January 23, 2009

English muffin casserole bread / chocolate cake

I've been digging around in the old recipe box again looking for forgotten favorites that I haven't made in years. I found one that surprised me the first time I made it, 100 years ago, because it tasted exactly like its name — English muffin bread. When I made it last night I decided to convert it to whole grain and see if the taste would still hold up. It's still got the open texture and slight tang of an English muffin, and when you toast and slather a slice with margarine, well, yes, it's very muffiny. I think the unbleached version is closer to a true English muffin, but the whole grain is so much healthier, and really good. It's got that chewy, slightly spongy texture and vaguely sour flavor that English muffins are known for.

The original recipe was made in an electric mixer, but my mixer gave up its spot on the kitchen counter to the bread machine, and now resides in the basement. I was making the bread after a long day at work and didn't feel like hauling the mixer up to the kitchen so I beat it by hand with a wooden spoon. Honestly, its been so long since I've used this recipe, I couldn't say if not using the mixer made any difference in taste or texture. I'll give the original directions and let you choose whether to follow them or not. The recipe was cut from a magazine that I no longer recall, and was attributed to Lavonne Willard. If the author happens to see this, I apologize for stealing her recipe!

English muffin casserole bread
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (I use instant yeast)
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups white whole wheat or unbleached white flour, stirred well or sifted
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sucanot (evaporated cane juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cornmeal
  1. Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, salt, sugar in mixing bowl.
  2. Heat water until just warm.
  3. Add water to dry ingredients. Beat with electric mixer (see story above) at low speed for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed.
  4. By hand, add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  5. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease surface.
  6. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour. Punch down. Let rest 10 minutes.
  7. Grease a 1 quart casserole and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place dough in casserole and sprinkle top with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 45–60 minutes.
  8. Bake in hot 400˚F oven for 40–45 minutes, or until done.
  9. Remove from dish to cool. (You may have to loosen the sides with a knife.)

    Chocolate marshmallow cake from eat'n veg'n

    Since I'm on the subject of baking, might as well tell you about this cake. It's a recipe I got from this post. Considering that I have an underdeveloped sweet tooth, am not a chocolate addict and have never missed marshmallows, I can't explain my immediate fixation on this cake. From the moment I first laid eyes on its picture, I knew I had to have it. So the task of finding the ingredients became my mission. The challenge was Ricemellow, and no one in town carried it. I knew I could get it from Vegan Essentials* in Waukesha, but that's an hour away and I wasn't inclined to make the trip. My husband found a package of Sweet and Sara's vegan marshmallows at our local food coop and that's what I sliced and used.

    With my apologies to Diann and my huge respect for her cooking, here's what I changed. I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of AP flour. I used 1/4 cup of oil plus 1/4 cup of vanilla soy yogurt for the fat, and I reduced the sugar (sucanot) slightly to 3/4 cup. As noted above, instead of Ricemellow, I sliced several vegan marshmallows, and for the chocolate frosting I used about 1/4 cup of vegan chocolate chips, sprinkled over the hot marshmallow topping and swirled with a knife after they melted.

    Even with my changes, this cake was seriously addictive, and it didn't last long at our house. Much to my dismay and relief, my son gobbled it up before I had a chance to eat (a lot) more than I should. Bake the original version or this one for a delicious chocolatey indulgence. Thank you Diann!

    side note: Our food coop decided to carry Ricemellow and I now have a tub of it sitting in my pantry. As soon as I have a chance to try it, I'll post a review.

    *We visited their warehouse once. Whoa!


    1. Ooooh, Andrea, I love the changes you made to my recipe! I didn't even think about subbing in anything healthy, but your version certainly worked out.

      Now I will reciprocate by making your bread!

    2. They BOTH look so amazingly good!! I am going to have to get over this yeast phobia once and for all. (No chocolate/marshmallow phobia, thankfully). :)

    3. Well, Ricki, you can see that I've managed to get over my sugar/chocolate/marshmallow cream phobia. Maybe there's hope for you, too.

    4. Diann,
      I just loved your cake. I'm sure it was even better before the changes, but it was heavenly with them, too. Now I have to make it again with the Ricemellow that our food coop ordered for us.

      This bread has a similar appearance to the beer bread, but a very different taste. It's not my all-time favorite bread, but it's nice to have something different for a change.

    5. I cannot believe that cake on your blog. It's like.... two things that you would never think would go together. (That cake + your blog, not marshmallows + chocolate!!!!) If I ever get a craving for that kind of thing, now I know where to go to find a recipe :) What a perfect day for this kind of baking. I think I'll try that bread; it sounds like comfort food to me.


    6. Now, now, Claire. The Ricemellow is made mostly from brown rice syrup, and the few other ingredients don't look so bad. It's nothing like real marshmallows, or even vegan ones. (And it's gluten free!) If you come for dinner I'll make you that cake. If you invite us to your house for dinner, I'll bring it!

    7. drat! I just used up all of the Ricemellow I received the other day. oh, the sweet torture.

    8. Those tubs are just too small!

    9. That bread looks really interesting. The ingredients look akin to regular wheat bread, what do you think makes it have that English Muffin vibe?

    10. I don't really know why these are muffiny. There's about twice the yeast I normally use. You beat the batter rather than knead it. The dough is very soft with a higher than normal ratio of liquid to dry. There's no fat. Any or all of these things are probably responsible!

    11. Hi,
      I recently started a cheesecake recipe web site and I am trying to gather as many different cheesecake recipes as possible. I just added a vegan cheesecake section but I really don't know much about vegan baking. Have you ever made vegan cheesecake and how did it turn out? I'd be interested in a little feedback so I can at least have a reference to whether they turn out.

      Thank You,



    12. Debbie, yes I've made vegan cheesecakes and yes, they turned out. Some were much better than others. I hope you are testing the recipes or are having other people test them for you before you post them! I never post a recipe on my blog that I haven't tried first.

    13. This is a very interesting dish! I would love to try this one. The bread really looks delicious.


    Thanks for visiting Andrea's easy vegan cooking. I love, and read, all of your comments! Please share your thoughts.

    There are a few Amazon links in the posts. Thanks in advance if you click on one.

    Note: ALL THE IMAGES FROM THIS BLOG WERE ACCIDENTALLY DELETED ON 1-21-12. I'M RESTORING THEM, POST BY POST, BUT IT WILL TAKE A LONG TIME. Recipe pages you visit may be missing photos, but all the text in intact. If you find a post without images, let me know so I can fix it. Thanks!