A favorite bread recipe that’s super easy and tastes wonderful
For several years now, we have been baking our own breads. We have several favorite recipes with the easiest bread to bake being this whole wheat English muffin bread. This bread requires absolutely no kneading, only around 30 minutes for rising, and comes out great every time. From start to finish, it takes less than an hour and a half with most of the time for rising and baking. You can mix all of the ingredients in 15 minutes or less.
What we love about our English muffin bread, in addition to how quick it is to easy to make, it’s moist, rises well, has lots of nooks and crannies, and is just as great for sandwiches as it is for jam on toast. The recipe yields two small standard loaves although we have begun putting the entire batch in a long 13” bread pan.
English Muffin Bread’s warm milk activates the yeast
This bread uses warm milk and water to activate the yeast. Combine the milk and water in a large measuring cup or medium sized bowl to heat the liquid in the microwave using no more than 30 second to 1 minute increments. We usually heat the milk mixture the first time for 1 minute and then follow with 30 second increments until it reaches a temperature between 120-130 degrees. Any higher and there’s a risk of killing the yeast. If the temperature of the liquids is lower than 120 degrees, it may just take longer to rise, but no harm done at all. You can substitute almond milk, oat milk or any other favorite milk, for dairy milk. We have used all of these types of milk at one time or another with great results.
What we love about this bread is that we can use a mixer for the entire process. We start by putting 2 cups of whole wheat flour in the mixer bowl with a paddle on and add the sugar, baking soda and salt. Give these ingredients a quick stir to blend before adding the yeast. Blend again before adding the warm milk and water liquid.
Give it some air!
Once the liquids have been added, be sure to beat on high for the full 3 minutes. This step adds air to the mixture giving it lots of nice air pockets throughout the bread. Once you’ve run the mixer on high for at least 3 minutes, switch out the paddle for a dough hook before adding the last 3 cups of flour.
Preheat your oven to 375˚once all ingredients have been combined
We usually wait until we’ve combined all of the ingredients and put the dough in the bread pan before preheating the oven. For us, the timing works out perfectly. You may need a bit more or less time. We place the covered dough in the pan on top of the stove (no burners on, of course) while the oven preheats as it provides a nice warm environment to help the yeast. Also, if you prefer a crispy crust, put an oven safe bowl or pan with water in the oven while the bread bakes. We have gotten in the habit of baking all of our breads with a pan of water on the lower rack and really love the results.
Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 packages of yeast (OR 3 ½ teaspoons of instant yeast)
- 2 cups warm milk (120º-130ºF)
- ½ cup warm water (120º-130ºF)
- Optional: Cornmeal for dusting top of dough and baking pans
- Shortening for greasing the pans
Grease two bread loaf pans with shortening (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 in) or one 3” long loaf pan. Sprinkle pans with cornmeal, if desired. Set aside.
In a medium bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, combine the milk and water. Heat to 120º-130ºF. It’s better to be closer to 120ºF temperature so it’s not too hot when adding to the flour and yeast mixture.
In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of whole wheat flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Give a quick stir, and then add the yeast. Add the warm milk and water liquid. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl frequently, or mix by hand to combine all of the ingredients. Once ingredients are combined, beat on high for 3 minutes. If you have a dough hook for your mixer, replace paddle with dough hook after beating on high. Stir in remaining 3 cups of flour until well combined and smooth (batter will be moist). DO NOT KNEAD. Not at all.
Preheat oven to 375˚. Spoon batter into pans (sprinkle cornmeal on top after dough is in the pans, if desired). Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 30-45 minutes). What’s important here is that the bread has doubled or rises to just below the rim of standard sized bread pans. It’s fine if the rising takes longer to double in size.
Bake at 375˚ for 35-37 minutes or until golden brown then remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
You’ll love the results.