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!

Pin It

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

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

  1. I just made some tonight. Excellent and I especially loved the ‘nooks and crannies’.

    My only problem was that it took about an hour and a half for them to raise to about 3/4 of the muffin ring. I covered them with plastic wrap and ended up putting them next to my wall heat vent. Even though they didn’t rise to the top of the muffin ring, they were still thick enough. Other than that, I will be making them again and again.

    Thanks.

  2. Hi,
    Quick question, I just can’t quite tell from your book if you are supposed so slash the tops of the loaves 20 minutes before you put them in the oven and just the second before you put them in the oven.

  3. I inadvertently made these tonight for dinner, and they were excellent. I decided to make my 1 day old Master Dough into rolls to go with soup. Let them rise for probably an hour and a half. Brushed tops with water. Slid them on the stone with cornmeal and baked as usual. As we were eating them we looked at each other – “These are just like toasted English muffins” (I did use steam to get a crust, which gave them the toasty flavor). Then I remembered this article…we weren’t crazy.

    They really were English muffins, same crumb, same flavor. It must come down to the bread:cornmeal ratio. They did taste different from the loaves I usually make.

    Anyway, really excellent, and the Master Dough really can taste like good English muffins. Awesome!

  4. Thanks Michelle,

    I know it seems crazy to think that it would take different form the boule, but it really does. Thanks for backing me up on this! :)

    Zoë

  5. I made these English muffins using the Master Dough recipe. I am now experimenting with adding grains, something similar to the bread I had in Sweden last year (will post when successful!) Oh..and I used mini spring form pans I got from Amazon.com (removing the bottoms) instead of muffin pans to make a bigger muffin!
    I, too, am baking all the bread I can this year!!!

  6. hihi, as a rookie baker.. never used the mixer till I got this book ! The bread is good….. but OH sticky mess to the fingers! worse than mud pies!paper mache`!….. is this normal? how would you shape all these yummy things with stuff this sticky and messy. So far Im lucky to plop it on the pan for a peasant loaf. Then wash 1/2 of it down the sink from my hands. Its good…. but messy… What am I doing wrong? ~K

  7. Got Eng Muff rings from Amazon – very reasonably priced: 8 rings for less than $8. Made english muffins this morning from bran-enriched master recipe – tasty, but did not really taste like english muffins although sliced open and toasted, with butter and raspberry preserves, what could be bad! I am definitely not complaining, but will try a softer more enriched dough nex time. I keep baking up a storm and have not bought a loaf since mid-Dec!

  8. Raquel: thanks for doing the experiments, keep us posted.

    Karyl: Yes, this is normal, but maybe use a little more flour for dusting as you work with the dough. Try not to incorporate it… most will fall off. You don’t want lumps of flour encased into the dough mass.

    Any chance you’re using bleached flour? That doesn’t absorb enough water. If no explanation, just use about a quarter-cup more flour in the recipe next time.

    Amy K: Thanks for trying all this stuff. Lots of difference of opinion on the flavor of these muffins, but as you say, most people are liking them, whatever they are!

    Jeff

  9. You don’t need to buy the set of ring molds. It’s cheaper to just repurpose an empty metal coffee can (which has about the same dimension as those ring molds) and cut out both bottoms.

  10. Forgot to add that I just use the coffee can to cut out the muffins. And, check out the recipe that uses the cider vinegar at thefreshloaf.com. This tastes almost exactly the same as the Thomas english muffins that you find in the bread section at the grocery store. If you look at the ingredients list, you’ll see that vinegar is listed there.

  11. Thanks for the tips Lola. I can’t vouch for the food safety of the coffee cans when heated– some cans have an odd synthetic inner layer. Anyone have any experience or resources on this? Jeff

  12. We love homemade english muffins! My husband has been making them for me for years, but they’ve never been this easy. Things are about to change…thanks!

  13. Jeff, I was trying to figure out the coffee can, too. Then I read Lola’s next post. She’s just using the coffee can as a cutter for the muffins, not to cook in.

  14. I made English muffins a few months ago and free-formed them. They came out great but really didn’t look like English muffins. After trying many cans including tuna cans (they now have rounded bottoms that you can not get off without cutting), I gave up and ordered them from KA Flour site. Can’t wait to try your recipe for them!

    I just bought the book yesterday after making several loaves based on your video…great sales tool!

  15. I have made the English muffins three times now with exactly the same results.

    They come out fairly thin and flat, like a deflated hucky puck. They do taste good.

