We are at the end of our fiscal year at work, and that always means for higher stress times. So, in order to help with that, I usually try to bring in a few extra treats. I found this recipe and wanted to try it (because I love bread, especially bread that doesn’t take all day to make!), but didn’t want the temptation of a loaf of bread hanging out at the house.
Original Recipe is here (King Arthur Flour Company): http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/english-muffin-toasting-bread-recipe
What You Need:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda * 1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
Cornmeal or flour, to sprinkle in the pan
And Here’s What You Do:
1) Whisk together the dry ingredients (minus the cornmeal or flour for the pan) in a large mixing bowl. I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
2) Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave-safe bowl, and heat to between 120°F and 130°F. Stir the liquid completely before measuring. If you don’t have a thermometer, the liquid will feel quite hot (hotter than lukewarm), but not so hot that it would be uncomfortable as bath water.
3) Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
4) Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be very soft.
5) Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal or flour.
6) Scoop the soft dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible. I used a spatula sprayed with some cooking spray.
7) Cover the pan, and let the dough rise till it’s just barely crowned over the rim of the pan. When you look at the rim of the pan from eye level, you should see the dough, but it shouldn’t be more than, say, 1/4″ over the rim. This will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour, if you heated the liquid to the correct temperature and your kitchen isn’t very cold. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F. ( It took 30 minutes in my very warm garage for it to get twice this size. I also used plastic wrap over the top, so that could have trapped a lot of moisture inside).
8) Remove the cover, and bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, till it is golden brown and its interior temperature is 190°F.
9) Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.
Yield: 1 loaf.
What I Did
I followed the directions this time. Now, the directions do not say to put the dough in your 90 degree garage to rise, but that is what I did. And rise it did! I think that the dough was sticking up over the top of the pan a least an inch and a half when I brought it into the house! At least it settled down to where it was supposed to be before I put it in the oven.
I left a sign next to it saying what it was (since an unsliced loaf of white bread in the kitchen may or may not have gotten eaten), and it was eaten fairly quickly. I had a lot of coworkers pass by my desk saying “Great bread” or “That was really tasty”. A friend said that the bread, butter and strawberry jam was a killer combination.
The bread was very crumbly, although the taste was divine! It really does taste like an English Muffin. I found that the small and thin pieces fell apart pretty easily, but would probably hold together a lot better if it was a thicker slice. The next time I make this bread, I won’t put it in the garage. My microwave is normally a nice warm spot, and would probably make a good place for dough to rise and be out of the way at the same time.
Since the consistency is somewhere between a quick bread and a loaf of sandwich bread, this would probably be best eaten as the name indicates – as an English muffin. Unless sliced thicker, it probably wouldn’t hold up in a sandwich.
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love, and Cupcakes