English muffin bread in a towel with 3 slices cut off

Homemade English Muffin Bread

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An easy bread to make at home that’s great for breakfast, snacking, or toasted sandwiches.

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I eat English muffins pretty much every morning, but I ran out and didn’t want to go to the store. I broke out a James Beard bread cookbook my mom gave me a few years ago. I hoped to find a recipe for English muffins, but the closest thing was a recipe for English muffin bread.

If you’re expecting something identical to an English muffin, you might be disappointed. I think it’s pretty close once toasted with butter, especially the flavor profile. I didn’t get as many nooks and crannies in this bread as I would expect to find in an English muffin. I also used yeast that’s a little on the older side, and probably barely hanging on to life, so there’s that, too.

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This recipe is adapted from James Beard’s Beard on Bread cookbook. I didn’t make too many changes – the next few paragraphs describe the changes I made.

The original recipe is not made for a stand mixer. Instead, it says to use a wooden spoon. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can certainly still use the wooden spoon method. I used the regular flat beater in my KitchenAid stand mixer. Why didn’t I use the dough hook? The dough hook is intended to simulate kneading, and the original recipe in the cook book didn’t include kneading.

There was also a wonky measurement of 7/8 cups warm milk. I like math, and I’m decent at kitchen math. I converted to more traditional measurements for those who might not be inclined to do culinary math. (It’s 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons).

I also adjusted the temperature of the warm water from a range of 100-115 degrees to 100-110 because this matched the suggested temperature on the yeast package. Having water too warm can kill the yeast, so I always like to have a little more of a buffer.

I also explain what it means for yeast to proof, which the original recipe does not. The book has a section on leavening, though.

Continue reading past the recipe card for step by step photos.

English muffin bread in a towel with 3 slices cut off
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5 from 1 vote

Homemade English Muffin Bread

An easy bread to make at home that's great for breakfast, snacking, or toasted sandwiches.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rising Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bread recipe, english muffin
Servings: 2 small loaves

Equipment

Ingredients

  • tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ½ cup warm water (between 100° and 110°)
  • cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp warm water

Instructions

  • Fit stand mixer with flat beater.
  • Combine the yeast, sugar, and ½ cup warm water in the mixer's bowl until the sugar and yeast are dissolved. Let the mixture sit until it proofs. (Proofing is a way to check that the yeast is alive. When it proofs it will foam up. If it doesn't foam up, start over.)
  • Warm the ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp milk to between 100° and 110°.
  • Stir in ¼ cup of the flour, followed by the salt, and a little bit of the milk. Alternate between adding the rest of the flour and milk with the mixer on medium speed. Continue to beat until the dough becomes elastic. Even when it develops elasticity, expect it to still be somewhat loose and sticky.
  • Cover and let rise for 1½ hours. (I leave the dough in the same mixer bowl to rise since there is more mixing later.) The dough should double in bulk at the end of the hour and a half.
  • Dissolve ¼ tsp baking soda in 1 tbsp warm water.
  • Return the bowl to the mixer. Stir down using the flat beater, then add the baking soda and water mixture.
  • Beat the dough on medium speed for about a minute.
  • Grease loaf pans (1 large or 2 small).
  • Fill the loaf pans with the dough, keeping in mind that the dough will rise again before and during baking. Half to 2/3 of the way full is a good benchmark.
  • Cover the loaf pans with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise again for about an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is golden and the bread starts to pull away from the sides of the pan a bit.
  • Cool for at least 5 minutes, then remove the bread from the pans. If needed, use a knife to get the dough loosened from the sides of the pans.
  • Cut into slices and toast before serving. (Recommended: Butter each slice and toast under the broiler of a toaster oven or regular oven for a few minutes, but watch carefully because these can burn quickly.)
  • After the bread has completely cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap to store.

Notes

Keep a close eye on the bread if you’re using smaller loaf pans, as it will finish cooking faster. 
Yeast, water, and sugar dissolved in a stand mixer bowl with the flat beater

Fit stand mixer with flat beater. Combine the yeast, sugar, and ½ cup warm water in the mixer’s bowl until the sugar and yeast are dissolved. Let the mixture sit until it proofs. (Proofing is a way to check that the yeast is alive. When it proofs it will foam up. If it doesn’t foam up, start over.)

Bread dough being made in a stand mixer

Warm the ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp milk to between 100° and 110°. Stir in ¼ cup of the flour, followed by the salt, and a little bit of the milk. Alternate between adding the rest of the flour and milk with the mixer on medium speed. Continue to beat until the dough becomes elastic. Even when it develops elasticity, expect it to still be somewhat loose and sticky.

Bread dough in a bowl

Cover and let rise for 1½ hours. (I leave the dough in the same mixer bowl to rise since there is more mixing later.) The dough should double in bulk at the end of the hour and a half.

Bread dough in a bowl

Dissolve ¼ tsp baking soda in 1 tbsp warm water. Return the bowl to the mixer. Stir down using the flat beater, then add the baking soda and water mixture. Beat the dough on medium speed for about a minute. Grease loaf pan(s).

Dough in loaf pans

Fill the loaf pans with the dough, keeping in mind that the dough will rise again before and during baking. Half to 2/3 of the way full is a good benchmark. Cover the loaf pans with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise again for about an hour. Preheat oven to 375°.

Bread in a loaf pan

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is golden and the bread starts to pull away from the sides of the pan a bit. Keep a close eye on the bread if you’re using smaller loaf pans, as it will finish cooking faster. Cool for at least 5 minutes, then remove the bread from the pans. If needed, use a knife to get the dough loosened from the sides of the pans.

3 slices of bread toasted with butter on a plate

Cut into slices and toast before serving. (Recommended: Butter each slice and toast under the broiler of a toaster oven or regular oven for a few minutes, but watch carefully because these can burn quickly.)

After the bread has completely cooled, wrap tightly in plastic wrap to store.

Collage of bread photos
Homemade English Muffin Bread

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