English Muffin Bread

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A few years ago I told my friend Sandra that I thought she should be selling toast, that it would be the Next Big Thing. I like to think that I was prophetic, but who knows—maybe I had heard rumblings. It’s now a cliche, and “hipster toast” has been simultaneously ridiculed and worshiped across the land. It would be easy for me to dump it into the same Dumb Stuff category that I reserve for things like Kinfolk, mustache irony, and articles trying to convince us that food and fashion are not strange bedfellows. Except, it’s toast and unlike those other things, it has a soul (for lack of a better word). Though its current moment may be slightly annoying, toast is a food for the ages. We’ll enjoy toast even when mustaches are taken seriously and Kinfolk has found a sense of humor.

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Toast reminds me of childhood, of caregivers. It is something I would almost always be happy to eat. It is a platform for jam, peanut butter, or a slice of cheese. Smash up an avocado and salt on top and it is the snack of our generation. It is breakfast, lunch, dinner. Toast really is the most.

Some friends recently recommended an article on the current toast craze, that I highly recommend you read. It is a nice piece of writing and a gentle reminder that sometimes the roots of things are in places we can’t imagine. The article reveals the origins of the renewed popularity of toast to be full of love and tenderness and not irony or superficiality.

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Good toast starts with good bread. I came across this recipe for English muffin bread, and quickly discovered that this is a thing. There are many recipes for English muffin loaves on the internet, and I have been missing out on something special for way too long. As you could probably guess, it is a loaf of bread that tastes like an English muffin and toasts like, well, toast. I am officially obsessed and am on a quest to develop the perfect loaf of English muffin bread, though this one is pretty close.

The recipe could not possibly be easier. Even if you have never opened a package of yeast in your life you can make this bread. It keeps for 3-5 days on the counter, which means you can have breakfast all week. I’m obsessed.

English Muffin Bread (recipe adapted from Cook’s Country)
MAKES 2 LOAVES

INGREDIENTS

  • Cornmeal
  • 5 cups (27 1/2 ounces) bread flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt (fine/table salt)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups whole milk, heated to 120°F

INSTRUCTIONS

Grease two 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pans and dust with the cornmeal. Combine the bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda in large bowl. Stir in the hot milk until thoroughly combined. Cover dough with greased plastic wrap (so it doesn’t stick to top of dough) and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes, or until dough is bubbly and has doubled in size.

Stir dough to deflate and divide between prepared loaf pans, pushing into corners with greased rubber spatula. (Pans should be about two-thirds full.) Cover pans with greased plastic and let dough rise in warm place until it reaches edge of pans, about 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375°F.

Discard plastic and transfer pans to oven. Bake until bread is well browned and registers 200°F, about 30 minutes, rotating and switching pans halfway through baking. Turn bread out onto wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Slice, toast, and serve.

***You can, of course, cut the recipe in half if you only want one loaf. It is worth stressing that this bread must be toasted. It is not worth eating if it is not toasted, much like an English muffin.

64 comments to “English Muffin Bread”

  1. I so, so, so love that you dump Kinfolk into your “Dumb Things” category. Also, this bread looks delish.

  2. Neat! I love the sound of this bread!

  3. you are my hero. i have a feeling that our dumb things lists would be very similar.

  4. I grew up on English Muffin Bread! My mom had the Fleischmann’s Yeast magazine ad with the recipe for it cut out and pasted into her recipe notebook. I still make it from that recipe.

    You can see the original ad on Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/400656786468?lpid=82

  5. Oh lordy, I need this bread NOWWW.

  6. I used a similar recipe last week and it just did not turn out well…I used all-purpose rather than bread flour so perhaps that was it. I’ll have to give it another go with your recipe.

  7. I LOVE English Muffin Bread! I like it better than english muffins, actually ..at least I think so. I haven’t tested that theory in a while. This recipe is going on my list of “things to make VERY soon.”

