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A Day at the Beach and English Muffin Loaves

Every year around this time, there is a huge, two day arts and crafts fair out on Siesta Key [1], which is just a few blocks and a small bridge away from me. It’s affectionately called the Siesta Fiesta. All kinds of amazingly talented artists and craftsmen from all over the country congregate there, setting up booths to display their wares. Whatever you’re into, be it jewellry, paintings, sculpture, pottery, or handmade furniture, you will find it at the Siesta Fiesta. I love to go and walk around, take in the fresh sea air and shop like mad! That’s exactly what I did last Saturday.

The difference for me this year as opposed to past years, is that this time, I had a purpose. Now that I had my blog to think about, I was specifically looking for cool stuff that I could use for cooking as well as in my photographs. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet won the lottery, so I couldn’t buy everything I wanted to (and I wanted a lot!), but I did get some great stuff that I will be sharing with you, bit by bit, in the coming weeks.

My first find is the very thing that inspired me to make the recipe I’ve chosen for this post: English Muffin Loaves. Isn’t is beautiful? It’s a bread baking pot! This earthenware pot was crafted by Tom and Denise Chamberlain of Tom Chamberlain Pottery [2]in Brooksville, Florida.
Tom started out as a potter thirty-five years ago after a stint as an art teacher. His wife, Denise enjoys cooking and baking and believes the whole purpose of pottery is for serving great food. Together, they create beautiful, and functional pieces that are equally at home in the oven or on display. All of their pottery is available for purchase on their website.



I had to find something special to make in my little bread pot. The first thing I thought of was my one of my favorite things in the world, No Knead bread [4]. The problem with that was that I didn’t have any dough in the fridge and I didn’t want to have to wait a day for some to be ready. I wanted bread and I wanted it now! I remembered a recipe for an English muffin bread that I had seen months ago on Val’s site over at More Than Burnt Toast [5]. Val is one of my favorite bloggers and her recipes are always sure to please! I had made this bread before and loved it. It has a soft, fluffy and slightly chewy crumb, with just enough “nooks and crannies” to really suck in any topping put on it. Perfect!

Val’s original recipe [6]had grated cheddar cheese mixed into the dough. It also had a very short rising time, which meant I could be eating fresh, hot bread in just a few hours. I decide to leave the cheese out this time, because a) I wanted to be able to spread jam all over the warm bread; and b) because I didn’t have any cheddar and it was raining outside.
I baked Val’s bread in my cute little pot and it turned out beautifully. The top crust was, well…..crusty. The bread inside was divinely steamy and moist. I couldn’t have asked for a better recipe to try out in my new find. Thanks, Val!


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