. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add the hot milk and stir until well blended. Cover the bowl with greased plastic wrap and let stand for about 30 minutes in a warm spot. The dough should be bubbly and doubled in volume. Stir the dough and turn it into the prepared pan. With a greased spatula, spread the dough evenly into the corners of the pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise again until the dough is level with the edges of the pan (about another 30 minutes). In the meantime, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the top of the loaf with cornmeal. Bake until well browned and the internal temperature of the loaf is 200°F. Remove the bread to a wire rack to cool completely. This bread is meant to be toasted, so slice it thickly, toast it, and spread with butter and your favorite jam.
(from Cook's Country )