English muffins are one of my favorite breads to toast. They not only have a great flavor, but they are full of nooks and crannies to fill with butter and jam. You can make them at home, but it’s much easier to make this English Muffin Batter Bread, instead! The yeast bread is called a batter bread because it is made from a batter and requires no kneading. The finished batter bread captures the flavor of an english muffin in a loaf form that anyone can bake.
When I say that this bread requires no kneading, I’m not kidding! It can be mixed up in one bowl and doesn’t require any special tools to make, although you will need active dry yeast for this recipe. Once the yeast has bloomed, all the ingredients are combined into a thick, smooth batter that is poured into a grease loaf pan to rise. After an hour or so, it goes directly into the oven to bake.
The finished bread has a fairly open texture that is similar to the holey-texture of an English muffin. The baking soda in the batter helps to create this texture. While it is added as leavening in many quick breads, baking soda is in this recipe to supplement the yeast. It begins to react as soon as it is stirred into the batter, creating all kinds of tiny air bubbles. As the bread rises and bakes, these bubbles expand even more and then set – leaving you with a bread that is a fantastic texture for toasting.
Don’t forget to lightly grease your loaf pan before pouring in the batter to ensure that your loaf comes out easily. Allow it to cool completely before slicing it into thick pieces with a serrated knife. The bread is good on its own, but it really shines after it has been toasted and that is my favorite way to serve it. The bread will keep for at least a day or two after baking, in the event that you can’t eat it all in one day.
(Note: This post originally appeared in September 2005. The post has been updated, but it’s amazing that this recipe is just as popular then as it is now!)
English Muffin Batter Bread
3/4 cup water, warm (approximately 100-110 F)
1/4 ounce active dry yeast (1 package/ 2 1/2 tsp)
2 tsp sugar
3 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk, warm (approximately 100-110 F)
Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
In a small bowl, 1/4 cup of water with active dry yeast and sugar. Stir, then allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.
Transfer yeast mixture to a large bowl, along 2 cups of flour, salt, baking soda, milk and remaining water. Mix until a smooth batter forms. Gradually stir in remaining flour until batter is thick and uniform. This can also be done in the stand mixer using a dough hook.
Pour batter into prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap.
Allow dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until about doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes, until the top of the loaf is golden and it sounds hollow when tapped. An instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf should read 190-200F.
Turn bread out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.