As luck would have it, after writing about a Coda with my Mom, I found myself on the road again on a whirlwind trip to Massachusetts where I would be, once again, in the kitchen with my good friend, Nancy. It wasn’t a surprise when I asked if we could make her English Muffin Bread together. She’d been thinking the same thing so we were on the same page…until we started looking over the recipe and pondering ingredients.
Feeling a little bit of angst rise up, I tried to explain that I wanted to see how the recipe came out as written before playing with the proportions and ingredients. I took a breath reminding myself that I had a lot of kitchen-history with Nancy. We could make it work.
“Let’s just split the recipe in half and I’ll make the original and you can make yours with a little of this and that,” I proposed.
Every Lucy needs and Ethel, right?
I donned my new apron (a souvenir from my pilgrimage to France!) and started to help get ingredients out.
The free-for-all started. “We’re not competing,” Nancy chimed in as she scooped flour into her bowl.
I eyed the amount of flour in the jar. “It was going to be close.” She seemed to notice at the same time and offered to scoop some of her white flour out and add some wheat flour in.” She was in motion before I had time to re-measure.
“Oh well,” I thought, “it’s just a little flour.”
After measuring out her yeast she stopped abruptly, “Oh, Mary,” she said looking at the nearly empty jar, “I hope there’s enough yeast or yours is going to stink.”
“Did she just say my bread might stink?” I laughed out loud. So did she.
After that, I’m not sure what Nancy added into her bowl because I was too busy trying to keep track of what I was doing! She’s a scavenger tinker-er (in many of the same ways I wrote about in the post about Darrell’s escapades!) Her bread had some extra flour, some whole wheat flour, and some oats. She substituted all water for milk.
None of it seemed to matter because by the time the frenzy was over, we both had batter to pour into our pans!
I can’t imagine one good reason not to make this English Muffin Bread. It’s easy, doesn’t require you to knead, requires just one rise in the pan, freezes well, and toasts up great! Consider making it the night before and it’ll be ready to toast up fresh in the morning!
Get your apron, grab a kid to help you mix, and don’t ever look back! You’ll love this!
ENGLISH MUFFIN BREAD
5-6 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup water
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
Combine 3 cups flour (measure by spooning lightly into a cup), yeast, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
Heat liquids till warm (120 – 130 degrees) Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and beat well. *Note, I didn’t heat my liquids and the only difference we noted was that mine took much longer to rise.
Continue to add remaining flour until you have a stiff batter.
Pour batter in and sprinkle generously with more cornmeal!
Let rise 45 minutes or until double in size.
Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.
Remove from pan immediately after baking.
Makes 2 loaves
As always, I hope we find ourselves together in the future around the bread bowl or sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and a slice or two of toasted English Muffin Bread! Enjoy!
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