The Easiest and Tastiest Homemade English Muffins!

english muffins

In case some of you have missed the memo, it is BYOB year! Bake Your Own Bread!! There are several food bloggers whose New Year’s Resolution is to bake all the bread they need and never buy a single loaf (see below for info!). This includes artisan boules, sandwich breads, sticky buns and even English muffins! These most popular breakfast muffins are a favorite in my house and yet I never make them. There are some things I perceive to be too much trouble to bake at home and shamefully never tried. The English muffin was among them. Oooops, I discovered today that they are so simple and really fast! I owe my family a big apology for not having tried this earlier. I have several of you to thank for this lovely discovery. The English muffin has been a most requested item lately and so here it is in all its simple glory:

english muffin

I started the experiment with our Master Recipe on page 25 of ABin5.  You can use just about any of the doughs in the book to come up with your own flavored English muffins. If you do this with a different dough you will need to alter the rest time (more time for whole grain breads) and baking temperature (follow the temperature for the dough you pick).

I bought a set of English muffin molds; I recommend that you buy two sets so you have eight of them.   We ate all of them in a matter of minutes and the boys wanted more! They will make great sandwiches, pizzas (like the ones I ate as a kid!) and are a fun alternative to the Bacon and Eggs in Toast I showed you a couple of weeks ago.

Grease the molds with oil or butter and set them on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat. Sprinkle the inside of the mold with a light layer of cornmeal.

If you have a kitchen scale weigh out 3 1/2-ounce balls of dough (about the size of a small plum) flatten them and place them in the mold.

english muffin

Loosely cover with wrap if your kitchen is very dry or drafty.

Preheat oven to 425° with or without baking stone. (adjust the temperature if you are using a different dough, follow the temperature in the book for that dough.)

You can also do this on a stove top griddle, as is more traditional, but I find baking them goes much faster and is a lot less effort!

english muffin

Allow to rest until the dough reaches the top of the mold, about 30 minutes.  (More time if you are using whole wheat dough.)

Bake for about 20 minutes. Do not use steam or you’ll end up with a crisp crust, which is not traditional for English muffins.

english muffin

Unmold the muffins and serve warm! As you can see when you bake them only one side is deeply browned and lightly coated with cornmeal. They will also be slightly rounded. If htis offends your sense of tradition then by all means do them on the stove top. Personally I didn’t miss any of that and the lack of extra work was perfect for a lazy Sunday morning! ;)

english muffin

Split the muffins with a fork to get that craggy crumb that is so perfect for holding lots of butter. They are wonderful with Laura’s Orange Marmalade from page 96 or the Kumquat Champagne Confit page 236!

Check out the BYOB bloggers started by Sandy at At the Baker’s Bench and consider joining them!

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others using one of the social sharing buttons above. Thanks, Jeff and Zoë

167 thoughts on “The Easiest and Tastiest Homemade English Muffins!

  1. The one and only time (so far) that I’ve made English Muffins were on a stovetop grill and I swore never again would I do that! It took FOREVER, not least because I only had a round griddle and could only do three at a time, and only had that many converted tuna cans anyway … Yours look MUCH easier!

    Still, at least I DID bake bread today. Two kinds, if you count the banana bread!

  2. I’ve been making these for about six months – mostly with the light wheat recipe. I’ve found that making them into balls then flattening with my palms and allowing to rise. I cook them in a 12″ nonstick skillet. 5 minutes on each side. They are incredible!!

  3. Hi, it’s me, Sandy, from At the Baker’s Bench! Thanks so much for the shout-out here. :)

    I’m so excited to see your English muffins, because they’re right at the top of my BYOB list! As soon as my English muffin rings come in, I’m so making these!

    Since I first opened my copy of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, months ago, I don’t think I’ve been without a tub of dough rising in my fridge, even when I’m working with other types of dough. It’s become my go-to staple for sandwich bread because there is no way to beat the convenience of this formula! (Just today, for example, I baked a double batch of light wheat boules ~ school lunch bread for Monday and Tuesday, if it lasts that long.)

    I’m in debt to you guys ~ this is a truly phenomenal development in bread baking.

