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.

67 comments to “English Muffin Bread”

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

  2. 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!

  3. 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. :)

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Dan Milton says:

    June 20th, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    I owned a bakery which I sold last year. I made engish muffin bread and it was delicious. The ingredients in my recipe were similar to yours except I didn’t use any baking powder. What is purpose of baking powder? Maybe to get larger holes in the bread?

  12. @ Dan Milton : The recipe does not call for Baking Powder as mentioned in your comment.

  13. thanks so much for this recipe, Tim!! it’s the best toast ever!

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