This is a quick, no knead way to enjoy English muffins. They are baked in loaf pans, not in individual rings, making things much easier. Maybe not totally traditional but, I’m OK with that. When we were at Borough Market in London, we bought some freshly made English muffins; had them for breakfast the next day slathered with butter for me marmalade. So good!
Makes 2 Loaves
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ cup warm water
2 envelopes Fleishmann’s Fast Rising Yeast, not Traditional (1 Tbsp. = 1 package)
2 cups homogenized milk
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
6 cups unbleached flour, measured by spooning lightly into the measuring cup
Cornmeal for sprinkling
Prepare the loaf pans by either buttering them or spraying with non-stick cooking spray, adding a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal to the pans, shaking all around until the insides are coated with the cornmeal. Pour out any excess cornmeal, reserve for sprinkling on top of the loaves.
In a large bowl dissolve the sugar in warm water; add the yeast, let stand 10 minutes, then stir well. In the meantime, combine the milk and salt in a saucepan; heat over low heat until just lukewarm; add the milk mixture to the yeast mixture. Combine 3 cups of flour with the baking soda, stir into the yeast mixture. Mix until smooth; stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff batter/dough. Divide the batter in half and place into two 8 ½” x 4 ½” x 2 ½” loaf pans, patting into place. Sprinkle the tops with a little cornmeal; cover with a tea towel, let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until the centre of loaf is about 1 ½” above the edge of the pan. This could take longer than 45 minutes, it depends on how warm your room is.
While the loaves are rising preheat your oven to 400 F. When the loaves are fully risen, place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven; remove the loaves from the pans to a cooling rack, let cool.
To serve, slice and toast.
Note: The loaves freeze very well.