    Cheers,
    Sandy

  4. I haven’t been able to find muffin rings after calling numerous places in San Francisco, Wm. Sonoma etc.. All I can find is graduated sets cutters, only 1 of each size, and I also found individual muffin cutters, very cheap, $1.00 each, but they are cutters, not molds and are very thin like cookie cutters. The store said that they would probably melt in the oven – is that true? If so, where can I buy molds that will go into the oven?

    Cutting the bottoms from the tuna cans sounds like an awful lot of trouble in order to get smooth edges.

  5. FOR JUDY … I saw the muffins on your site and want to try the ASAP. When you ‘pop’ them into the oven for five minutes, what is the oven temp?

    Thanks

  6. Oh! I didn’t know people had made a resolution like that!!!

    I haven’t purchased one bit of bread since buying this book. I have made hot dog buns, hamburger buns, scones, pizza, brioche, sticky buns, cinnamon sticks, bagels and churros… all with the recipes in that fabulous book!
    It’s my 7th month of not having to purchase a loaf of bread… at all!

  7. Hi Deb, I promise these are much easier than what you described! ;)

    Hi Caren, I’m doing WWW version tomorrow for breakfast too! Let me know how yours come out.

    Hi Ellen, The tuna cans will be a bit smaller, but I think it will work just fine! Great idea!

    Hi Judy, I just checked out your website and saw the muffins, they look fantastic! I may just try the stove top version yet. But these were SO easy!!! :)

    Hi Sandy, Thanks so much for the great BYOB idea, I bet you’ll get a lot more people inspired to do the same!!!

    Hi Ellen, Amazon carries them (at http://tinyurl.com/ckqpkh), as does Sur La Table. They are not that expensive. I paid $5 for a set of four rings.

    Hi Barbara, Thanks for the link!

    Hi Saundra, That is fantastic!!! :)

    Thanks everyone! Zoë

  8. Hi Ellen,

    Yes they are pretty thin. They are the same gauge metal as many cookie cutters, but the tops and bottoms are rolled over so as to make them more stable and sturdy.

    There are some available that are really heavy duty, but these seemed to get the job done nicely. I’ll let you know if they break after the second use! ;)

    Zoë

  9. Zoe – oh thank goodness you posted this! I have a huge container of dough and I’m just looking for stuff to make. Now, if I can just find these muffin molds in the next day or so I’ll be set.

    ps got my copy of the book today and loving it.

  10. Hi Gina,

    So many options for that bucket of dough! ;)

    You may find the muffin ring molds at any cooking store, but also I wonder if Target or a store like that might have them as well. We’ve attached a link to Amazon, but that may not be fast enough!?

    Zoë

  11. Perfect timing! Since I have been making the bagels regularly, I just thought this weekend that I should make English muffins. This is just the post I needed to see.

    Today, I’m making the oat flour batter for the first time and am eager to taste that bread.

  12. Nina – I think it was 350 – to tell the truth, I’ve made them complete on the stovetop and not put them in the oven and they were still great. Just lightly oil the pan, but them over medium heat and set the timer for 5 min per side. Delish!! You really DON’T need the rings – honest!!

  13. Hi Frank,

    I’d say they are 4-inch diameter.

    Hi Lu, Let me know what you think of the oat dough. It will make great English muffins as well!

    Thanks Judy, I’m going to try the muffins sans rings and see how it goes! ;)

    Zoë

  14. Zoe, what would happen if you placed another, weighted sheet pan on top of the tins as they bake? The concept is similar to pullman loaves, giving you a more traditional flat top. You could even grease and dust the bottom of the second sheet with corn meal. I’ve used top sheets ( across the sheet pan edge) to control the rise on puff dough vol-au-vent shells and it worked beautifully.

  15. I have not made these, but to those who asked about using tuna cans: yes, you can, with seemingly good results. I saw Alton Brown do it on his show. In fact, he seems to prefer recycling tuna cans to buying new molds.

  16. Hi Stephan, more ideas for all those buckets of dough! :)

    Hi David, I LOVE the idea and will try it. Today I flipped them at 10 minutes in the oven and got a nice color on both sides. Your idea may save the trouble of flipping?

