I have another special breakfast to share. Having a treat to start the day brings a little sunshine. 🙂
I am not really a bread person, but I do really enjoy English muffins. I often have a whole wheat “British muffin” from Trader Joe’s for breakfast. Naturally, this bread full of nooks and crannies caught my eye.
The recipe is from Shauna Sever’s Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland. It is easy and relatively quick to prepare, with only one rising time. She suggests baking the loaf in a German Rehrucken (crimp loaf pan) or standard loaf pan. I baked the loaf in my favorite Pullman loaf pan and modified the baking time accordingly.
The original recipe recommends making it a day ahead to serve it toasted the next day. We ate warm from the oven, slathered with salted Irish butter and our homemade strawberry-vanilla bean jam. We did toast the leftovers! Perfect.
Yield: One loaf
- nonstick cooking spray, for pan
- 3 T (30 g) yellow cornmeal, divided
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/3 cup (75 g) warm water (110° to 115°F/43° to 46°C)
- 3 tsp granulated sugar, divided
- 3 cups (384 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup (225 g) well-shaken buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 T plus 1 tsp (32 g) vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
- 1 T unsalted butter, melted
- Lightly spray a 9×5-inch (23×12.7 cm) metal loaf pan, German Rehrucken crimp loaf pan, or Pullman loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wipe away any excess that pools in the edges.
- Dust the pan all over with about 2 tablespoons of cornmeal; tap out the excess.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let rest for a couple of minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, the remaining 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar, salt, and baking soda.
- On low-speed, stir in the buttermilk, oil, and finally the yeast mixture. Mix until incorporated. (It is very important that the buttermilk is at room temperature so that the dough can rise well.)
- Increase the speed to high and mix for 1 minute, stopping halfway through to scrape down the bowl. The dough will be soft and sticky.
- Scrape the dough into the prepared pan.
- Oil your hands lightly and pat the dough gently and evenly into the pan.
- Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of cornmeal.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled and the dough comes about 1 inch from the top of the pan, about 1 hour. (I used a proofing oven.)
- During the rise, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 400°F/200°C.
- Bake the bread until golden and risen, with a hollow sound when tapped int he center, 22 to 25 minutes for a standard or crimped loaf pan, or 18 to 20 minutes for a Pullman loaf pan. The internal temperature should register at least 190°F/88°C on an instant-read thermometer.
- Turn out the bread onto a wire rack. Brush lightly all over with the melted butter. (I only brushed the top.)
- Let cool completely before slicing- if you can wait!