Sometimes you just want bread right now. This bread is perfect for those times. Most of the ingredients are probably in your pantry, and you will have bread in a hour and a half with a "hands on" time of less than 15 minutes.
This bread is full of holes, just like good English muffins, and makes excellent toast.
This month's theme for Twelve Loaves is "clean slate - starting the year with simplicity." I present to you one of the simplest breads around. Unlike no knead bread, it does require mixing, but also unlike no knead bread, it does not require two rises and a long wait. This bread is more about immediate gratification.
English Muffin Bread
12 3/4 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 T instant yeast
1 C milk
1/4 C water
2 T oil
cornmeal or semolina to sprinkle in the pan
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl, add all of the dry ingredients except the cornmeal, and whisk to blend.
- In a microwave safe bowl or large glass measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients and heat in the microwave until it reaches somewhere between 120 to 130 degrees F. An instant read thermometer is really helpful here.
- Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and beat at high speed for one minute.
- Spray or grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan and sprinkle the sides and bottom with the cornmeal.
- Scrape the dough into the pan and smooth the top.
- Set the oven to 400 degrees F, cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for about 45 minutes to an hour. The dough should just crest over the pan's rim.
- Remove the plastic and bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes, until the interior reaches 190 degrees F.
- Remove it from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn it out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.