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Old 02-12-2007, 08:48 AM   #1
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18 Hour Bread Into English Muffins!!

The other thread is so unbelievably long, thot I'd start chapt. 2 - better repeat the original 'take off' recipe for the 18 hour bread for any new person who hasn't run across the thread.

18 HOUR BREAD - No Knead Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (Do not use regular table salt -- or your bread may become too salty.)
1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water

Combine the dry ingredients together in a large plastic or glass bowl. Pour in the water and stir just until mixed. A shaggy dough should form. Cover the bowl loosely (I use a very large Tupperware bowl) and allow it to sit on the counter for about 18 hours. The dough is ready when it becomes covered in bubbles and when you can see the strands of gluten forming when you tip the bowl. Your dough will be very wet and sticky. That is how it should be.

Sprinkle the work surface (I like to use my Silpat so that the dough doesn't stick) with a mixture of about 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup cornmeal. Scrape dough out onto the floured surface and fold it four times like you would a letter-once from 3 and 9 towards the middle and once from 6 and 12. Place dough back into the bowl seam-side down and cover again, allowing it to rest for another 2 hours.

(cj - I actually just left mine on my Silpat mat and covered it with plastic wrap, but allowed enough space for it to rise. The Silpat made it easy to turn out the dough into the pan after the final rise. If you are using a plastic bowl, be sure not to touch your plastic bowl onto the hot pan or you will melt it.)

Midway through the final rise, preheat your oven as well as the 3 to 4-quart pot and lid to 450 degrees for 1 hour. After the dough has risen for about 2 hours, remove the hot pan and lid from the oven and quickly dump the dough into it. It should now be seam-side up. Replace the lid on the pot and bake the dough covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake it for 15 to 20 minutes longer. Be sure to check it after 15 minutes to ensure it isn't burning.

Now comes the most difficult part. Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out onto a cooling rack. It will be smelling divine and beckoning you with its golden brown colour and crackling crust as it cools. You MUST allow it to cool fully! Do not give into temptation and cut into it early. It is best to give it at least an hour before stealing your first slice.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you need to plan ahead. The dough needs to be able to sit for 18 hours. It then gets folded and allowed to rest and rise for another 2 hours, with baking and cooling taking another couple of hours. I usually stir my ingredients together around supper time the day before I need it so that by the following afternoon the dough is ready for me to finish off and bake, providing us with a home filled with the wonderful aroma of fresh-baked bread just in time for supper.

The other important key to this recipe is the pot. You will need a heavy bottomed 3 to 4 quart pot that is heat resistant up to 450 degrees. Be sure to remove any plastic knobs from lids that may not be able to withstand temperatures this high. Most people find success with pots from Le Creuset (removing the knob before baking) or a cast iron dutch oven. The pot should be deep enough that the bread will not rise up to touch the lid when it is baking.


O.K., now to the new experiment - a friend in Italy who has difficulty buying English Muffins (as we know them here in the U.S.) came up with this idea and they are wonderful!!

YAY! after many many years of trying, i finally developed a good home-made english muffin recipe, which DOESN;T require cooking in a frying pan.

I used the recipe for "no knead bread" because it gave me the holes and chewiness that i recognized in good english muffins. I looked on the one remaining package of thomas' muffins in my freezer that i've been hoarding since my last trip to the states, and the ingredients list had milk and corn syrup that the bread recipe didn;t have.

So I substituted the water with half scalded milk and half cold water, mixed with a couple of tbsp corn syrup (i went by taste here, i'm approzimating).

after the 18 hour rise, i folded with flour, no cornmeal, let rise again, then made balls of dough with more flour, and laid them on a cookie sheet covered in cornmeal.

meanwhile heated oven to 450, with two heavy cookie sheets in it.
Covered muffins with a cloth. let rise about half an hour, till puffy and till my finger left an indentation.

then i put a sheet of parchment paper on one hot cookie sheet, laid the muffins on it, sprinkled the tops with cornmeal, rested another sheet of parchment paper, and then the other hot cookie sheet.
cooked about ten min, took off top sheet, turned over muffins, returned top cookie sheet and cooked another ten min (bottoms and tops became perfectly golden brown.

Just ate one, fork split and toasted with butter and home made jelly.

My notes: I made each muffin 2 oz. and came out with 14. With my rinky-dink oven, I found I needed to increase the initial bake time from 10 min. to about 14 and the 2nd to about 12.

These are absolutely wonderful and the texture is so like "Mr. Thomas' " muffins!!

Has there ever been a recipe so fun to play with????


an old cook, still learning new tricks!
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Old 02-12-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
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Those sound so good, thanks for the idea!

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Old 02-12-2007, 11:01 AM   #3
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I am confused about something. 1/4 teaspoon yeast. how can that be enough? the moomies buns call for 3 teaspoons. how does this rise or is it not supposed to?
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:13 AM   #4
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It works!! I'm afraid I can't give the whys - actually I hate baking/pastries, I'm a cook!! :) - but, the bread does rise and others have used between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp. yeast, but no more.
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