English Muffin Bread with Quick Homemade Strawberry Preserves

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If you are a fan of the circular English muffins that come from the grocery store, you will love this bread even more. It has all of the same English muffin taste wrapped up into simple, good-for-you, whole wheat yeast bread. One of the best parts about this bread is that it only needs to rise once, so it takes half the time to make than a traditional yeast bread recipe. It also makes two loaves – a total bonus in my book. You can choose to eat one loaf right away and freeze the other for another time, or like in my house, the day after the first loaf is devoured. The strawberry preserves we like to eat with this bread is ridiculously easy to make. I’ll warn you though, once you taste fresh, homemade strawberry preserves you will have a really hard time going back to store-bought jam. I take full responsibility for raising the bar in that department.

Ingredients

Directions

Fill a small bowl with ½ cup warm water and sprinkle 4 teaspoons of yeast on top.  Add a pinch of brown sugar and stir to combine.  Set bowl  aside for about 10 minutes to allow the yeast to proof and become foamy.

Grease the bottoms and sides of two loaf pans with softened butter.  Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of corn meal into each pan and shake until all surfaces are coated with corn meal.  Tip out any remaining meal into the trash.  Set pans aside

In a large mixing bowl or bread machine pan, combine the warm milk, sugar, egg, melted butter, salt and half of the all purpose flour.  Mix for one minute until thick and sticky.  Add the yeast and baking soda mixtures and mix for another minute more.  Add the remaining all purpose flour and white whole wheat flour ½ cup at a time until completely incorporated – about two minutes.  The batter will be soft and sticky.  **The bread machine is used for mixing purposes only.  Do not complete the dough cycle**

Evenly divide dough between the two loaf pans.  Press the dough into the corners as best as possible.  Loosely cover the pans with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Set aside to rise at room temperature until dough is even with the rim of the pans.

Remove plastic wrap and bake bread in a 350˚F oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove the pans from the oven and slide out bread onto racks to cool.  Slice into thick pieces and toast.  Serve with butter and quick strawberry preserves.

 

Quick Homemade Strawberry Preserves

Adapted from Brunch, by Gale Gand

  • 2 pints of freshly washed, hulled and halved strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Put the strawberries in a small saucepan and smash slightly with a fork or potato masher.  Heat them over medium heat for 8 minutes.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Stir to combine and continue heating over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until thick.  Transfer the preserve into a small jar and allow to cool.  Serve with toasted English Muffin bread for a delicious breakfast treat.  Preserve will keep in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks.



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