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.
- 2½ cups bread flour
- ½ cup dried milk
- 1 package instant yeast
- 1½ tsp sugar
- 1½ cup water
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- corn meal
- Add 1 pack of instant yeast to 1½ cup of 105 - 110 degree water. Add 1½ tsp sugar. Mix and let set while you do the dry mix. It should foam a little after a few minutes.
- Mix the dry. 2½ cup bread flour (but AP flour should work), ½ cup dried milk, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp baking soda.
- Mix wet into dry and stir until there is no dry left.
- Spray some plastic wrap with a good spray of PAM on one side and cover. The PAM will prevent sticking if it touches the sticky dough. Place in a warm spot until double in size. About 60 minutes.
- Coat a loaf pan with butter and the swirl about 2 tablespoons of corm meal to coat completely.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Move the dough into the pan. Cover with the plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until even with the top of the pan. About 30 minutes.
- Remove plastic wrap. Bake until golden brown and internal temp of 200 degrees. About 30-35 minutes.
- Cool on rack for about 60 minutes before cutting.
June 15 2014