It has a great crust, and lots of butter-catching holes, and is so easy to make. I’ve had this recipe for years and years, and I used to make it a lot back along in the 1980s. Then for some reason I stopped until this week when I found it again in my recipe book and decided to revive it.
So-called English muffin bread is a batter bread: you mix it up, spoon it into pans, and when it has doubled in rising, bake it, and bang, you have two or three nice loaves of a coarse-textured bread suitable for toasting.
It turns out that my companion Toby loves it, “You can make this anytime,” he said, after having eaten half a loaf in a day. That is the trouble with any good bread. It is a little too easy to eat.
I made this batch with a combination of white and whole wheat flour. I recall years ago that I added cinnamon and raisins to the batter sometimes to vary it a bit. I suspect you could add a bit of oatmeal, or seeds, even a few well-chopped nuts, if you wished for a multi-grained loaf.
- 3½ to 4 cups white flour
- 1½ to 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 packages or tablespoons dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup milk
- 1 ½ cups water
- Cornmeal for dusting the pans
- Grease two to three small loaf pans, up to 8½ by 4½ inches, and dust liberally with cornmeal.
- Combine 1½ cups of each kind of flour with the yeast, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
- Heat the milk and water until very warm (120 to 130 degrees).
- Add the hot liquids to the flour mixture, beating well.
- Add enough more flour to make a stiff batter.
- Spoon into the baking pans until they are half-full.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cover with a damp towel, and let rise 25-40 minutes in a warm place until the loaves double. Do not let them rise above the edge of the pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped.
- Remove from the pans immediately and let cool.
It is a good idea to bake these loaves in slightly smaller pans because they rise very quickly and are prone to collapse when you move them, which, if you are using standard sized bread pans, can make for goopy spots inside the loaves.