I first made this bread in 1995 from a magazine clipping. In my binder, I had it marked “excellent”. Note that there is no oil or butter in the bread, that it requires no hand-kneading and that it only needs one rising. This is an easy, fast bread to make and gives good results. Bread is delicious fresh from the oven with butter or toasted in the morning for a quick, tasty breakfast.
NO-KNEAD ENGLISH MUFFIN LOAF
2 Tblsp. fast acting dry yeast*
6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
¼ tsp baking soda
2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp salt
½ cup water
2 cups milk
Cornmeal for sprinkling in pans
*I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast. I buy it in bulk (454 g) and the package says that it is made in Canada. I understand it is packaged under the name “Instant Dry” for distribution through stores like Sam’s, “Rapid Rise” in the U.S. and “Quick Rise” in Canada. The “Instant Dry”, “Rapid Rise” or “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot water.
Grease one 9-inch loaf pan and a pie tin for rolls OR two 7-½ inch loaf pans and one mini-loaf pan. Place a teaspoon of cornmeal in each pan and tip/swirl to have cornmeal cover bottom and sides of pans.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place yeast, 2 cups all-purpose flour, soda, sugar and salt. Beat to blend dry ingredients.
Add heated ingredients to dry mixture in bowl. With paddle beater, mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Remove paddle beater and insert dough hook. Continue to beat for 6-1/2 minutes, adding 4 cups of flour a little at a time. Dough will be very stiff and sticky.
Divide dough among the pans to form very craggy, rustic loaves. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place that is free of drafts (I put mine on top of my microwave which sets under a cabinet).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake loaves for approximately 20 minutes for the mini-loaf, 15 minutes for rolls, 30 minutes for the 7-½ inch loaves and 45 minutes for the 9-inch loaves or until bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom – 190 degrees on a bread thermometer.
Cover with a piece of foil if top is browning too fast. Remove bread from pans immediately, cover with a napkin or a tea towel and let cool on a wire rack.
Yield: One 9-inch loaf and rolls (number depends on size) OR two 7-½ inch loaves plus one mini-loaf