Restaurant toast, on the other hand, usually doesn't even deserve eating. It's limp, lukewarm and hit skimpily here and there with some questionable spread. Ah, but homemade toast...
Of course, great toast begins with great bread. And thanks to longtime Forum recipe-sharer Michael Koznek, of Snohomish, we're about to make some today.
"Here is my recipe for English muffin bread,'' he writes. "Do your readers have any different recipes for English muffin bread to share?"
If you have a good one, don't hesitate to send it along to Judyrae Kruse at the Forum, c/o The Herald, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Please remember that all letters and e-mail must include a name, complete address with ZIP code and telephone number with area code. No exceptions and sorry, but no response to e-mail by return e-mail; send to email@example.com.
In addition to the first muffin bread recipe, Michael also includes a microwave version but tells us, "I have never tried making it this way.''
Michael's English muffin loaves
2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2) teaspoons
6 cups flour, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup water
2 cups milk
Cornmeal for dusting
Combine yeast, 3 cups flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Heat liquids until very warm (120-130 degrees) and add to dry mixture. Beat well, then stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter.
Spoon into two 8 1/2-4 1/2-inch pans that have been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal.
Sprinkle the tops of the bread with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes (or just until dough reaches the top of the pans, about 20 minutes for me.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool.
To serve, slice and toast.
Makes 2 loaves, 16 slices per loaf.
Microwave oven directions: Following the first recipe, use the 3 cups of flour in the first step, and reduce to 2 cups in the second. Mix and let rise as directed above, using microwave-safe pans.
Microwave each loaf on high power for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. The surface of the loaf will be flat and pale in color. Allow to rest 5 minutes before removing from pans.
The next Forum will appear in Wednesday's Good Life section.
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