English Muffin bread

Adam made four gallons of milk into mozzarella Friday night, and saved eight cups of whey so we could try this bread. We’ve had store-bought English Muffin bread before, and it is yummy, so Adam had an easy time talking me into making this recipe he found in Ricki Carroll’s Home Cheese Making book (our go-to source for learning cheese-making). The bread was easy to mix up, a pain to get into the loaf pans, rose in about an hour (one rise only), and tasted divine both hot out of the oven and toasted the next morning.
The recipe calls for proofing the yeast, which produces a wonderful smell.

 

 

In the meantime, the whey must be warmed up a bit:

The usual bread-making ensues, but instead of a dough, you’re left with a dry batter, something between muffin batter and bread dough. The trusty Kitchen-Aid made this a breeze, and then came the fun part – getting this “dry batter” into the loaf pans. Copious amounts of nonstick spray made this easier.

It took about an hour for the dough to rise, practically nothing compared to the day-long process of multiple risings that is my standard bread. However, there was a problem. This batter-dough was so wet and weak that it not only stuck to the loosely-placed plastic wrap (I think Adam sprayed it with nonstick spray), but the dough collapsed a bit when we removed the plastic. It also, instead of supporting itself as it rose, flopped over the sides of the pans, and even tried to merge with the other loaves, giving us something like this:

 

 

 

 

Those bubbles you see on the top are all throughout the bread, so after baking, we had this!

 

 

 

Well, first we had this:

But like my wise father says, the defective (usually we’re talking about chocolate chip cookies) ones must be eaten, and Adam and I can never wait for the bread to cool, like good bread-makers do, before cutting into it, so part of the squashed appearance is due to the dough collapsing a bit, and part is because we cut it too soon.
So, here it is again:

Oh yeah, you know you wanted to see it again!

And the flavor? Way better than the store-bought English Muffin bread. A million times better than regular English Muffins (not that they don’t have their time and place). Chewy, sweet, filled with those nooks & crannies, and just incredible.

Now, this recipe only called for four cups of whey, and remember Adam saved eight cups. Hmm…whatever shall we do with the rest of the whey?

Sunday brought the second batch. This time I added vital wheat gluten, my best friend with my standard bread, since it helps the dough to support itself so it can rise higher without collapsing. It made absolutely no difference with the English Muffin bread. I did, however, have cornmeal this time. The recipe calls for it to be sprinkled in the pan and on top of the dough. It definitely helped the plastic wrap not to stick to the dough, but other than that, just made a mess, since most of it fell off after baking. Here’s the result of the second batch:
And that’s my darling husband’s finger – he’s always gotta be pokin’ the bread!

So, it looks like English Muffin bread is definitely going to become a favorite!

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