There is nothing quite like the aroma of fresh bread, well…maybe that first bite of warm deliciousness! In our house, I try to make the majority of our food from scratch. I do this for a variety of reasons, but the main two reasons are to cut out unnecessary ingredients and to stretch our grocery budget as far as I can.
When I started baking bread, it seemed that I couldn’t keep up with how much we were eating. Toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunches and snacks, rolls, the list goes on. Then I discovered a batter bread recipe from an old Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. (I am crazy about vintage cookbooks!) It is the easiest method for making a quick loaf of bread without all the time spent kneading. I typically mix the batter up and set it on the counter to rise while I shower and dress in the morning. By the time I am done, it is usually ready to put into pans for the second rise and baking.
This is one of the breads my family asks for often. It’s perfect for morning toast, leftovers make a great french toast and it makes a wonderful gift paired with some homemade jam!
Better Homes and Gardens Homemade English Muffin Bread
2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast (I buy mine in bulk, but you can also use 1 package of active dry yeast)
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 Tablespoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
In a large mixer bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan, combine 1 1/4 cup water, sugar and salt until warm (115 – 120 degrees), stirring to disolve sugar. Add to dry mixture in bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Shap into ball.
Place in lightly greasted bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover; let rise until double (about 1 hour). Punch down. Cover; let rest 10 minutes. Grease a 1-quart caserole; sprinke with cornmeal. Place dough in casserole; sprinkle top with cornmeal. Cover; let rise until double (30 – 45 minutes). Bake at 400 degrees for 40 – 45 minuts. Cover loosely with foil if top browns too quickly. Remove from dish; cool. Makes 1.
Hints: For easier slicing, bake in a standard loaf pan. If your kitchen isn’t quite warm enough for the bread to rise, put a small pot of water on the stove to simmer. Then place the dough on the counter near the stove. You can’t believe how nicely this works!
Enjoy! I hope it becomes a favorite at your house too!