Emboldened by yesterday’s small triumph in the roll-making department, I was inspired by a recipe for an English muffin loaf I found at the blog morethanburnttoast.
Some say signs are where you see them and stumbling across the above recipe as well as today’s article on high-end English muffins via TastingTable’s San Francisco edition entitled, “Thomas Who? The Bay Area’s outstanding toast to English muffins” led me to open another packet of yeast and start sifting flour.
The recipe from MoreThanBurntToast calls for shredded cheddar cheese. I was in the mood for something a little less gooey and a little more subtle: grated parmesan. The recipe also calls for greasing two bread pans, but doesn’t specify with what. I like any excuse to use our Meyer’s Lemon Olive Oil. Lastly, rather than cornmeal as is traditionally English muffin, I reached for garlic and herb bread crumbs. This could be very good or very very bad.
In the past, I’ve been known to take recipes and swap out for ingredients I like better with mixed results. A Julia Child almond cake without the 1.5 cups of crushed almonds, is the wrong consistency and not really tasty (unless you like the taste of cardboard). My baking self esteem at a high, I made substitutions and then didn’t measure the flour. I went by the feel of the dough. Rather than two baking pans, I used one.
As I waited for the dough to rise, I realized why the recipe calls for two pans instead of one: the dough had become a monster, rising over the sides of the pan and continuing to grow on the pan underneath. Luckily, I grabbed some of the extra dough and put it into muffin pans. The remaining dough, once baked was delicious. And I’m talking about the stuff on the bottom of the baking pan used to catch the spillover: some sort of mix between an English muffin in texture and a focaccia in taste.
The loaf itself, while irregularly shaped, was also quite tasty. I loved the crustiness of the outside. The bottom-most portion of the loaf suffered a bit of undercooking, but the bread overall is tasty. I can salvage the next loaf by investing in a second bread loaf pan.
Parmesan Garlic English Muffin Loaf
Makes 2 loaves
1 T sugar
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 envelopes Fast Rising Active Dry Yeast
2 cups milk
2 tsp salt
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- Dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast an let stand 10 minutes then stir well.
- Combine milk and salt in saucepan. Heat over low heat until lukewarm only. Add milk mixture to dissolved yeast.
- Combine 3 cups sifted flour with baking soda and grated cheese. Mix until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining 3 cups of flour to make a stiff batter. Divide batter in half and press into two 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pans, that have been greased (with Meyer lemon olive oil) and sprinkled with garlic parmesan breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle tops with garlic parmesan breadcrumbs and cover.
- Let rise in a warm place 45 minutes or until centre of loaf is about 1-1/2-inches above edge of pan.
- Bake at 400F for 25 minutes.
- Remove from pans and cool.
- To serve, slice and toast. Spread with butter.