Sometimes things have to be simple
It’s been one of those weeks. We’re all sick, probably with the flu. We’ve each gone through varying degrees of coughing, sniffling, fever, chills and lethargy since the week began. Sometimes, when I get sick, I get antsy. I have to move and do, but with precious little energy for either (or for taking a wide variety of photos, obviously). So I was thankful to be able to channel what restlessness I had into something simple and delicious that has been easy on sick tummies all week.
It’s a yeast bread. It’s a batter bread.
This recipe makes a satisfying loaf of bread, without any kneading, or the long wait required for those no-knead loaves. In under two hours, the house is filled with the smell of yeasty, bready goodness, and you have a loaf that makes wonderful toast. It is called “English Muffin Bread” because of the texture of the crumb, which is full of those little “nooks and crannies” that English muffins are famous for. Those are thanks to the baking soda in the recipe. The cornmeal dusted pan enhances the authenticity somewhat, giving a pleasing crunch to the exterior. Pre-warming the milk helps with the rising, which is a trick I may try with other breads.
I imagine if you’re a fan of egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches, this bread would be the perfect vehicle for one. I enjoy it simply toasted with butter and jelly.
English Muffin Bread
makes 1 loaf
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon butter
Grease a bread pan and sprinkle to coat with cornmeal. Set aside.
In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the dry ingredients.
Heat the milk and butter to 120F and stir into the flour mixture to combine. Remember, this is a batter, not dough. It will be wet.
Cover the bowl with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. Stir down and turn into the prepared pan. Cover again with oiled wrap and leave for another 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 375F.
Bake for 30 minutes and let it cool on a wire rack at least long enough to not burn yourself before eating.