I always loved English muffins and English muffin bread. It is just so wonderful when toasted. So when I saw a Cooks Country episode with their take on it and it was simple I had to do it. Who would have though a simple recipe from American Test Kitchen?
Well after I did it, I wanted a few changes. First, the milk. I don’t always have fresh milk on hand plus getting the milk to the suggested 120 degrees requires a sauce pan or repeated short microwaving. Second, I wasn’t really happy with the 120 degrees. Yeast can die at too high of temperature (in the 120 range). My initial try, the rise just wasn’t up to snuff. So I’m going with a little lower temperature and a little longer rise. Dry milk and proofing the yeast first. Actually I find this simpler.
Notes: Really you should be able to just mix all the dry including the yeast and sugar then add the water. I just feel better proofing yeast plus I feel the yeast if fully distributed.
Yeast note: all baking yeast is the same organism (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). So what is the difference? Basically the size of the granules. Active dry yeast that your grandmother used has larger granules. Instant Yeast (also known as Fast-Rising, Rapid-Rise, Quick Rise, and/or Bread Machine Yeast) has smaller granules and will start working faster. You can exchange them equally but the active dry will just take longer to start working. Read that as a longer rise. So use what you have.
January 18 2014