Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bread Bakin' Time!

Mmmm, I love bread, and pasta, and tortillas.....
You know what?.....
I'm kind of a carb fan in general!
But for the purpose of this post, let's just talk about bread, shall we? ;-)


I found THIS RECIPE on Pinterest (where else, right?) and had to try it! I was a little skeptical, having made real English muffins before and after a hot, long mornings worth of work, had tough misshapened Frisbees for lunch.....


Ahem, anywhoodle..... 


I threw this together in less then half an hour and fell in love with my first yeasty, thick crusted, chewy, but not heavy bite! My brain imediately began racing trying to figure out what I could do to make this bread better (Yes, I know, I just said it was perfect, so sue me! That's just how I roll!) or could I make wheat bread from this recipe?


Long story short, I could and did!


 Does anyone else have a loathe/hate (heavy on the loathing) relationship with cling wrap?


I make all of my family's bread now. I bake one full batch at the beginning of the week and bake two loaves, and freeze the rest for later!


Tadaa!!!



English Muffin Bread (Original Recipe)

11 cups all purpose flour

5 1/2 cups warm water

3 packages rapid rise yeast

2 Tablespoons salt

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in bowl, except for butter, then separate into 4 well greased loaf pans, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until dough reaches tops of bread pans, about an hour. Remove plastic and bake for 25 minutes then brush tops of loaves with melted butter, put back oven for another 10 minutes.

English Muffin Bread (KatySue Version)

This is for two wheat loaves and two white loaves! I split the recipe in half and have never written it down, so excuse me if it's a little rough! 

First the white bread half..
 
5 1/2 cups flour 

2 3/4 cups warm water

1 Tablespoon salt (I use seasoned salt from a spice store, but regular works well too!)

2 Tablespoons sugar 

3 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast

1 heaping Tablespoon malt powder

Melted butter

Mix all ingredients, except melted butter, together in bowl, spoon into greased loaf pans, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until dough reaches tops of bread pans, about an hour. Remove plastic, bake for 25 minutes, brush tops of loaves with melted butter then place back in oven for another 10 minutes. Immediately after taking out of the oven, remove from loaf pans, I found the bread gets soggy and loses it's crunchy crust if you let it cool at all in the pans! Let cool for a few minuets on wore rack, then enjoy!

Now for the wheat bread.....

The wheat loaves are smaller and denser then the white, so if it comes out smaller, or takes longer to rise, don't worry! I just wait until the white loaf is ready to put in the oven and even if the wheat isn't quite there yet I go ahead and bake it!

2 1/2 cups wheat flour

3 cups white flour

1/4 cup molasses (I dissolve mine in the warm water, makes it mix in better!)

2 1/2 cups warm water

3 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast

1 Tablespoon salt

1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar

 Scant 1/2 cup wheat bran, plus extra for top of loaf

 Scant 1/4 cup oats, plus extra for top of loaf

Melted butter

Various other seeds, sunflower, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, just whatever you have on hand really!

Mix all in ingredients, except melted butter, together in a bowl, dough will be thicker then the white version.  Mix together extra bran, oats and seeds in a pie pan and set aside. Take half of dough and form into rough loaf, roll in set aside bran, oat, seed mixture and place in well greased loaf pans, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until dough reaches tops of bread pans, about an hour. Remove plastic and bake for 25 minutes, brush tops of loaves with melted butter and put back in oven for 10 minutes. Turn out of pans immediately and let cool on wore racks.

Freezing

If you would like to freeze a loaf or two, just line a loaf pan with greased plastic wrap before placing dough in. Wrap hanging ends of plastic wrap over dough and freeze until solid. Remove form loaf pan and place in plastic bags until ready to enjoy!

To thaw, just unwrap the dough and place back in greased loaf pan, place pan in 200 degree oven and wait until dough rises to the top of the pan. Remove from oven, preheat to 350, then bake as directed!

Variations

I have also made cheese bread out of the white loaf! To one two loaf batch of white bread add:

1 Tablespoon dried mustard, 
1 teaspoon of garlic and onion powder
2 teaspoons pepper

Then as you are plopping the dough into the pans sprinkle on the grated cheese of your choice. I used 2 cups cheddar with a hint of liquid smoke tossed in!

Sprinkle a mixture of dried minced onion, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, smoked paprika, salt and pepper on the loaf before baking. Continue as usual, we like this bread with Italian food!  

One of the reasons I love this recipe is the versatility! 
You could add different cheeses. 
Different flours, like rye or pumpernickel. 
Different seasonings, Italian blend, or maybe Herbs de Provence!
 Replace some of the water with honey and add almond extract for a sweet loaf (I do that for our hot cross buns recipe at Easter and it is TASTY!)

Let me know if something is unclear or you need clarification about something! 

I'd also love to hear about your attempts at making the recipe!