The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of mankind than the discovery of a star. -- Anthelme Brillat-Savarin --

Friday, July 1, 2011

Faithy's Favorite English Muffin Bread

Special thanks to my dear husband for making this particular loaf so I could add the pictures!

This is a fantastic and "oh so easy" recipe that was passed on to me from a greatly beloved family member.  She is now with Jesus, but I think of her every time I make or eat some.  My husband even enjoys making (& eating) it!
Chances are, if you ever spend a night or two at my place, you're more than likely to get some for breakfast along with some homemade jam of course.  Try it and let me know what you think!!!
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I usually use 1-1/2 cups white flour & 1 cup whole wheat flour, which makes it a bit healthier AND keeps it from looking too pale)
1 pkg. (approx. 1 tablespoon) active dry yeast
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt (I use 1/2 tsp. - as I'm always trying to cut back on my sodium intake!)
1-1/4 cups skim milk
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tablespoon warm water
Combine the yeast, sugar, salt & 1-1/2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl.
Heat the milk to 100-115 degrees (usually 1-1/2 minutes in my microwave).  Add warm milk to the flour mixture and beat, by hand or with a mixer, until quite smooth, stirring in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff batter.  2-1/2 cups is an approximation - if the batter is not stiff, feel free to add a little more.
Cover the bowl and allow the batter to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk - usually about 1 hour.
At the end of the hour, dissolve the baking soda in the warm water.  Stir down the yeast batter and thoroughly blend in the dissolved soda mixture.  (Be sure to mix this in very well.)
Place dough into a greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch glass, microwave-safe loaf pan.  Cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Cook in the microwave for 6-1/2 minutes or until no doughy spots remain.  Cool for five minutes, loosen the edges and remove from the loaf pan.  Cool completely and enjoy!

If you double the recipe and make 2 loaves, this makes a great gift item as well - you can keep one and give one away!  It also freezes VERY well, and is delicious with some homemade fig preserves on top!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!! -- Faithy
NOTE:  I often use my bread machine for mixing all this, since the batter can be very stiff and difficult to mix well (with my arthritis anyway!).  J  Just put the milk in first, then add the sugar, salt & flour mixture, and put the yeast on top of it all.  I set it on the dough cycle and let it mix and rise the first time in the machine.  After that, I add the baking soda/water mixture and let it mix well for about 5 minutes.  Then I plop it in the loaf pan to let it rise and cook it in the microwave as directed.  (I don’t like cooking it in the bread machine…it makes a much prettier loaf the old-fashioned way!)

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