    Thanks! Zoë

    Hi Anne, I’ll come check out what Alton does with his muffins. I like the idea of recycling!

    Zoë

  17. I first saw the ABin5 article in Mother Earth News, made some bread and loved it. I am waiting for a copy of the book from the library. My friend told me about the web site. I love everything about this concept, however I struggle with all the specialized equipment one seems to need for some of the recipes. Can you suggest alternatives occasionally? We live in a small town (pop. 1200) in the Middle of Nowhere, Illinois, and we do not have access to all the fine and fancy kitchen supply stores. Although one can purchase anything on the internet, our family is trying to shop locally, and in addition, it was our New Year’s Resolution to buy less this year, not more. I do not have a pizza peel, bread stone, or now, English muffin molds. I don’t mean to sound like a whiner, but a lot of us could do with some suggestions for substitute tools and/or methods. Did our grandmothers have a bread stone and English muffin molds? Looking forward to many more recipes . . .

  18. Hi prov31wannabe,

    Thanks for giving the bread a try! Read through the comments and you will see lots of great suggestions for alternatives to the English muffin molds!

    You don’t have to have a stone, but it does improve the crust. Try it on a cookie sheet first and you can always get a stone later if you want. Another option is to use unglazed terra cotta garden tiles (big ones!) and bake on those in place of the stone. They are much less expensive and work well. Just be sure to use unglazed.

    Thanks! Zoë

  19. I hope I’m not the only party pooper on here, who has a question. If this is the same master dough which is used for various types of bread, and you’ve baked the dough in rings instead of on a grill, havn’t you essentially just made a batch of buns? I thought english muffins had both a characteristic flavor and chewyness which only came about from a specific recipe and a specific method. If we just bake master bread dough in rings, how is this any different than say, a perfectly formed hamburger bun? I’m confused!

  20. Hi Kate,

    It is true that English muffins are generally made with a more enriched dough. In fact it is very similar to the buttermilk dough or challah.

    I was more trying to show a variation of how to form and bake the muffins, rather than the stove top method, which can be more labor intensive.

    I actually found the texture and taste of these muffins to be close to what I buy. The characteristic cornmeal adds a lot to the flavor.

    The truth is that you use the same method for hamburger buns, but eliminate the mold, so they will spread, rather than have flat sides and don’t use the cornmeal.

    Thanks! Zoë

  21. That’s great to know they are similar to the real thing… thank you very much. Just bought this book and can’t wait to crack it!

  22. hi zoe this is off the muffin subject but i just wanted to ask about kaiser rolls? i tried making some with the master dough it came out nice and crisp but i didn’t get the exact shaping i was after. (i shaped according to the method in the book “the village baker”) im always looking for creative and fancy ways to shape dinner rolls. if you could post some examples that would be lovely.thanks

  23. For years I’ve used Alton Brown’s English Muffin recipe (and loved it). It’s a great hit with all my friends. But since your bread recipe is so easy I’m going to have to try this one.

  24. Dear Zoe,

    I made a pizza tonight like those we bought in France. It was
    sooooooo good! I used the last of the Vermont Cheddar cheese dough I
    made last week and used all the rest to make a slurry for the next
    batch which was a version of sour dough. I’m not sure it will be
    good, but I made it with 4 oz beer and 2 T. of white vinegar. It
    grew like normal and I refrigerated and will check tomorrow. It
    smelled like the vinegar which I won’t like if it ends up smelling
    that way. The English muffins came out good, but didn’t rise as much
    as I expected. The inside was good and full of crumbs.

    Onward and upward. I have decided that I do as well using a basic
    mix and adding things like spices and cheese to make specialty breads
    as I want. It’s not sensible for me to add those ingredients to a
    whole batch as I make only small loaves. It’s so easy to add and the
    cheddar cheese had such a mild taste. I had to tell people it was
    included.

    The brioche made wonderful bread and rolls. It is worth a batch.
    There are so many uses for it. I also have an empty container ready
    for something in it. It calls to me, so I must figure out a dough
    for it. I may make the olive oil dough, but it will be used so much
    like the master recipe, so I’m not sure.

    Any suggestions?

    Pat

  25. Hi Pat,

    Your pizza sounds amazing!

