This easy English Muffin Bread requires no kneading, only rises once. With a golden crust and chewy texture, it’s a great addition to breakfast.
Don’t you love the smell of freshly baked bread right from the oven? You know, that yeasty smell that travels up into your nose, makes your mouth water, and starts the negotiations to run an extra mile for that extra slice of bread? The aroma that makes you dream of melted butter seeping down into the all the toasted little bits of chewy goodness? Well, if you are drooling now, this English muffin bread is the perfect treat for you!
This is my favorite type of home made bread. It can be mixed together in about 15 minutes, requires only one rise, and doesn’t need to be kneaded. The results are a chewy bread that resembles an English muffin. It’s great as a stand alone treat, toasted and topped with apple butter, jam, jelly, or honey butter. It can also serve as a breakfast time workhorse for things like eggs Benedict, French toast or a classic breakfast sandwich. This English muffin bread outshines anything I’ve ever picked up in the store.
When I called this English muffin bread easy, I was not exaggerating. Prepare by gathering all your ingredients. Flour, instant yeast, milk, water, sugar, salt, and cornmeal.
Make sure you use instant yeast – also called bread machine yeast – for this recipe. If you choose regular yeast, you will have to let it rise once in the bowl and then a second time in the pans. This makes for extra work and is not so easy.
We are going to start with the milk. Cold milk will activate the yeast, but it works very slowly. To speed things up, pour the milk and water into a small sauce pan along with your cook it over a high heat for about two minutes. You want it to be between 95 – 105 degrees. The human body averages 98.6 degrees so it should feel neither warm nor cold to the touch. If you go over 120 degrees – which is what burning tap water feels like – then your yeast will start to die. After two minutes, carefully stick your clean finger in the milk/water mixture. If it feels slightly warm, but not hot, you are good to go. If you prefer a more precise measurement, I would suggest investing in a quality kitchen thermometer. The ThermoPop by Thermapen is my favorite and a bargain compared to the original Termapen. Pour the milk and water mixture into a large bowl or glass measuring cup. Add the sugar and the yeast, give it a little stir, and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes.
While you are waiting for the yeast, measure out the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Yes, this can be done by hand, but the mixer is so much easier for the sticky mess you are about to create! Give the flour and salt a stir to combine. Please don’t skip this step. Nothing tastes quite so awful as a mouth full of salt surrounded by bland bread. Grab your loaf pans – you’ll need two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans for this recipe. Grease your pans with butter or cooking spray then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of cornmeal into each pan. Lightly tap the sides of the pan to make sure it covers the bottom evenly. If you don’t like the cornmeal part of English muffins, you can skip omit it, but make sure your pan is well greased.
Measuring your flour and prepping your pans should only take about 5 minutes or so. By that time your yeast should be blooming.
A quick note: You can actually skip blooming the yeast all together for this recipe. I previously put the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt into the mixer, gave it a stir, added the milk/water, mixed and let it rise. However, on one occasion my yeast failed. I made my English muffin bread, ran some errands, had an hour before bed – which was just enough time to bake and cool before wrapping it up – and my bread had not risen an inch. I had to throw it away and buy bread from the store then next morning before brunch. At least there was champagne to cheer me up.
See how much the yeast has grown? By adding in this step, you will know for sure that the yeast is alive and working. Now, for those of you paying attention to the details, you will see that my yeast is measuring just below the 2 cup line. It seems I had measured out only one cup of milk and not two prior to heating it up. It’s an easy mistake that was solved by heating a second cup of milk and then adding all the liquids to the mixer. Using the dough hook with your mixer on low, mix for 3 – 5 minutes. Make sure to stop it twice and scrape down the edges to ensure it combines evenly. The dough will be lumpy and sticky. Really sticky.
Once the dough combined, spread it evenly between the two 9″ x 5″ loaf pans. Since it’s so sticky, I find it hard to measure up the sides of the pan to see if it’s evenly distributed. If one pan has more than the other they will not rise or cook evenly. My easy fix for this is to weigh each pan on the scale to make sure they are within 5 ounces of each other. You can skip this step, but if one rises up larger than the other make sure to adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Your pans should be just less than halfway full. Place them in a warm spot and cover them with a tea towel. It doesn’t need to trap moisture, it just needs to keep dust and such from getting into the dough. Allow them to rise until they are doubled in size and reach the tops of your pan. If your room is on the warm side, it can happen in less than an hour, but I find it usually takes around 2 hours for a successful rise. Once they are risen be careful not to bang them around or disturb the dough. The rise before cooking is what helps all the holes form inside the bread.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and make sure the top rack is placed in the center of the oven. The bread should take about 35 – 45 minutes to cook. You will know its done when the top has turned a golden brown and the sides pull away from the edges of the pan. Once you have removed the English muffin bread from the oven, turn it out onto a cooling rack and let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
Now comes the hard part: deciding how to enjoy it!
I had mine with both apple butter and honey butter. Honey butter is simple to put together. I used a/2 cup of room temperature butter, 3 tablespoons of honey 1/4 tsp of vanilla and 1/4 tsp or cinnamon. Mix to combine and slather it on thick.
Have you ever had English muffin bread? How do you like to eat bread fresh from the oven? Do you go for butter and jam? Do you toast it? Do you dive right in and hope no one misses the missing loaf? Haha! Let me know in the comments below!
English Muffin Bread
- 2 cups of milk
- 3/4 cup of water
- 1 TBSP yeast
- 1 1/2 TBSP sugar
- 5 1/2 cups flour
- 1 TBSP salt
- 4 tsp corn meal optional
- butter or cooking spray for the pans
- Gently heat the milk and water over high heat until warm, but not hot. 95 - 105 degrees F, if you want to measure.
- Pour milk and water into a large measuring cup or small bowl.
- Add in yeast and sugar and allow to bloom
- Add flour and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer and stir to combine.
- Grease two 9x5 loaf pans with butter or cooking spray.
- Sprinkle 2 tsp of cornmeal into the bottom of each pan, tapping lightly on the sides to ensure even coverage.
- The yeast, milk, sugar, water mixture should be frothy by this point. Pour it into the flour mixer.
- Using the dough hook with ith the mixer on low, mix for 3 - 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides at least twice. The dough will be lumpy and VERY sticky.
- Divide equally into your loaf pans. Sit in a warm spot and cover with a tea towel.
- Allow to rise for 1 - 3 hours until doubled in size and reaching the top edge of the pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes. Top will be golden brown and the bread will pull away from the edges of the pan.