[Recipe: Whole-Wheat English Muffin Bread]
I know: It’s not pretty. But pretty was not the point. Thankfully, my goals had more to do with substance than with outside appearance.
I just wanted to bake a loaf of bread. I wanted aroma. I wanted a medium-crisp crust that gave way to a springy and delicate crumb. I wanted something appropriate for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, something that could hold its own equally well with a light slick of chunky peanut butter or a skosh of honey.
Summing it up, then: I was after taste, texture, warmth — all those qualities, yes, but not beauty.
And that’s a good thing, especially since this is often the type of outcome we can expect when we delegate: the results might not exactly meet our unremitting standards. (Take, for example, when you give your kid the job of cleaning the bathroom or making their own bed.)
I delegated the making of this loaf to my bread maker. It’s an appliance that hasn’t seen a lot of action lately, because I’ve been trying to do the bread-baking thing with my own two hands. But today I was in the mood for this specific recipe, and besides, there was definitely something liberating about dumping all the ingredients into the metal bowl and letting something else do the work for once — and then having it taste really, really good.
Even if the result wasn’t much to look at.
Whole-Wheat English Muffin Bread for the Bread Maker
adapted from KingArthurFlour.com
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter or canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (I used a combination of white & red whole wheat)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
Program your machine for basic white bread, light crust. Midway through the second kneading cycle, check the dough; it should be soft, smooth and slightly sticky. Adjust the dough’s consistency with additional flour or water, if necessary. For a true English muffin effect, remove the dough after either the final kneading or before the final rise and roll it in cornmeal. Place the dough back in the machine to rise and bake.
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