English Muffin Bread

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.

Reaction

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.

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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

Cornflake Cookies

This week I meant to make Scott Nutella brownies.  There was this great recipe that I found that only used three ingredients, and I was super excited to make it.  I even decided to brave Walmart on the weekend to get the stuff I needed.  True, it was 8 am on a Sunday when I got there, but it can still be a scary experience!

But, they were out of Nutella.  As in, completely out.  Bare shelves.  Is there a run on Nutella that I don’t know about?  Actually, yes.  Apparently, thieves made out with 5 and a half tons of Nutella in Bad Hersfeld, Germany over the weekend.  Okay, keep calm and go to Pinterest…which will always save the day!  I found this little gem, which might have some pretty strange ingredients for cookies, but nonetheless was a delightful surprise!

Original recipe is here: Dishpan Cookies

What You Need:

2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups oil

4 eggs

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups quick oats

4 cups cornflakes

And Here’s What You Do:

1. In a large bowl, cream together sugars, vanilla, oil, and eggs.  Add the dry ingredients.  Fold in the oats and the cornflakes.

2. Drop by ¼ cup measuring cup onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for ten to twelve minutes at 375°, or until edges are lightly browned.

What I Did:

I noticed that the ingredient list was pretty hefty, and it called for a lot of each ingredient (the original recipe states that the baker normally doubles the recipe, and the recipe stated was for a single batch!  Wow, if I put that many in front of Scott, he might pass out!  So, I halved the recipe.  And I used my cookie scoop (behold, the mighty cookie scoop!) to portion the dough out.  And the reusable parchment instead of an ungreased cookie sheet.

The dough was pretty dense, not at all like normal cookie dough.  Probably has to do with the amount of oil that is used instead of butter.  The original recipe says that the batter might be a little dry, but I didn’t have that experience.  It was similar to the chocolate toffee cookies that I made last fall in the consistency of the batter.  And I used my hand mixer instead of the stand mixer for this recipe.  It was so dense that the mixer was pretty warm by the time I had to put in the oats and the cornflakes.  Yikes, I can see easily burning through one of those making a double batch of these cookies!  In hindsite, I probably should have used the stand mixer. 

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 Reaction:

Scott took a bite, and immediately his eyebrows came together as he experienced the slight crunchiness of the cookie.  When asked if he liked them, he said, “They’re not bad.” Which means, he may or may not come back in a day or so and tell me that he really likes them.  The jury is still out on that.

I think I would like to make these again, but maybe not for him.   I think he would rather me make him peanut butter cookies or white chocolate macadamia every day, but how boring would that be?

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 And if you can figure out where to hide 5 ½ tons of Nutella, let me know.  I’m still baffled about that.

 Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes