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English Muffin Bread

English Muffins make me think of my mom.  Growing up, I remember her forking one open and toasting it up for breakfast.  And I was like, "eeeeeyyyeeewwww."  Kids.  Sheesh.  I mean, what was my reasoning?  My thought process?  Not really sure, but I eventually saw the light.  I'm thinking it may have had something to do with a little discovery that goes by the name of Eggs Benedict.  Heard of it, by chance?  Heavens opened.  Light shone brightly.  The rest as the say, was history.  And all of the other clichés that fit.  I mean, come on.  That oddly delicious sourness mellowed by butter-filled craters.  Yes please, I'll have another.  So, after trying this awesome recipe for English Muffin bread...and yes, it does taste pretty durn close...I know that advance-planning will come into play a day before I go to visit mommy dearest the next time.  We will slice into the loaf, toast it, butter it, reminisce about days of old.  Okay.  We're probably not gonna do all of that, but...we're gonna enjoy some tasty bread. Fo. Sho.
English Muffin Bread
adapted from a recipe inspired by King Arthur Flour via Artisan Bread Bakers
makes 1 loaf

3 c. all-purpose flour 
 1 Tbs. sugar 
1½ tsp. salt 
¼ tsp. baking soda 
1 Tbs. instant yeast 
1 c. milk 
¼ c. water 
2 Tbs. butter, melted

cornmeal, to sprinkle in pan
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and yeast in a large mixing bowl. 

 Combine the milk, water, and butter and heat to between 120°-130°F. The liquid should be hotter than lukewarm, but not so hot that it would scald you.  Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly w/ a wooden spoon.  Dough will be very soft.

 Lightly grease a smallish loaf pan and sprinkle the bottom and sides with cornmeal. 

Scrape the dough into the pan, leveling it in the pan as much as possible. 

 Cover the pan w/ a linen towel or plastic wrap which has been sprayed on the inside w/ cooking spray; let the dough rise till it's just barely crowned over the rim of the pan, ~45-60 mins. When the dough is almost finished rising, preheat the oven to 400° F. 

Remove plastic and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown (interior temperature should be 190°F)

 Remove the bread from the oven, let sit in pan for 5 minutes before turning loaf out of the pan and setting on a rack to finish cooling.  Let the bread cool completely before slicing.
You didn't think I'd send you into swooning episodes by making hollandaise in the same post as the bread, did you?  I am feeling the need for some, though.  Sooo...keep those eyes peeled!

*This post is linked to:
~December BOM for Artisan Bread Bakers