Sunday, November 17, 2013

Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread

Do you watch Cook's Country on PBS? If not, you're missing out. They have wonderful recipes, and I love watching them bring life to some foods I've longed to try and make but have never gotten around to it. Yesterday, I watched them make an English Muffin Bread that looked so easy, I just had to give it a try tonight! And boy did it turn out. It's wonderful and only took an hour to rise. Best part about it? Have you checked the ingredients in the English muffins at the store? They are chocked full of fillers and nasty things I can't even pronounce. This English Muffin bread has six ingredients in it...that's it. Six absolutely normal ingredients I can pronounce and know where they come from. All four of us had a thick slice for an evening snack tonight, and it had the requisite lightly crunchy outer crust and the airy, holey sponge-like, but chewy interior that is the trademark of a good English muffin. I modified the recipe just a bit using whole wheat flour and making only one loaf, but from the reaction from my family, I'll double up next time and make two loaves. This bread is going to disappear quickly! Cook's Country recommends using bread flour, which is a great alternative, but I wanted the whole wheat punch, so I used white whole wheat flour. Delicious.

Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread


5 cups (27 1/2 ounces) whole wheat flour
4 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast *See note below
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups whole milk, heated to 120 degrees

1. Grease two 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pans and dust with cornmeal. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Stir in hot milk until combined, about 1 minute. Cover dough with greased plastic wrap and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes, or until dough is bubbly and has doubled.

2. Stir dough and divide between prepared loaf pans, pushing into corners with greased rubber spatula. (Pans should be about two-thirds full.) Cover pans with greased plastic and let dough rise in warm place until it reaches edge of pans, about 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.

3. Discard plastic and transfer pans to oven. Bake until bread is well browned and registers 200 degrees, about 30 minutes, rotating and switching pans halfway through baking. Turn bread out onto wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Slice, toast, and serve.

*If you don't have instant or rapid-rise yeast, you can use active dry yeast. Just mix the yeast in the milk and dissolve for five minutes before mixing with the dry ingredients.*

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