Hooray! It’s 2022 and hopefully a healthier, more normal year.
I keep saying I’m sick of the “new” normal…give me the old one, please!
However, to bring some normalcy back into my life, I’m happy to announce the winner of the 2021 Golden Spoon and it’s a doozy (as grandma used to say).
Since I am the only member of the nominating committee, judge and presenter of this prestigious/questionable award, I am happy to award this year’s honor to my daughter Wendy Pearigen for her English muffin bread.
Well, according to Wendy, it’s not “her” recipe, she got it from Katie Cavali (owner of Sweet Stuff in Buellton), so kudos to both of you.
“I’m not sure of the original name of this bread, but the taste is reminiscent of Thomas’s English muffins,” Wendy began. “I guess the name English Muffin Bread is more descriptive and appealing than Thomas Bread.” Adding, “I got this recipe from Katie Cavali and it’s been my ‘go to’ ever since.”
It’s easy and delicious – both welcome terms and ones I can vouch for.
Originally appearing in the Spoon last February, I’ve enjoyed it and done it many times. Still good out of the oven, but freezes well.
Wendy describes it like this: “It tastes like Thomas’ English muffins. I guess calling it ‘English Muffin Bread’ is more descriptive and appealing than Thomas Bread.
It’s good sliced and smeared with butter, super toasted with butter and it’s amazing like French toast. Adding, “with grade A maple syrup, must be grade A,” she insists.
If your New Year’s Eve plan includes throwing a party, why not have a soup bar? Prepare a pot or two, provide an array of accessories and invite your guests to get creative.
“The best thing about this bread,” she says, “is that it turns out the same every time. Regardless of my day, my mood, my patience, family chaos, weather, etc…you get the idea…it just doesn’t let me down.It mixes, it rises, it cooks, and it feeds my carb craving the exact same way every time.
And, she is right. This is a great recipe for anyone who loves to cook and for beginner bakers.
And, while you might call my awarding the Golden Spoon to my daughter nepotism, I call it good baking!
Without guilt and with pride, here is the winning recipe for 2021 (in Wendy’s words). Try it soon, you will be hooked.
ENGLISH MUFFIN BREAD
5-1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 packets of quick rise yeast
3 tablespoons of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
11 cups flour, yes eleven
After setting the oven to 350 degrees, I ask the strongest member of the family to get the Kitchen Aid. I fix the dough hook and pour warm water. I use almost hot water because my kitchen utensil mixing bowl is always quite cold. Then dump out the yeast and let the first two ingredients get to grips with the dough hook. After about a minute, I mix the salt and sugar. Finally, goes the flour, gradually. Continue the crochet dough part until the mixture is stretchy. It gets pretty stretchy.
To bake: I use four loaf pans. Mine are 8-1/2 by 5 x 3 inches. I spray them a little liberally with cooking oil spray. Then I divide the batter equally between the molds and let them rise to the top of the molds. Takes maybe about two hours. I always lose track because I get lost in my other 1,000 chores. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Brush the top with butter (Mom’s tip…just grab the cube and roll it up.) Pop it back in the oven for another 10 minutes and the MAGIC happens. Cool completely before slicing.
Note from Wendy: Cut yourself a piece or three and taste…it’s not really a test because it’s already perfect. Put three loaves in large Ziplocs and in the freezer. Yes, the freezer, the breads freeze beautifully and finally hide the one you’re already eating from the rest of the family.
And to the experienced baker, she advises, cooks who don’t need step-by-step instructions: Combine all ingredients, pour into four well-greased pans. Let rise until it reaches the top. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, brush with butter, bake another 10 minutes until golden brown and remember, it freezes well.
Tried and true, follow them and you can “eat” your beer any time of the day.
This year I add an extra, it will be the first time that I will call what I call the International Golden Spoon Award. So far, it’s mostly a local recipe that bears the title, but 2020 has brought two star dishes that should be recognized.
Mace and Nutmeg are more than relatives, they are essentially fraternal twins. Mace is the lace-like red covering of the nutmeg.