  8. “It keeps for 3-5 days on the counter, which means you can have breakfast all week.”

    Really? It ends up being breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for no more than a full day at my house.

    My fave is with lots of butter and home-made plum jam. (mouth watering now)

  9. Nice work, Mandy! But that would be a loaf a piece for Bryan and me. Takes a little longer, especially if I save it for toast. Agreed on the butter and plum jam!

  10. Hah – nooo! Not toast! Loving toast was normal and insignificant! I’m really curious to see if this toast thing spreads to Western Canada. If Vancouver picks it up, probably.

  11. Oh… Wow. This looks exceptionally good. I love English muffins, but this might overtake that love. I’d really like a slice with butter and jam right now! And the “bonus” loaf should do pretty well in the freezer and eliminate the “I should eat it all before it goes bad” thoughts.

  12. This sounds like a great option instead of making English muffins. :) Thank you, Tim.

  13. I love everything about this post! (Also, I LOVE the new Beyonce album which you inspired me to purchase. Too good – and dirty! Wowee!) Back to toast – I want this toast so bad! Also, I did not know that toast is the new hipster food thing. I need to get back to the States ASAP so I don’t miss out on any more artisanal food trends, like a loser!

  14. Yes to all of this! I’ve been wanting to make English muffins for a while, but every time I contemplate it I feel far too lazy to throw each one on the griddle. I think that English muffin bread is the perfect solution!

    Also, you’re right on in your diagnosis of Kinfolk. At first I was seduced by the beautiful photographs, but the writing put me off and I couldn’t figure out why. Humour! It is always the secret ingredient that makes good writing great.

  15. Two Sasha’s in a row, don’t think that’s ever happened to me before. Your blog must attract non-Kinfolk fans. I’ve never even made it through one issue. Its so pretentious and cliquey.

    I’ve made english muffins before, but this does seem much faster and looks delicious.

  16. Plum jam and butter on English muffin is my favorite. This bread recipe looks so good and so quick…will have to try it.

  17. What'sforsupper? says:

    February 22nd, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    In our house we say “I love you more than toast ” when we really mean it. But toast is always a close second–especially with homemade Chester berry or Marion berry jam. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  18. Reminds me of the first yeast breads I made when a young adult. Delicious toasted, but otherwise not much to write home about. I’m assuming my technique was at fault, LOL! IIRC, the Graham Bread recipe from the 79 Fannie Farmer book is the one I used the most, even after I learned what to do. Still tasty after all these years. (I’ve printed out my own copy and haven’t referred to the original in years.)

  19. I’ve been baking English Muffin Bread for 35 years, when I got the 1979 edition of “Beard on Bread”. : ) The recipe was written for all-purpose flour as that’s what was generally available. I’ll have to try this version with bread flour.

  20. Thanks for sharing that article, it was a great read. It’s funny that toast is becoming such a phenomenon. I love english muffins and this bread looks chewy and delicious =)

  21. What took them so long to (re)discover the taste and comfort of warm toast? The muffin bread toast looks delicious, bus as I’m not allowed milk and sugar I’ll keep to my home baked sourdough bread toast which tastes mighty good as well.

  22. This muffin loaf sounds much easier to make than English muffins themselves. I will definitely try it out. I think the best English muffins can be found at Marks & Spencer if you visit the UK try them out, maybe they should think about a muffin loaf too!

  23. Everyone please read Tim’s link to the Article about toast. I had read it before and was happy to be reminded of it.

    Tim, your writing in this piece is beautiful: “a gentle reminder that sometimes the roots of things are in places we can’t imagine” and “the origins of the renewed popularity of toast to be full of love and tenderness and not irony or superficiality.

    Thank you.

  24. The link you provided about the toast and coconut shop and the woman behind it is haunting me. In a good way, but still. I can’t shake it, or stop thinking about her life. Thanks for sharing that link.

