Wednesday, January 4, 2012

English Muffin Bread

Well it's official.  The new year is here and everyone is back at the gym.

I use to be one of those people that would show up in January for a couple weeks and then slowly slack off until I was not showing up at all.  Now I am proud to say that I am one of those regulars that go all year long, quite regularly.

Now I get to watch all the "newbies" come in and see the gym etiquette take place, which is quite hilarious to me.  For instance, people have their assigned places and it is a faux pas to set up in "their space".  Never mind that you have never been there before and could have no idea someone had a "spot" and I think it's entertaining to watch a regular get huffy about it.  I try to move around regularly to upset the statue quo, okay I don't but one day I will have the guts to take over someone else's spot.

Another rule of the gym is that you can't be too close to someone else.  You shouldn't use the treadmill right next to someone especially when there is another one farther done the line.  And you should never set your bench up in class in someone else's bubble, okay you can but they sure get antsy about it and it's very entertaining to watch them carefully try to move their bench farther away with out you noticing, which you always do and I just laugh.

Ahhh...the gym!  Most days it's provides me hours of entertainment.

Now if you think that since it is a new year, I am going to be posting healthy recipes, you are totally wrong.  I usually never get on a health kick, I just try to eat relatively healthy all year long.  So here's to a fantastic new year and lots of chocolate and carbohydrates (the favorites at this house).

This bread is very easy to make (if you have never made bread this is a perfect way to start) and perfect for toast, which is the best way to have this delicious bread.  We loved it!

English Muffin Bread

5 1/2 cups very warm water
3 Tbsp instant yeast*
2 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar
11 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

* If you are using active dry yeast instead of instant you need to proof it.  Place the yeast and sugar in the bowl you will be using with 1 cup of water first.  Let it stand until bubbly and then proceed with the recipe, adding 4 1/2 cups of water instead of the 5 1/2.

1.  In a large bowl or bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix. Add half of the flour. Mix. Add remaining flour. Mix. The dough will be very, very sticky. Don’t be alarmed! Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled. Stir down the dough with a wooden spoon.

2.  Grease four loaf pans (I used 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch) generously with cooking spray. Divide the dough between the loaf pans. ( I used my hands and just kept them very well greased) The dough should fill the pans about halfway. Cover the loaves with lightly greased plastic wrap and let the bread rise until doubled. It will look puffy and bubbly.

3.  Bake at 350°F for 25-28 minutes until lightly golden brown on top and baked through. Remove from the oven and turn the bread out onto a cooling rack. Butter the tops while still warm.

This bread can be frozen and/or it lasts, covered or bagged, at room temperature for several days.  Toast and enjoy!

Yield: 4 loaves

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