Pillowy enough to give me the fuzzy, contented feelings I seek from my carbs, yet sturdy enough to withstand high toasting temperatures and a thick slather of jam, this easy and healthy English Muffin Bread was made to be toasted, smeared, and devoured.
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The simple, yet spectacular bread combines the characteristics I love about English muffins—nooks and crannies to trap pools of melted butter; a toothsome chewiness that makes it hearty—with the convenience and ease of a classic sliced loaf (like this Oatmeal Bread).
I owe my introduction to this old-fashioned English muffin bread (and consequently, a debt of gratitude) to my Grammy (she is also the reason we have Grammy’s Lemon Cream Pie).
Although she is an accomplished cook, the one lunch I begged her to make me (both as a kid and, ok, last month) is grilled cheese.
Forget the white Wonderbread and plastic-wrapped faux-yellow slices—my Grammy’s grilled cheese (and this Avocado Grilled Cheese) called for the good stuff a.k.a. English muffin bread.
5 Star Review
“We’ve made this bread twice already and I was astounded at how delicious it was, and really it couldn’t be any easier.”— Ana —
Here’s why I love this whole-grain English muffin bread recipe:
Crisp Exterior. Because of English muffin bread’s unique texture, when grilled or toasted, its exterior becomes lightly crisp, while the interior crumb retains its tenderness.
Sturdy. Thanks to the addition of whole wheat flour, this English muffin bread can hold its own against a generous slather of butter and the heaviest smears of jam (hello, 3 Ingredient Strawberry Chia Jam) or nut butter.
Easy. This English muffin bread recipe is, without a doubt, the EASIEST loaf of bread I’ve ever baked from scratch (or at least it’s tied with this Beer Bread). Two bowls, no kneading, only one rise.
Even if you’ve never worked with yeast before, you can bake this bread!
How to Make English Muffin Bread
With a craggy, light, and slightly chewy crumb, this healthy whole wheat English muffin recipe is simple, wholesome, and easy.
- Flour. My go-to 50/50 blend of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour keeps this delightful homemade bread soft and hearty at the same time. I love sneaking in whole wheat flour whenever I get the chance (see this Soft Pretzel Recipe) for extra fiber, iron, and protein.
- Yeast. Give this bread its pillowy rise and amazing yeasted bread taste and aroma. Make sure your yeast is fresh and take the water’s temperature, and you cannot fail. It should be warm water and not burning.
- Brown Sugar. Feeds the yeast and aids in the fermentation process so the bread rises.
- Vital Wheat Gluten. The days of dense heavy whole grain bread are behind you. Vital wheat gluten is my secret to making baked goods made with whole wheat flour soft, airy, and tender (like my favorite Whole Wheat Pizza Dough).
- Baking Soda. Bolsters the yeast and improves the bread’s rise and texture.
- Skim Milk. Softens the bread and lends some moisture.
- Olive Oil. Enriches the dough with flavor and a little fat to help make the crumb tender (as in my favorite Rosemary Olive Oil Bread).
- Salt. Just enough to enhance the flavor of the bread.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl.
- Warm the milk, water, and oil to the temperature directed by the yeast manufacturer (usually between 110 degrees F to 125 degrees F).
For best results, use an instant-read thermometer. The liquid should feel hotter than lukewarm, but not so hot that it is uncomfortable or burns.
- Pour the warm liquid over the dry ingredients, then beat the mixture on high speed for one minute.
- Transfer the dough into a greased loaf pan that you sprinkle with cornmeal.
- Cover with a piece of greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place.
Alternatively, you can place the loaf in your refrigerator to rise overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F then bake until it is golden brown.
The English muffin bread is done when the interior temperature reaches 185 to 190 degrees F (another reason to use and love your instant read thermometer).
- I suggest checking the bread at the 15-minute mark—if it is browning too quickly, lightly tent the pan with foil, then continue baking until the bread is done.
- When the bread is baked, it should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Let cool, slice, and ENJOY!
- To Store. Store whole wheat English muffin bread wrapped tightly in plastic or a gallon-size plastic bag for up to 3 days at room temperature.
- To Freeze. Homemade English muffin bread may be frozen in the freezer for up to 3 months when wrapped tightly in plastic and a layer of foil. Defrost overnight in the fridge before slicing and toasting.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Stand Mixer. If you bake on the regular, a stand mixer is well worth the investment.
- Loaf Pan. These are my favorite everyday loaf pans for savory and sweet loaves (like this Cream Cheese Banana Bread).
- Large Glass Measuring Cup. Makes mixing, warming, and pouring the wet ingredients for this bread easy peasy.
Whole grain English muffin bread, you’re toast with the most.
Frequently Asked Questions
Vital wheat gluten is a highly concentrated gluten flour that injects extra protein into bread dough. This added protein helps improve the structure of low-gluten doughs making them stronger and more elastic. This gives the final baked product a better crust, improved crumb structure, and better rise in the oven. If you do not wish to purchase it, you can omit it and still have good results.
I have not made this whole wheat English muffin bread in a bread machine or bread flour before so it would be an experiment. Readers have reported success using their bread machines to mix and proof the dough however and then finish the recipe, as directed, in the oven.
Yes. In fact, that’s how I often make it myself. Note, the bread will be much denser if you use all whole wheat flour rather than blend it with all purpose. I would suggest adding another tablespoon of vital wheat gluten, and watching the moisture content, as the dough may be a bit dry. If it is, just add more liquid 1 tablespoon at a time (milk or water), until it is tacky but not sticky. The proof and bake as directed.
Typically they are interchangeable, with the active dry yeast working a little slower than instant (or quick rising) yeast.
Whole Wheat English Muffin Bread
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten flour (optional: will yield a slightly softer, fluffier bread)
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast 1 standard envelope, plus 3/4 teaspoon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Cornmeal for sprinkling the pan
- Lightly grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Dust the bottom and sides with cornmeal. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, vital wheat gluten flour (if using), brown sugar, yeast, salt, and baking soda.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or large measuring cup, combine the milk, water, and oil. Microwave in 30-second intervals, until the liquid reaches the temperature directed by the yeast manufacturer (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F for Red Star Platinum). Stir the liquid together well before taking the temperature, and for best results, use an instant-read thermometer. The liquid should feel hotter than lukewarm, but not so hot that it is uncomfortable or burns.
- Pour the hot liquid over the dry ingredients, then beat the mixture on high for one minute. The dough will be very soft, somewhat sticky, and moist.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan, then press it gently with the back of your hand to make it as even as possible.
- Lightly grease a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray, then cover the pan and let rise in a warm, draft-free place, until the dough just barely rises over the top rim of the pan, about 1 hour, depending upon the temperature of your kitchen. (Alternatively, you can place the loaf in your refrigerator to rise overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.) Towards the end of the bread’s rise time, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
- Once the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap and bake for 22 to 27 minutes, until it is golden brown and the interior temperature registers 185 to 190 degrees F. Check the dough at the 15-minute mark—if it is browning too quickly, lightly tent the pan with foil, then continue baking until the bread is done.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes in the baking pan. Gently turn the bread out from the pan and place it on a cooling rack. Allow bread to cool completely before slicing.
- TO STORE: Store whole wheat English muffin bread wrapped tightly in plastic or a gallon-size plastic bag for up to 3 days at room temperature.
- TO FREEZE: Homemade English muffin bread may be frozen for up to 3 months when wrapped tightly in plastic and a layer of foil. Defrost overnight in the fridge before slicing and toasting.
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