My not-so-secret secret: I'm dying to start a brunch club. How fun would it be to have friends over weekly for brunch, whether it be at someone's home or maybe trying out a new breakfast joint in the city? A pancake bar with different syrups and toppings? Or how about omelettes? Seemingly endless cups of coffee? Ughhhhh can we be done with school so I can live out my daydreams? To my med school readers, please tell me you've thought this same thought at least once in the past year.
And I would bring this English muffin bread to the brunch parties, because it is the perfect morning bread toasted up in the pan with a little butter and topped with some jam. It has a nice, moist feel and isn't quite as fluffy as traditional sandwich bread, but not incredibly dense either. It's ridiculously easy for a yeast bread. This is coming from a total newbie bread baker so you know it actually is easy.
And jammmmm. I have a newfound passion for all jams. Gimme da jellies, preserves, and marmalades. Gimme blackberry, strawberry, and orange. I'm dying to buy the pepper jelly that's sitting on the shelves at the local grocery, but can't justify spending the cash yet. I guess it's been obvious with my posts recently, but I can't get enough of it. Currently the perfect snack is a slice of bread with some of the Bonne Maman strawberry preserves. Do you have any jam recommendations? I'd love to hear them. Or better yet, bring them to my brunch club and we'll have a toast, jam, and tea party. But really. The Nommable Brunch Club - 940 W 10th Street. Currently accepting new members - please apply within.
English muffin bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 cup milk
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan
Lightly grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan and sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom and the sides of the pan.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the milk, water, and oil in a separate, microwave safe bowl, and heat until it feels warmer than lukewarm, like warm enough you'd like to take a nice bath in it.
Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Beat at high speed for 1 minute. The dough will be soft, don't worry about it!
Scoop the soft dough into the pan, and try to even it out.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until it's just barely browned over the rim of the pan. I like to preheat my oven around this time and put the pan on top of the oven so that it's in a nice warm environment so the yeast get all happy. If you're in a colder place, it might take a little longer for the loaf to rise.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the bread for 22 to 27 minutes, till it's golden brown.
Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan and let it cool on a rack. Cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!
PS. This English muffin bread was also used for those avo and Swiss grilled cheese sammies that Peter and I made this past Sunday, and it worked beautifully for grilled cheese. So those should probably be in your weekday plans now. Just saying.