    My molds are the same size as your’s, 4″, and I have let them rise from 30 -45 min, but they only rise to a less 3/4 of the mold. They do puff up a little during baking, but are still not to the top of the mod. I like to toast the muffins, but the two sides are too thin to do that. What am I doing wrong???

  16. I’ve been making english muffins with the boule dough for about a year. I just form them as for rolls and let them rise on a floured silpat with no mold. Then I cook them five at a time in a big Lodge cast iron pan (~$15). Normally I would make 2/3 of the dough into loaves, then the rest into muffins for the week. So it wasn’t really that bad to cook them in the pan, and then you get a form that is closer to the standard one. Another thing I did was to use a bit higher heat on the stovetop, flip them sooner, but then finish them off in the oven on the stone with the loaves, which would already be in there.

  17. I can’t wait to give this a try. Both hubby and I adore English muffins, but I have been reluctant to try a traditional recipe. This looks to be easy and should give us plenty of muffins for the weekend.

  18. Nina: You’re getting decent rise, why don’t you just fill them a little higher? That will mean more than the amount we called for. Are you using a whole grain dough (that will take a longer resting time, more like 60 to 90 minutes).

    Holly: Thanks for the tips.

    Jean: Let us know how it goes!

  19. II am using the Master Recipe for the Englsh Muffins. I guess I could use more, but than I am cutting into the dough for another full sized loaf.

    Mine are maybe 1/2″ or less. I guess I’ll just keep trying. Thanks

  20. Any changes for the stovetop method ? Where do you let them rise? In the pan? then how do you preheat the pan?Cornmeal on bottom of pan before preheating….lots of little questions. Did baking with a second tray on top work? Sounds easier!Love the book!-Sue

  21. In reading about your English muffins I noted that several people mentioned making hot dog or hamburger buns. I was planning to try making them, but wanted a softer crust. I was thinking about not using steam and perhaps baking at a lower temperature. Any thoughts?

  22. Geoff– both are good suggestions, but also consider brushing with butter or oil just before baking. That can’t miss to keep a soft crust.

  23. I just stumbled across your website after buying the book this weekend. We grind our own wheat as we live 65 miles from the closest grocery store and it is easier to store whole grains in quantity. Do you think this recipe will work well using freshly ground Prairie Gold wheat (high protein/hard spring red/good for bread baking)? We’ve made English muffins in the past but quite as I couldn’t keep up with the demand with 3 growing boys (2 teens and one 9 yr old.) I love the book by the way even though I haven’t made any bread as of yet. We just finished the last loaf in the freezer so today needs to be a bread baking day. We are going to try out the German brotchen recipe to see how it compares to childhood memories!

  24. Peggy: Welcome to the site. Sounds like it’s whole wheat, which can’t be substituted 1 for 1 with the unbleached all-purpose we specify throughout the book. You have a higher-protein (hard) flour that I assume is 100% whole wheat. You certainly can make the 100% WW recipe that we have in the book, as well as using your flour wherever we specify commercial WW. But if you try to substitute it 1 for 1 for unbleached AP, your result will be too dry. You’d need to increase the liquid. Another thing you might like is to start using vital wheat gluten. Tips on this at http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=142. Also check out http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=140.

  25. Hi Jeff & Zoe!

    Immediately upon purchasing the book, I found the English muffin recipe on the website. We made our first batch over the weekend, and they’re wonderful!

    I wanted to share a suggestion. In an effort to replicate the look of English muffins prepared on the stove top. We’re huge sandwich fans, so I have a hand-held cast-iron sandwich iron. When the muffins went into the oven, I put the iron on top of one of the muffins as an experiment. To my delight, while the other three muffins had a dome top like the prior batch, the muffin under the sandwich iron filled in the ring, and when removed from the oven, had a perfectly flat and slightly browned top, just like the bottom! Since we only have the one sandwich press, I’m going to experiment by placing a cast-iron pan or perhaps another cookie sheet on top of all the muffins while cooking, and perhaps with the sandwich iron on top for weight. We’ll see!

    Thanks again for an amazing resource!

  26. Hi Bill,

    Thank you for the suggestion! Did you preheat the iron or just put it in cold? I want to try it.

    Thanks so much! Zoë

  27. As a several notches below a bread-baking neophyte, I was excited by your video and decided to try the master recipe. It is rising now in prep for molding and baking…I can’t wait to see how it comes out. My husband used to bake (sourdough, dill bread) but physical illness and ennui put a stop to that. I hope he will get interested again, as he is the master baker (or was) in our house. I am ordering your book today.

