Tami Noyes ~ This English muffin bread is a sneak peek into the whole grain baking book that Celine Steen and I are writing. It’s a great snack or breakfast bread, and it’s so easy to make that it’s terrific for brunches, too.
And yes, you can get those wonderful nooks and crannies with whole grains! It just takes a couple of tricks.
First, it’s easiest with a very wet batter. So wet that it can really only be made in a stand mixer rather than by hand. It’s important to weigh the flours for this one to reduce the chance of adding too much flour. Second, right after mixing in the baking soda, pop this loaf in the oven. Baking soda reacts quickly once combined with liquids, so you want it left alone and baking away as soon as possible.
Here’s a visual of how wet the batter will look:
And the final loaf of English muffin bread …
- ½ Cup (120 ml) Warm Water
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 Teaspoon (12 g) Active Dry Yeast
- 2 Teaspoons Sucanat or Coconut Sugar
- 1-1/2 Cups (355 ml) Soymilk [or your favorite milk alternative for soy-free]
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) Canola Oil
- 2 Cups (240 g) White Whole Wheat Flour
- ½ Cup (70 g) Whole Spelt Flour
- ¼ Cup (32 g) Finely Ground Cornmeal
- 2 Teaspoons Fine Sea Salt
- 1-1/2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- Nonstick Spray
- 2 Teaspoons Coarse Ground Cornmeal, for the pan
- Combine the water, yeast, and Sucanat in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir together and let bubble and proof, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk together the soymilk or milk alternative and vinegar in a small bowl. The mixture will curdle and become like buttermilk. Stir in the oil.
- Whisk together the flours, cornmeal, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Pour the soymilk mixture and the flour mixture into the yeast mixture. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium for 3 minutes. The consistency of the batter will resemble cake batter.
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours, or until doubled.
- About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C or gas mark 5). Lightly spray an 8 x 4-inch (20 cm x 10 cm) loaf pan with nonstick spray. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cornmeal evenly in the bottom of the pan.
- Put the bowl back on the stand mixer, and add the baking soda. Beat with the paddle attachment on low for 1 minute. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining teaspoon cornmeal.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Check to see if the top is getting too dark, and if so, cover lightly with foil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until the loaf is pulling away from the sides of the pan and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped with your knuckles. If the loaf resists coming out of the pan, return the loaf to the oven (covered with the foil) for 5 more minutes.
- Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and let cool 2 hours before cutting.