This English muffin bread recipe from Cook’s Country is incomparably easier to make than traditional English muffins yet bears all the requisite nooks and crannies that God–and the English–intended.
*Can I Substitute Regular Flour For Bread Flour?
Kindly note that this English muffin bread recipe calls for bread flour and not all-purpose flour. And don’t even think about swapping all-purpose flour for bread flour or your English muffin bread will be a flop to the magnitude of a Bridget Jones-worthy kitchen flop. Keep in mind that bread flour absorbs more water than all-purpose flour, which means it turns into a wet, sticky dough that resembles pancake batter. Don’t freak. It’s supposed to be a lot runnier and goopier than typical American bread dough. Just take a breath and hang with our recipe instructions. Things’ll be fine.
English Muffin Bread
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- Makes 2 loaves
Special Equipment: Two 9-by-5-by-3-inch (23-by-13-by-8-cm) loaf pans, deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer
Butter two 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans and dust them with cornmeal.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the hot milk until combined, about 1 minute.
Cover the dough with a piece of generously buttered plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until the dough is bubbly and has doubled in volume, 30 to 45 minutes. The dough will be pretty sticky and airy and moist, almost more like a batter than a typical bread dough. Don’t worry.
Using a buttered rubber spatula, gently stir the dough. Pour half the dough into 1 prepared loaf pan and use the spatula to hold back the rest of the dough, then scrape it into the second prepared loaf pan. Gently push the dough into the corners of the pans. (Each pan should be about 2/3 full.) If desired, dust the top of the loaves with cornmeal. Cover the pans with buttered plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until the loaves reach the top edges of the pans, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Adjust an oven rack to the middle position.
Discard the plastic and transfer the pans to the oven. Bake until the bread is well browned and registers 200°F (93°C), about 30 minutes, gently rotating and switching the pans halfway through baking. (If you’re using ceramic loaf pans instead of metal loaf pans, the timing may be more like 40 to 50 minutes.) The loaves may seem to deflate in the center, but don’t panic, that’s okay. This is a soft-batter bread, so the bread doesn’t rise the same as a regular bread does, and the loaves will come out flat on top.
Turn the loaves onto a wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Slice, toast, and slather with butter. Originally published April 13, 2016.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This English muffin bread recipe is definitely a winner. It looks and tastes like English muffins with all the requisite nooks and crannies. And it’s a cinch to make. The recipe was perfect. I’ll be making this bread regularly.
English muffins hold a special place in my heart. When I was a kid, my mother experimented with every test kitchen serving suggestion displayed on the long narrow packaging. I'm not quite sure what my Neapolitan great-grandmother would have made of English muffin pizzas, but we sure loved them. I ramble on in this way because given my experience, I’m officially proclaiming myself an English muffin expert. Yes, I do indeed believe I have logged 10,000 hours eating these babies.
Let’s talk about this English muffin bread recipe. What makes this different from ho-hum bread? It's the crannies, the spongy yet toothsome crumb, and the sides coated with cornmeal. It’s how salted butter can barely soak into the rich, moist bread, so the butter kind of pools and rolls about on the surface, almost always guaranteeing a shirt-soiling drip of uh-oh. Sound familiar? It's a replica of all the things you love about English muffins but with the added bonus of a true king's ransom—2 loaves in 1 kitchen session!
And really, the recipe couldn't be easier. Measure, mix, proof, divide, proof, bake, cool, toast, and eat. Whaaat! The only tricky aspect is dividing the dough. Here's my advice: Begin by "pouring" the dough into 1 loaf pan, and when you think you are coming close to half the amount, chop it off deftly at the bowl rim using your bench scraper. Move onto the second loaf pan and let the dough roll out of the bowl into the pan. Don't under any circumstances try to manipulate or cut this sticky beast on a board or you will have a big mess, and a mess means you won't like making this recipe, and we can't have that. Okay? Heed my warning and "use the force.” Gravity, that is.
Enjoy, my friends! I relish the thought that a second loaf is stored in the freezer and it's mine, all mine…