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Welcome to Bread Week! – Starting Off with Cook’s Country English Muffin Bread

I decided since I have a backlog of bread recipes that I have made recently that each post this week will be for one of the different bread types I have tried. Breadmaking is one of my favorite things to do, and I make lots of different things all the time, to the point where I know have 8 different flours occupying space in my cabinets. I am always on the lookout for a new bread recipe to try, and this one from Cook’s Country for English muffin bread seemed like a good one to start with. I have made homemade English muffins before, and they turned out great, but the process can be quite time-consuming. This recipe offers you the same texture and chew that you expect from a traditional English muffin in bread form and it is much easier to put together.

English Muffin Bread

Cornmeal

5 cups bread flour

4 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 cups warm milk (120 degrees)

Grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans and dust each pan with cornmeal. Combine the bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in the warm milk until it is combined, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough is bubbly and has doubled in size.

Stir the dough and divide it equally between the two pans, pushing the dough into the corners of the loaf pan with a greased spatula. The pans should be about two-thirds full of dough. Cover the pans with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until the dough reaches the edges of the pans, about 30 minutes. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Discard the plastic wrap covering the pans and transfer the pans to the oven. Bake the bread, switching and rotating the pans halfway through the baking process, until the loaves are well browned and register 200 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the bread., about 30 minutes. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack and allow the bread to cool completely, about 1 hour.

If you are looking for a great bread to toast, this one is it. The texture is very similar to what you get from an English muffin, and it toasts up very nicely for you, giving you great flavor, crunch and chew. It goes very nicely with breakfast, but I also made myself a slice to have with some soup I was having for lunch, and it was the perfect accompaniment. I left one loaf out and froze the other, wrapping it in foil and then in plastic, so we can take it out whenever we are ready for another loaf. I haven’t tried it as a sandwich bread, though I am sure it would be okay; to me, it is a breakfast and toast kind of bread and one I will certainly make again since it is so easy to put together.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Breakfast, Brunch, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch

 

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A Breakfast Treat – Homemade Whole-Wheat English Muffins

English muffins has always been one of those things that you love to have but never even consider making at home on your own. it just seems like they would be complicated and difficult to make and they probably would not taste as good if you made them yourself. When I saw this recipe in the New York Times a few weeks back, I could not believe how simplistic it seemed and it almost seemed like there was no way these were going to be anywhere close to the English muffins you get so used to having at diners or buying in the store. The fact is that they are really is to make, only take a few ingredients and not a lot of time or effort and you can have you own English muffins whenever you want them.

Homemade Whole-Wheat English Muffins

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/2 cup warm milk

1/2 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cornmeal, as needed

In a small bowl, combine the yeast and 1/3 cup of warm water (registering 105 to 115 degrees) and let it rest until the yeast has dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and put it in a large bowl. Whisk in the plain yogurt, milk, honey, salt and the yeast mixture. Add the whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour and the baking soda to the bowl and beat the mixture thoroughly with a spoon or rubber spatula until it is well combined. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and allow it to rest in a warm spot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly dust a small baking sheet with some of the cornmeal.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/2 measuring cup, drop the batter into the skillet to form round muffins about 4 inches in diameter, mounding the batter in the center. you may have to use your fingers to help get the dough out of the scoop or cup, so be careful around the hot pan and don’t worry if they do not come out perfectly circular (English muffins aren’t perfect circles most of the time). Repeat the process until you have three muffins in the skillet, leaving the rest of the batter for a second batch. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet with a lid or a baking sheet and cook the muffins for 3 to 5 minutes, until the bottoms are a golden brown. Watch them carefully to make sure they do not burn.

Uncover the skillet and flip the muffins using a spatula. Cover the skillet again and cook the muffins for 2 to 4 minutes longer or until the other sides are also golden brown. Place the muffins on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the process using the remaining batter and another tablespoon of the butter.

Bake the muffins in the oven for 6 to 9 minutes, or until the muffins are puffed and cooked through. Split the muffins with a fork and toast before eating.

As I said, I was skeptical at first but these English muffins come out great. They are so easy to make and taste fantastic you can easily find yourself saying you will never have to buy English muffins again. You get a much better tasting muffin than what you get in the package. It is certainly fresher, comes out crisper and has a nice yeast taste to it. I am going to experiment and try making them just with all-purpose flour next time to see how they come out, but the whole wheat ones are phenomenal and it really takes no effort at all to make them. With the cost of a package of 6 English muffins between two and three dollars a pack, I made eight of my own for a fraction of that and used ingredients I have around the house. It is definitely worth making and trying these on your own.

That’s all I I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Breads, Breakfast, Cooking

 

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