I havent baked any bread in a long time, mostly because I dont eat bread very often lately. I do love to bake, though, so when I came across this recipe for No Knead English Muffin Bread on KitchenParade.com, I knew I had to make it, even if just for fun. If youre a bread person and eat it often, making your own bread can be a huge money saver. An artisan loaf at the store will run you between $3-$4, but you can make it at home for less than a dollar. If youre intimidated by baking bread, a no knead recipe like this is perfect to get you started and a little more comfortable with the bread making process.
What makes this bread English Muffin bread? I dunno, just the heavy coating of cornmeal and delicate crumb, I guess. To me English Muffins are a bit more eggy, but this bread is still great all the same. So, well just call it English Muffin bread for fun, deal?
- 214 cups flour (plus some for dusting) $0.38
- 2 tsp (or one 14 oz. packet) instant yeast $0.19
- 1 Tbsp sugar $0.03
- 34 tsp salt $0.03
- 1 cup warm water $0.00
- 2 Tbsp cornmeal $0.08
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with the yeast, sugar, and salt. Add one cup of warm water and mix with a hand mixer on medium speed for three minutes. Use a timer to make sure it is mixed for a full three minutes.
- Begin to add the remaining 114 cups of flour, a small amount at a time, until you can no longer use the mixer. At that point, use a large wooden spoon to stir the rest of the flour into the dough. The amount of flour needed may be slightly more or less depending on the moisture content of your flour, but you should aim for a very soft, pliable, slightly sticky dough in the end.
- Coat a loaf pan with non-stick spray, then dust the inside heavily with cornmeal (about 2 Tbsp). Sprinkle a little extra flour onto the dough to keep it from sticking to your hands and mold it into a rough loaf shape. Place the loaf in the pan, cover with a damp paper towel, and let rise for one hour, or until the loaf has risen higher than the top of the loaf pan.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the risen loaf for 30-45 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped. If the top begins to brown too much before 30 minutes, cover with foil to reduce further browning (I covered mine after 20 minutes).
- Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely before slicing.
Step by Step Photos
Start by combining 1 cup of flour, 2 tsp instant yeast (or one 1/4 oz. packet), 1 Tbsp sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, and one cup of warm water in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients using a hand mixer set on medium speed for three full minutes. A word to the wise, start the mixer on low then increase to medium once it starts to come together, so you dont spray flour all over your kitchen. 😉 This mixing action partially develops the gluten, which is a substitute for the kneading process.
After mixing for three minutes, begin to add the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour, a little at a time. Once it becomes too thick to use the mixer, use a large wooden spoon to stir in the rest. The total amount of flour you need may be slightly more or less, depending on the moisture content of the flour. The end result should be a soft, pliable, slightly sticky dough (no piles of dry flour on the bottom of the bowl).
Prepare a loaf pan by coating it with non-stick spray, then using about 2 Tbsp of cornmeal to dust the inside. This creates a nice thick crust of crunchy cornmeal on the outside of the breadjust like an English Muffin!
Sprinkle a little flour on the dough and your hands to keep it from sticking, then shape it into a rough loaf. It doesnt have to be perfect. If you *want* to knead it a couple times, it will make the dough a bit more even and pretty, but its not necessary. Place the loaf in the prepared pan.
Cover the loaf pan with a damp paper towel and let it rise for one hour or until it rises up out of the top of the loaf pan. I let mine go for about 1 hour and 15 minutes because it was a tad chilly in my house. Again, the lumpy shape of the top can be eliminated by working the dough just a bit before shaping it into a loaf.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then bake the bread for 30-45 minutes, or until its golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap the crust. If the top begins to brown too fast (it needs to be in the oven for at least 30 minutes), you can cover it with foil to slow the browning process. I ended up adding foil at about the 20 minute mark and baked for 30 minutes total.
Letting the loaf cool completely before slicing it is one of the hardest things to do, but one of the most important. The bread is soft and squishy when warm and trying to slice it in that state will tear it apart or flatten it completely. Neither is good. So, let that bread cool!
Once its cool, slice it, toast it, and slather it up with some butter and jam!
Homemade bread with no fancy machines and no fancy skills needed!