  25. ohmygoodnesswhatisthismagic?! I am 29 weeks pregnant and, while I’m not craving anything, every time I’m asked what I want to eat, the only thing I feel like eating (aside from fruit) is an English muffin. I have two or three a day, which is kind of awful ’cause I don’t normally eat a lot of bread – even though I love it. I have sent this to the husband. I am so excited.

  26. Thanks for doing this long, past-due post. My mom would routinely make homemade bread, when I was growing up. The best use of it, from the taste buds of even a small child – was as toast! I’ve tried to reproduce hers a time or two, for the sole purpose of toasting it. Your post is inspiring me to give it yet another whirl!

  27. I’m sitting at work on a Wednesday morning with my cup of coffee staring at this buttered piece of bread. That almost burned edge of english muffin toast is making go insane. My brain is trying to mimic the flavor of toasted english muffin with butter while I stare.

    Awesome idea. Definitely making this weekend.

    YUMMMMMM

  28. I love your relentless Kinfolk hate! And toast.

  29. toast is really the most–nothing better. especially during this cold winter, it is the afternoon snack of all afternoon snacks, with butter and tea!

  30. I made this this weekend! It was good, but didn’t actually remind me of english muffins, more of a white bread loaf-not as many nooks/crannies as I like in my muffins ;). Good for toast, though!

  31. Kaitlin-
    What!? I can’t believe you didn’t think it tasted like an English Muffin, that’s so surprising! Glad you still enjoyed the toast though…

  32. I love your relentless Kinfolk hate! And toast.

  33. Finally read that PS article. Wow. Broke straight to the core of my cynical heart! Thanks for sharing! That was beautiful.

  34. I love, Love, LOVE English muffins and will be trying this tomorrow!

  35. Tim – if/when you come to San Francisco, you will have to stop by the Mill. It is the epitome of hipster toast. Also, out by the ocean, there’s a tiny little coffee shop that makes the most amazing cinnamon toast. I would say, “who knew” but you called it :)

  36. I’m gonna be having these muffin breads for breakfast all week long. Who would have thought that toast would become mainstream again.

  37. This bread looks wonderful. Was just discussing the toast “fad” with friends recently, and I said that unfortunately, not many people seem to know how to make really good toast, so this is something I fully support! :-) My aunt used to make bread in coffee cans. Whenever I would go to her house overnight, she would make toast with cinnamon sugar and we’d sit up and watch British shows on PBS. Thanks for bringing back that memory!

  38. As kids whenever we were sick my nanny would make us chicken and rice soup (‘canja’ in Portuguese) for meals and give us mini toast with butter and jam for snacks so can definitely relate to the nostalgia for good, simple toast.

  39. English muffin bread is the best. There was a recipe printed in the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook (the… 2005 edition, maybe?) for it that I think is very similar. One of the best things I have ever done with it: mix in some chopped fresh rosemary, and then it only wants for butter. Mmmmmm.

  40. Made this yesterday and haven’t been able to stop eating it.
    Last night toasted, buttered, dipped in maple syrup. Then with eggs and marmalade (separate slices) for breakfast, then with arugula, tomatoes, and veggie pate for lunch today. Dinner will likely be some variation on Welsh Rarebit since I can’t seem to stop devouring it.

    Each rise took longer than 30 minutes and I baked it for almost 45 minutes, but my apartment is cold and my oven inefficient.

    The second loaf is in the fridge for baking later in the week (lesson: leave enough space in your container as the dough continues to rise pretty actively, even in the cold).

    Thanks for another gem, Tim!
    Cheers

  41. I’ve made this bread before, a couple of times, and I want to make it all the time. After seeing it on a show, I tried it and really can’t believe how easy it is…and it really tastes like English muffin, which I adore. You are so right – it needs to be really, really toasted!

  42. What?!?! English Muffin Bread exists? Let alone Is A Thing?!

    Good grief, I have not been living right. We make bread every week. Righteous road, here I come.

