Saturday, May 2, 2020

Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread

Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread is perfect for the toaster, with a fine but spongy crumb and soft crust. I used oat milk creamer in the batter-like dough for a subtle sweetness and softness, and the whole thing can be ready in under 2 hours!


Growing up, I was all about the peanut butter and honey sandwiches. After Christmas, when we were faced with a glut of (delicious) Challah that was quickly going stale, we became masters of the sandwich, from PB&H at breakfast to hot turkey and gravy at lunch. The spongier and drier the bread, the better it was as all the fillings seeped in. The rest of the year we made so with "regular" bread - until Easter when the English muffins started proliferating the stores. English muffins are a weird beast - they really are boring until they are toasted and slathered with something - but they are also tiny! I have never been full off of one English muffin (except maybe when I was little) so I just opted out of them.

Enter, the English muffin bread. Yes, a whole loaf of nooks and crannies, begging to be popped into the toaster and slathered with whatever you please. Loaf form also prevents the whole wheat from becoming too gritty or prominent, and it stays fresh longer than the little guys too. Best of all is that you can control the size of your sandwich or toast - so a peanut butter sandwich has heft and staying power, even if you're grabbing it on the go. This loaf barely - barely cooled before it was cut into and tasted with a smear of butter, and for ease of storage and to maintain freshness Mom sliced and froze the rest. That way, you can pull out the number of slices you need, toast and go!

You will notice that the dough for this bread is way different from any other bread dough. It is a batter - no kneading, no rolling, no shaping. It's simply beat, scrape and bake. The high moisture content ensures maximum bubble and tenderness, leaving a spongy crumb just like the original muffins, and as a bonus you don't need to skip arm day at the gym (or bust out the dough hook). Just keep on going with the recipe and as long as your yeast isn't dead (or expired) you'll have bread on your table in less time than it takes to watch a Marvel movie.



Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread
Adapted from King Arthur
Makes 1 loaf
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 2/3 cups oat milk or oat creamer (I used Silk Vanilla Oat Yeah Creamer, if you use unsweetened add 1 tbsp of sugar), warmed
361 g  whole wheat bread flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
  1. Combine the yeast and creamer in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a large bowl with a sturdy spoon).
  2. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and beat at high speed for 2 minutes, until smooth and very soft (like a thick batter). If mixing by hand, stir for 5 minutes.
  3. Let sit 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, grease a 9" loaf pan.
  5. Scoop the rested batter into the pan and level as much as possible.
  6. Cover with greased plastic and let rise 1 hour, until it touches the plastic.
  7. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  8. Bake the bread for 27-30 minutes, until it is caramel coloured and reads 190°F on a thermometer.
  9. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.