English Muffin Bread is sliceable, toastable, and completely irresistible!
5 3/4cupsall-purpose flour
2 1/4cupswarm water
1tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoonswhite sugar
1tablespoon, plus 1 1/4 teaspoonsactive dry or instant yeast
nonstick spray, butter, or oil
cornmeal, for flouring pans
1/3cupmelted butter, divided
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast with a sturdy spoon or dough whisk until it is moist with no dry pockets. The dough will be shaggy and very sticky. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place until the dough looks puffy and bubbly and has risen to about double its size, about 1 hour.
While the dough rises, spray two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle 1/4 cup of cornmeal in each pan. Tilt the pans, tapping gently, until the cornmeal coats the sides and bottom of the pan, tapping out the excess cornmeal.
Use nonstick cooking spray to generously grease your hands, and divide the dough between the two prepared pans. The pans should be no more than halfway full. If needed, prepare one more loaf pan to hold any excess dough.
Cover the pans loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until the dough is once again bubbly and puffy looking and just peeking above the edges of the pans, about 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the pans on the center oven rack in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, brush the surface of the bread generously with about half the melted butter. Return the pans to the oven and bake 10 more minutes.
Immediately turn the loaves onto a cooling rack and brush all surfaces generously with the remaining melted butter. Cool COMPLETELY before slicing or that spectacular English muffin texture will be compromised.
I've also made this bread with 3 cups of bread flour swapped in for 3 cups of the all-purpose flour listed in the recipe. The bread flour adds something special to the resulting texture of this bread.