Confession #61: I think it’s time to conquer yeast… English Muffin Toasting Bread

by alexandra

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It seems like every time I post a yeasted bread recipe on the good ol’ blog, I get at least one comment from a reader telling me that they’re afraid of yeast. For some reason, yeast seems to ward people off sometimes, like it’s much too complicated of an ingredient to handle in a recipe. Guess what though? It’s totally not.

I don’t really remember if I was ever apprehensive about yeast, but I understand why it seems so scary sometimes. Yeast, unlike other rising agents like baking soda and baking powder, is finicky about temperature, requires time to work, and must be added to a recipe in a specific manner. In other words, it takes a little more know-how, a little more patience, and a little more confidence to master. But… it’s really not as difficult as it sounds, and I’m going to prove it!

If you’re deathly afraid of yeast or even just a bit uncomfortable using it, I’m challenging you to rise and conquer, NOW! My plan is to post a series of yeasted bread recipes, starting really easy and getting more complex, so you can work your way up to being a yeast pro. I’m starting out with this recipe for English Muffin Toasting Bread. It is literally the easiest recipe using yeast you could possibly find; I dare to say it’s impossible to mess up. So…try making this bread, and once your confidence with yeast starts to rise (no pun intended) move on to the next yeast bread recipe I post.

The reason why this bread is so simple to make is because  the “kneading” is accomplished with a 1-minute mix in your KitchenAid mixer and the bread rises like mad, so it only takes about 45 minutes to an hour until you’ll be ready to pop the loaf in the oven. It’s easier than making a quick bread! Also, this bread is really  good. It’s basically English Muffins in bread form (could’ve guessed that), which means it’s light, airy, and perfect for toasting. You get your nooks and crannies with barely any work. Perfect!

English Muffin Toasting Bread

Cook Time: 22 minutes

1 loaf

English Muffin Toasting Bread

This English Muffin Toasting Bread is an absolutely no-fail yeast bread recipe, perfect for getting comfortable with yeast. Plus, all of the tastiness, nooks, and crannies of an English Muffin in a loaf? Yes please!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast or active dry yeast (I always use active dry)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
  • cornmeal for dusting pan

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and yeast.
  2. In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, water, and oil. Heat in the microwave at 30 second increments, for a total of 1 minute and 30 seconds, or until the mixture is between 120 F and 130 F. I always go by King Arthur's instructions: It should be hotter than lukewarm but not too hot for bath water.
  3. Pour the warm liquid mixture into the mixer and beat the liquid and dry together at high speed for 1 minute. At this point, you should have a rather sticky and wet-looking dough.
  4. Grease an 8 1/2" by 4 1/2-" loaf pan and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal. Scoop the dough into the pan and level out the top with a lightly greased spatula. Cover the pan with greased saran wrap and let the dough rise until it's about 1/4 inch above the edge of the pan (it can be more, as I never seem to catch it in time). This should take about 45 minutes to an hour. Once your bread is almost ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400 F.
  5. Remove the saran wrap from the bread and bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 27 minutes (22 minutes has always been enough for me).You can test it like you would a quick bread. The top should be golden brown.
  6. Remove the bread from the oven and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Let it cool at for half an hour before slicing.

Notes

This bread is delicious served with melted butter, if you feel like splurging, but also great on it's own.

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Recipe Source: King Arthur Flour

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachael May 1, 2012

Thanks for this recipe! I’m not yeast-averse at all, but have always been terrified of attempting English muffins – if this bread comes even close to replicating that glorious taste and texture it will be on high rotation! Rising right now :)

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brighteyedbaker May 5, 2012

I hope the bread exceeded your expectations! I’ve never attempted English Muffins myself… someday!

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Tracee May 1, 2012

I used to be intimidated by yeast. I figured the only way to overcome my fear was to educate myself, buy a bunch of yeast and flour, and bake bake bake!

It worked! I have so much fun with it now and find it almost as fulfilling as therapy! lol. I love spending the afternoons in the kitchen with my daughter teaching her to cook and bake. I learned from my grandmother and mother and get so much enjoyment out of being able to cook and not needing to follow a recipe…and that’s what I’m trying to teach my daughter. I do follow recipes when I’m baking…

This will be on our short list for this week because my husband loves english muffins and skips breakfast most of the time…so perhaps now he won’t!

Thanks!
Tracee & Lilly

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brighteyedbaker May 5, 2012

I’m so glad to hear you’ll be trying this bread. I hope you love it!

As far as how you overcame your fear of yeast, I think that’s they key with baking in general, or cooking: you just have to go at it and keep trying and you’ll eventually get it. Soon you end up knowing things you never would have dreamed of knowing!

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Paula May 1, 2012

Admittedly I used to avoid recipes that called for yeast, but now that I have been using it more frequently I love. There is nothing better then fresh baked bread in the house.

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brighteyedbaker May 5, 2012

I totally agree. Homemade bread definitely tops the charts. Store-bought bread just can’t compete.

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Heidi @ Food Doodles May 1, 2012

Oooh, this looks good! I’ve been wanting to try english muffin bread ever since I first saw it, the texture looks awesome! I wish I had a mixer(it sounds so easy with one!), but this still sounds easier than a lot of other bread recipes! I think I’ll try it this week!
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brighteyedbaker May 5, 2012

You don’t have a mixer??? You MUST get one! But actually this is probably a good recipe to make anyway, since the mixing is only 1 small step. The bread is so good; you should try it!

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tanya May 21, 2012

I was wondering if this could be made in a bread maker?? I have to admit I am one of the ones that is afraid of yeast.

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brighteyedbaker May 21, 2012

Because it requires such a short amount of kneading, rising, and baking time, I don’t think it would work as well with the bread maker. I would urge you to give the recipe a try anyway, though, especially if you have a stand mixer. It couldn’t be easier; I promise!!

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Ermioni June 23, 2012

Hi!
I made your bread yesterday, as I wanted eggs benedict for this Saturday morning!
I too am afraid of yeast, however this bread is super easy and very delicious!
My 15months-old daughter liked it as well!
Thank you for this great recipe!

Reply

brighteyedbaker June 23, 2012

I bet this bread when perfectly with the eggs benedict. I’m so glad you gave it a try even though you it involves using yeast, and I’m even more glad that it worked out so well for you. This is one of my favorites as well. :) Enjoy!

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Richard December 16, 2012

Great recipe. I’ve been using this recipe and have become dependent on finding it on the web. Think I would print it out – NAW this is more fun. Thanks for posting it. If you want to challenge your readers bring them into sourdough breads. Easy but slow and time consuming.

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alexandra December 19, 2012

This is one of my favorites! I still go on my own site every time I need to look up a recipe… why waste paper, you know? And I do have a sourdough recipe on the site! I make it all the time. Here’s the link to the recipe and the link to the starter I use.

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