Tuesday, June 14, 2011

English Muffin Bread

We are huge fans of English muffins in this house. Blockette particularly fond of having them in an egg and cheese sandwich. I made them from scratch once and they turned out fairly decent. I came across a recipe for English muffin bread from the blog Waiting for Gateau and wondered if an English muffin in bread form would taste anything like a true English muffin.

First off, before I delve into the realm of English muffin bread, I feel the need to state that I love the name of the blog, Waiting for Gateau. It's a play on words based off of the play (Heh, I made another pun. Yay me!) "Waiting for Godot" by Samuel Beckett, and gateau, a French word for a rich iced cake.

I had to read the play in high school for a modern literature class. Don't ask me what the play was about because I remember hating how weird and abstract the book was. If you are curious check it out over on Wiki. So why do I love the name of the blog if I hated the play? I love it cause it's pun-y. That's how I roll.

Now onto the bread. You've heard the phrase, a watched pot never boils. Well, a watched bread never rises either. This is sometimes true even if you don't watch it. This bread did NOT want to rise. The dough was supposed to rise over the top of the pan. After sitting for 5 hours the dough was just below the rim of the pan. I gave up and just stuck the loaf in the oven. I figured if it hadn't risen after sitting in a nice warm place for 5 hours, it was never going to rise.The bread was a bit dense, but tasty. It did taste quite similar to a normal English muffin. I found myself missing the craggy landscape that is classically associated with the English muffin. Those nooks and crannies are the best part. Doncha just love when they all get filled overflowing with butter or ooey gooey peanut butter? You don't get that with the bread loaf version.

I went over the recipe again in an attempt to decipher where I could have gone astray. Ugh, then I realized problem. I had used the wrong type of yeast. I used they type of yeast I always keep on hand, dry active yeast. The recipe called for the instant variety. The two types of yeast are interchangeable in recipes, they just need to be proofed differently. Oh well. Lesson learned.

English muffin bread from Waiting for Gateau
cornmeal for dusting
2 1/4 teaspoons (one packet) instant, rapid-rise yeast
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup water

Spray a 9x5" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust bottom and sides with cornmeal. Whisk yeast, flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Combine milk and water and microwave on high 30 sec; til just warmed. Add milk mix to flour mix and stir to form a stiff batter. Spoon dough into prepared pan and sprinkle top with cornmeal. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 50-60 min til dough is 1" above side of pan. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400° F. Remove plastic wrap from loaf and bake 25 min. (loaf will still be pale, but is okay.) Remove loaf from the pan immediately and cool completely on a wire rack.

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