English Muffin Bread ~ A recipe from Cooks Country Magazine ~ made and reviewed

I try to keep breakfast interesting for my children (I’d  like all meals to be to their liking but its nice to at least start the day off with happy kids).  I don’t know about you but that is sometimes easier said than done (I have a two year old who has mastered the word YUCKY).  Especially on the weekdays when I need to get my oldest ready for school, my youngest ready to take my oldest to school, while at the same time feeding them a breakfast they will actually eat.

That does not even take into account feeding the chickens (the goats wake and call for their breakfast while its still dark out sadly).  Re-filling all the animal water buckets, watering the garden, re-filling hay mangers, getting my oldest to feed her guinea pig (I swear that poor animal would waste away if I didn’t hound her to feed him) oh and getting myself dressed before I need to drive to school in my pajamas (I’ve come shockingly close to that more than once I am embarrassed to tell you).

I make all the bread here and my kids are no longer impressed with that, (ahh, kids….) I need to come up with gimmicks to amuse them.  Yes, I make pancakes in silly shapes, I cut holes in bread and fry eggs in the hole…homemade french toast sticks….smoothies….all good choices.  Those are still well received by the wee ones.  Homemade english muffins are yummy too so when I saw a recipe for english muffin bread I figured if the texture was right it would make a great breakfast sandwich, or dare I say toast for hubby and I?

So today I am preparing and reviewing a recipe from Cook’s Country Magazine , May 2012, page 17

Here we go…

English Muffin Bread  ~ adapted from cooks country magazine

Makes 2 loaves

5 cups bread flour

4 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast (I used instant)

1 tablespoon suagr

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/2 cups whole milk, heated to 12o degrees

1.  Grease two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pans, combine four, yeast, salt, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl (or the bowl of your mixer) Stir in hot milk until combined and the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl ( I did all this in my bosch mixer and it was done in a flash).  Cover the dough with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough is bubbly and has doubled. Note:  I raise all my dough in my microwave, it stays warm and stays out of harms way (kids with pokey finger love to deflate my dough so I hide it).

All of the dry ingredients in my mixer bowl

 

The dough all settled into my antique dough rising bowl (I scored it on ebay years ago and just adore it)

Let the dough rise in a warm draft free place for 30 minutes.  Once it has risen it will look like this:

The fully risen dough

Take a closer look at the texture of this dough, you can see lots of little bubbles in it due to the baking soda, very cool.

Lots of bubbles are visible

Now you will deflate the dough a bit and cut it in half

Ready for the pans

Now the dough gets pressed into the greased pans.  Be sure to push the dough into the corners of the pan.  The pan should be about 2/3 full.

Ready for the final rise

 

Cover the pans with greased plastic warp (I re-use the one from the first rise).  Let the dough rise in the pans for 30 minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. The rack should be set the the middle of your oven.

When the bread has had its final rise, bake it at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 200 degrees poked int he center of the loaf. (rotate the pans once during baking).

When the bread is baked it will look like this

Baked and cooling

Let the bread cool for 1 hour before slicing.  When you do slice the bread it will look like this…

You can see the nooks and crannies but this bread really needs to be toasted

This is english muffin bread, it is meant to be toasted.  So lets toast it…

Toasted and really nice looking, definite nooks and crannies

Its toasted and sitting here…I might as well butter it.  I mean how can I not butter it?  Yeah, Im buttering it…

Much better, all buttered. Just seemed wrong not buttered

All done.

Recipe review  ~ I gave this bread a 3.5 out of 5.

For me that is a good score.  I am a tough grader (ok I’m just annoyingly picky).  I can tell you that this bread was easy to make, came together very quickly and tastes quite good toasted.  The texture is excellent.  Nice crispy crust, definite english muffin flavor and texture when toasted.  I don’t think this bread would very good  un-toasted.   However, toasted  (as the recipe suggests) it is crispy and tender in the middle.  Really good toast.    I will absolutely make this again, the kids really like it.

Enjoy.

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  1. Would it be alright to use 2% milk? I’m guessing it would be slightly less rich~ Thanks for posting this. I’ve got a Cooks Illustrated magazine login but not C. Country so I’m glad someone out here offered to show their prized membership! :) Thanks again so much!
    Juliane

  2. Tamatha:
    One nitpick and one correction, if you please. Nit: If you knock off 1.5 points out of 5 as a tough grader, you should at least tell us why! If your reason is because the bread would be bad untoasted, then your criticism is unfounded; this bread is not meant to be eaten without toasting first; just as an english muffin is not.
    Your bread would have come out much better had you not used your Bosch. Even more “nooks” for the butter. This is obvious from your pictures – the bread is a batter bread, and the gluten should never have been developed enough to form a ball. If you try it again and just use a bowl, stirring the ingredients together and just allowing the first proof to take place in the same bowl (that’s a beauty of a bowl, by the way), you’d find the results much better.

    That’s all I’ve got. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry you had trouble with it. I’ve made it several times and never had that happen. Do you live at a high elevation? I would love to help if I can.

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