Wednesday, April 7, 2010

28. English Muffin Loaf, Two Loaves

 The day I bought my first bread machine was very exciting. I would be able to put ingredients in the machine, set it to mix and time it to bake...why, it was a dream come true.  I could even awaken to a fresh, tender loaf of homemade bread for my breakfast...what a beautiful picture!

Reality painted a different picture, however. That fragrance of baking bread woke me out of a sound sleep at 4 a.m. and the loaf that came out of the bread machine was not the picture of perfection...the crust was hard and thick and the bottom of the loaf had a big hole in it after the mixing blade was removed. To add insult to injury, the bread was an ugly, vertical shape,

I did bake a few more loaves in my bread machine...all with the same disappointing results. Since then, I  only use the dough cycle on my bread machine...I love the 'dough' will mix, knead and raise the dough and that is a wonderful work and time saver. Bread machines can cost $200+ or can be purchased for under $60. For reviews, pricing and sources go to

A very delightful loaf to bake is called English Muffin Loaf. I made it the first time for a group of women friends who came to  my home to share bread recipes. English Muffin Loaf is easy to make; it only has to rise once and does not require kneading or the use of a bread machine. The fact that it makes two loaves is also a plus. (You can cut the recipe in half if you only want one loaf). This loaf produces a bread that has a coarse texture with plenty of nooks and crannies to capture melted butter and sweet honey.

English Muffin Loaf 
(Mix by hand - requires no kneading)

2 pkgs. yeast                   2 tsp salt
6 C flour                         2 C milk
1 T sugar                        1/2 C water
1 T sugar                        cornmeal
1/4 tsp soda

Combine 3 C flour and all other dry ingredients except cornmeal in a large bowl. Heat liquids until very warm. Add to dry mixture; beat well. Stir in the rest of the flour and mix well. Divide mixture evenly  into 2 bread pans that have been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover pans with a towel or plastic. Let dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove loaves from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Each loaf makes 16 slices. This bread freezes well.

1 comment:

  1. Kenda wrote: Your cooking, blog writing, and recipes are truly wonderful, Diane. I think it is GREAT that you are doing this!