Sunday, December 13, 2009

Baking Bread - English Muffin Loaves

After checking out Nancy Baggett's Kneadlessly Simple book, I decided my first loaf EVER should come from the section Easiest Ever Yeast Breads. I like English Muffins, and it did sound really simple.

And, it was! I baked the loaves over a weekend, and enjoyed them all week. They were yummy and yeasty, and extremely good toasted with butter and jam, just like English muffins. The interesting thing for me was the texture on the inside of the loaf. It was more dense than English muffins and store-bought bread. But, for my first loaf EVER, I thought they turned out pretty good. (Sorry there are no pictures. This was baked before I began blogging, and I didn't think to take pictures.)

Now, I am more aware of what dough looks like as it is rising, what it feels like, and smells like. All those things I had no experience with before, so I had no idea what to expect, really. If you haven't checked out her book and the Kneadlessly Simple method, I highly recommend it, especially for beginning bakers like me. It is extremely educational, helpful and fun because she makes it so easy.

One thing I made a mistake on was the greasing of the loaf pans. I poured vegetable oil in the pans and tipped them around to try and coat the sides. I ended up with a lot of oil in the bottom of the pan. The oil was definitely too much, and kind of soaked the corners of my loaves. It was okay - the corners just ended up more crunchy. The next time I baked a loaf in the loaf pan (see Easy Oat Loaves), I just poured about a teaspoon of oil into the pan and used a paper towel to spread the oil in the pan and around the sides. That worked much better for me!

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