I have been on a real bread baking kick lately. I don’t know what it is about baking bread but I find it very relaxing. Maybe its the kneading of the dough, or maybe it’s that it usually comes out pretty darn good without much effort. Or more then likely it’s that I love to eat bread. You can keep your sweets, your cheesecakes and pies… give me bread.
A few weeks ago I came across a great recipe in my “Home Cheese Making” book by Ricki Carroll. It was a recipe for English Muffin bread and it was made with the whey left behind from making goats cheese. Seeing as I always have a few jars of the stuff in my fridge I thought I would give it a try and let me tell you it was amazing! It is super easy to do, it doesn’t take very long to make because there is only one rising, it makes 4 loaves at a time, freezes well and it was delicious. My family loves it.
English Muffin Bread with whey
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 4 packages or 4 tablespoons of active dry yeast
- 12 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cups whey or milk
- 4 teaspoons salt
- Cornmeal, for sprinkling
Dissolve the sugar in the water. Poor the yeast into a large bowl, add the sugar water and let sit for 10 minutes to proof. Meanwhile grease 4 loaf pans and sprinkle with the cornmeal. In a large bowl combine 6 cups of the flour and the baking soda. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the whey and salt and warm over low heat until lukewarm. Stir the yeast mixture and add the whey into it. Stir to combine. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and stir. Add the remaining flour and combine. * (This will take a few minutes, as it makes a very stiff, dry batter. Keep stirring until all of the flour is absorbed). Preheat oven to 400 degrees, spoon the batter into the prepared pans and press flat. Sprinkle the tops with cornmeal and let rise in a warm place until the center is about 1 1/2 inches above the rim of the pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
*I use my big KitchenAid mixer to make mine and it works great.
There is a note in the book with instructions to bake it in the microwave but I am not going to include them because you simply can not bake anything in the microwave! The crust won’t brown and after all this is English Muffin bread, you want a nice crusty crust! I’m staying old school here, I’m using my oven and an old fashioned english muffin pan I picked up at an antique shop this past summer (at least that’s what I think it is!). I didn’t have 4 loaf pans when I made this recipe and then I remembered that pan I bought and thought I would give it a try. It worked great! The loaves browned perfectly, they popped right out of the pan easily and it was the perfect size. I don’t know if they even sell these kinds of pans anymore but if you can find one let me know. I think they would make a great gift along with a loaf of bread and a jar of my homemade jam.
This bread is best toasted with sweet cream butter and homemade jam. We can polish off a whole loaf in one sitting at my house. Try it, you are gonna love it!!