My mom bakes this hearty English muffin loaf that makes you want to tote a toaster to work. It makes two loaves and is easy to make, even if, like me, you fear yeast. I don’t have nightmares about it; it’s just that I don’t understand it.
Anyway, she got the recipe from an old, simple-looking booklet that probably came with an early bread making machine.
English Muffin Loaf
2 cups milk
½ cup water
5-6 cups all purpose flour
2 packages Fleischmann’s active dry yeast
1 T sugar
2 t salt
¼ t baking soda
Prepare pans first by greasing and sprinkling with cornmeal.
Combine milk and water in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until liquids are very warm (120 to 130 degrees on a candy thermometer).
Place 6 cups of flour, the yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl. Attach bowl and dough hook, if you have one. If not, do it the old-fashioned way. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 15 seconds. Gradually add warm liquids to flour mixture and mix 1 minute longer.
Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead on Speed 2 for 2 minutes longer or mix by hand. Dough will be very sticky.
Spread dough into two 8 ½ x 4 ½ x 2 ½ inch prepared loaf pans. Brush tops with melted butter and dust the tops with cornmeal. Cover. Let rise in warm place free of drafts for 45 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Yields two loaves.
I tried swapping out a couple of cups of flour for spelt flour, and the results were pretty good. I’m curious if a healthier version made with some whole wheat goodness would be as tasty. Please report back if anyone makes it, though you’ll likely be too busy stuffing your face.