English Muffins have been on our minds for a few days now but our current “trying to be on a low carb diet” phase was preventing us from baking it. Thankfully, Angie and Catherine decided it’s time to put us all to test and created this herb & yeast challenge.
We learnt a thing or two or three or maybe lots about working with yeast during the course of coming up with ideas to take to Fiesta Challenge #1. One of our “other” ideas is still in the “making” and won’t be done by the time the challenge is over so we’ll leave that for another time. And no. We won’t be revealing that surprise yet.
So in order to make the deadline, we decided to bake N’s favorite- English Muffins. But we made a Black Pepper & Oregano English Muffin Loaf Bread version of it. We have to tell you the truth, we didn’t really get it right the first few times but then finally succeeded! We finally got that chewy English muffin-y texture that we just love!
We used America’s Test Kitchen’s basic recipe for this bread and added our twist by adding in the black pepper and oregano. We also increased the amount of milk from the original recipe.
By the way did I tell you, we used the wrong yeast more than once! Who knew one word on a yeast packet would make all the difference. Errr… we should have known 😉
So here is how we made our Black Pepper & Oregano English Muffin Loaf:
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoon instant yeast or fleischmann's rapid rise yeast
- ½ tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano plus ½ teaspoon more for dusting on the top
- 1 ½ cups milk, heated to 120 F
- semolina or cormeal for dusting the pan
- Place flour, yeast, sugar, salt, pepper, fresh and dried oregano and baking soda into a large mixing bowl. Mix this well to combine.
- Make a well in the center and add the warm milk into it.
- Then, stir with a wooden spoon until it’s all combined and dough starts pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
- Next, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap that has been lightly oiled. Let the dough sit in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
- In the meanwhile grease a bread loaf pan and dust with semolina or cornmeal.
- Give the dough a stir with a rubber spatula and knock it down a bit.
- The batter will be sticky and should fill the pan about 2/3rd of the way.
- Cover the pan again with the greased plastic wrap and allow it to sit to rise for another 30 minutes. The dough should rise near to the top of the pan. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Sprinkle some dried oregano on the top.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven, in the middle rack for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Allow it to cool for half an hour before slicing into it. Best served toasted!