    I’d suggest you try the rye bread if you haven’t made it yet. I love to roll lots of raisins and walnuts into the dough before I bake it.

    I also love the olive oil dough. It will behave very much like the master, but it has that extra flavor and richness from the olive oil. it makes great pizza!

    The Peasant bread is also a fantastic all-purpose dough and adds a bit of whole wheat and rye to the flavor.

    I’ll stop there! :)

    Have fun, Zoë

  26. Hi – another thing to try – we are loving this whole concept – I’ve done pizza, round bread, long bread, cheddar cheese bread to go with pea soup (I didn’t have it mixed in – just flattened the dough into a rectangle and sprinkled with cheddar cheese – rolled into a jelly roll then rolled in on itself so it was a circle and let rise – it did volcano out a bit but yummy ) and now look forward to the EM — one question — is there one of the recipes that you could put into a pullman loaf pan to have nice square pieces of bread for sandwiches…

    thanks a million times

  27. Zoe,

    I took your suggestion and made the rye and will give it a go. I have a plain loaf of it rising and will be prepared to review it soon!

    The ‘sourdough’ taste wasn’t much using the beer and vinegar. I may try again using an ale. And, it’s incorporating dough as slurry since I started 3 or more weeks ago.

    But, it is good as ever,

    Pat

  28. Hi Rho,

    I think the buttermilk loaf would do really well in a pullman loaf pan. I’d treat it just as you do other doughs, but let it rise longer, to compensate for the chilled dough.

    I’ve not made the pullman loaf with this dough yet so please report back when you’ve tried it! I’ll get a pullman pan and try it also.

    Thanks, Zoë

  29. Hi Pat,

    I think you will love the rye!

    I’ll be interested to see what you think of the ale. You didn’t find the flavor any different with the beer?

    Zoë

  30. I just want to understand if I should be expecting a different taste from these english muffins vs a piece of bread – are we talking just about the different shape here or actually a different taste?

  31. Okay, I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense, but yes they did taste different from the master dough baked as a boule. And just like an English muffin should. Perhaps it is just the psychological impact of the shape and the distinct cornmeal on the bottom. It is also that they are formed very thin and so they have the classic open crumb.

    You can certainly make this with a dough that is slightly enriched, such as the Buttermilk dough and have something that is even closer to the traditional English muffin.

    More than anything I wanted to show a variation on how to prepare the traditional muffin in a way that is much faster and amazingly tasty!

    Try it and let me know what you think!

    Thanks! Zoë

  32. yes! yes! yes! finally my book arrived can’t wait to try some new doughs especially the chocolate ive been waiting for that one. if i don’t have chocolate can i substitute some cocoa powder i’d like to try it right away and i don’t always have cooking choc on hand the eating choc never lasts long either.

  33. Hi Yabatil,

    So glad you got your book. I’m afraid that the chocolate bread would be a bit dry without the bittersweet chocolate ganache.

    Enjoy! Zoë

  34. I found the English muffins with a larger hole structure when I made them from an older dough, and they tasted a bit different, but it could have been my expectations. In any case they were good!

    Now, the Deli rye…it is much milder than what I expected and a good bread. I made muffins from it since that is what makes me a good tasting. I then made a small boule of it. It was good, mild and I can hardly wait to play with it as Zoe mentions. The taste is so mild that I will try mixing various fruits in it.

    Stay tuned!

    Pat

  35. Well, I’ve managed to convert a large portion of Whidbey Island, Washington to making fresh bread! Yippee! My latest yummy loaf was based on the Challah raisin turban. I chopped up apricots and craisins with cardomom and almonds and rolled them all into the turban. It was gone before it was cold!

  36. I made the english muffins with the oat flour dough. I made my own oat flour by putting 1 1/4 cups rolled oats in a blender till fine and that yielded 1 cup oat flour. Half way through the baking I flipped each muffin with its’ ring over so that they could brown on each side. They were delicious. Thanks Zoe!!!!!

  37. Love the book, and the basic recipe is my favorite!

    Can’t wait to try these muffins. I don’t have a silpat, so instead, should I use a silicone baking sheet or just line a regular metal baking sheet with parchment paper?

    Thanks for any help.

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