    (Thank you!!)

  43. Here’s raising a toast to your Kinfolk comment.

  44. Schneiderluvsdoof says:

    March 13th, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I agree that the article is beautiful, haunting, and a reminder that we can’t always imagine origins.

  45. I had to come back here to tell you that I was lured me into buying the latest issue of Kinfolk when I spotted that Fergus Henderson had been interviewed and… ugh. I think they might be trying humour in one of the articles but let’s just say that might not be the right route for them either…

  46. lol, Gemma!

  47. I made this English Muffin bread yesterday and toasted it for breakfast this morning….it was truly scrumdillyicious!!

    And yes…this recipe did make it to Vancouver and then some…Vancouver Island!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  48. What a brilliant concept! Definitely making this soon.

  49. This toast is such a hit in our house. It’s rising on the stove right now and I can’t wait to eat it with some michigan strawberry jam! Or some HP, bacon and an egg. The ultimate breakfast sandwich!

  50. since i first tried this a few weeks ago it has become a staple. my family ADORES it so, I haven’t been able to bake our usual loaf since! the toast is sublime. we sub about 20% whole wheat flour and it is just as amazing. thank you!

  51. Nora McLean says:

    April 12th, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Good consistency But has a real distinctive odor, not pleasant! Think it’s too much yeast! That’s why I would not make this bread again. Followed recipe and turned out well etc. Re color, size etc. Except for this odor!

  52. Nora- Uh, I did not experience an unpleasant odor. I am having a hard time imagining that from the ingredients listed. And it’s an appropriate amount of yeast for the recipe. Not sure what happened…..

  53. Made a single loaf yesterday and was very pleased with the results. Thank you! I agree that it makes excellent toast but personally also liked it as bread on the day it was baked. Good stuff!

  54. Made it. Gorgeous. No issues! No unpleasant door! Liked it ‘au naturel’ as much as when toasted, like the commentator above. 10/10 from me!

  55. Woops! Auto correct changed odor to door! He he! :-)

  56. Alexandra says:

    April 27th, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Made this recipe today. You’re quite right, it’s very easy even for those of us who’ve never opened a pack of yeast before. And delicious!
    I was unsure if it would turn out as I only had baking powder (not baking soda) and packets of active dry yeast (not labelled rapid rise or instant). Gladly the recipe worked out perfectly so perhaps those ingredients are interchangeable. The loaves look and taste exactly as expected. No odd odor as Nora reported and a spot-on English muffin flavor and texture. Thanks!

  57. Tim,
    will be trying this EM bread tomorrow, we are obsessed w/ Thomas’ English Muffins, couldn’t live without them.

    I’m 49 and despise even the name “kinfolk”, glad someone else is a hipster hater too. :)

  58. I made this yesterday and it was lovely with butter and jam! I did swap in a bit of whole wheat bread flour to make it a bit healthier, and it worked great. Thanks for sharing!

  59. I made english muffins the real way once and (shaping individual patties, rolling them in cornmeal and searing on both sides before baking), while they turned out delicious, it sure was a lot of work! This loaf was incredibly easy and absolutely had that yeasty, almost metallic, airy quality of a true english muffin. How delightful!

  60. The recipe is easy, but lacks flavor is not at all like english muffins.

  61. Hi Becky- Thanks for checking in. I, obviously, disagree with your assessment- but better luck with the next recipe you try.

  62. Made this bread to step up our occasional breakfast-for-dinner evening meal (as a family of five). Everyone raved. And seriously, bread-making does not get any easier than this.

  63. Capt. Bill Harris says:

    October 5th, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Publix Markets (Florida) have English Muffin Bread made, in the store, daily. It makes great toast.

  64. My mother-in-law made this bread every time we were visiting. Now with Thomas’ English Muffins at over $4.00 for a pack of 6 I have decided it’s time to start baking again. This bread is so much better than the muffins and I am can save so cash.

What do you think?