  28. I will have more substantive questions later, but for now…what’s a silpat? Also, any idea of the calories in the peasant bread?

  29. Marilyn: The silpat is a flexible silicone mat that you can bake on. We like one rated to 450 degrees F: http://www.amazon.com/Silpat-2-Inch-Nonstick-Silicone-Baking/dp/B00008T960?&camp=212361&linkCode=wey&tag=arbrinfimiada-20&creative=380725

    The peasant bread is mostly white flour so it’s going to be close to the caloric content of white bread. Whole grains don’t have a calorie advantage over white flour, but they contain nutrients that are helpful.

  30. I just mixed up the WW sandwich bread fdor the first time. It is not nearly as wet as the other breads I have tried (and loved!). Did I do something wrong (followed the recipe exactly) or it supposed to be stiffer–almost like dough that you knead?

  31. I made it about halfway through these comments before I ran into the kitchen to roll out some dough for some english muffins! I used the master recipe (replacing 2 1/2 cups AP flour with WW). Rolled it out to about 1/4 inch and cut with a large glass. I let it rise for 1 hour, coated with corn meal then placed on a lightly oiled skillet for about 5-7 minutes each side. Turned out perfect. Last night my boyfriend told me I have “ruined him for life” for store bought bread :)

  32. Hi Zoe:

    Thanks so much for your response. We didn’t warm the pie iron beforehand. However, my girlfriend tried a new method. We made a batch of eight English muffins, put them in the oven to bake, and then my girlfriend put another baking sheet on top of the rings, and then put the pie iron on top of that, but only for the weight. All eight muffins came out flat and nicely brown on top and bottom.

    Thanks so much!

    Best regards,

    Bill (also from Vermont)

  33. I tried English Muffins again last night and they were wonderful, but I have a question about their crumb. They had a good open holed crumb near the edges, but the center was dense. Does that mean they were allowed to rise for too short a time, or does it mean they didn’t bake long enough?

    I’m also trying some made from the granola dough. How will that work?

  34. Pat: My guess is that a slightly longer rising time might help.

    I’m also guessing that the granola will be too dense for this kind of preparation, but I could be wrong!

  35. Could the English muffins be made w/ the recipe for the Kaiser rolls? I’m anxious to try both and don’t have a lot of room in the fridge!

  36. I did make the granola muffins and they were dense, but tasted great. My friend, the caterer had a fit about their flavor and declared they needed nothing but a bit of butter, so she was most pleased.

    I’ve quit using the rings as I find them not critical if I make a small roll and flatten it.

  37. Hi Barbara,

    That is exactly the dough that I used, it works beautifully!

    Hi Pat, they sound great! I’m with your friend, add butter to everything! :)

    Thanks, Zoë

  38. Well, she runs a B&B too, and she declared they would please those who want a cereal based b’fast and those who wanted to avoid the Jam or Jelly calories. And, get a fruit to boot!

    Y’all have brought a new age to all of us! Thanks!

  39. I was made crazy today…

    I didn’t have enough AP flour to make a basic dough, so I took a flying chance and made one instead doing some things I’d thought about. I took 4 c. AP, 2 c. whole wheat, 2 c. Guiness draught beer and 1 c. Hot water, dissolved 1 1/2 T yeast, 1 T. salt, and about a cup of old basic dough and forgot that I’d decided to use 1 c. rye flour. Mixed the whole thing up after making a flurry of the old dough and the first six ingredients and poured that into the Kitchen Aid bowl and added flours. Mixed as usual and let it rise. It didn’t seem as lively as usual, so figured I’d gone too far with my experiment, but kept the faith. What did I have to lose? After the initial 2 hours, I was impatient to see the result, so I took a small boule’s worth and let it rise about 40 minutes (used rye flour to work it) and then slashed it and baked it 35 minutes.

    I thought it was a bit dry, so I added about 2 T. beer and now I think it’s a bit wet, but forms great with a bit of flour to make out.

    It is amazingly good! I like the taste (still not true sour dough enough) but the crumb is amazing! It’s taste is good, but a bit different as you’d expect. But, IT WORKED so far. I’ll keep testing it as time goes on. I had no idea if I’d messed too much with the chemistry, but apparently not.

    I emailed Cheryl who immediately pointed out to me how funny I was to have picked today to try the Guiness. I’d totally missed that point, but maybe St. Pat helped me.

    I’m amazed at how flexible this recipe is. I truly expected this to be a failure, but I don’t think it is. Rolls should be great from it. I’ll update as the week or so go along and let you know if it keeps okay.

    Happy St. Pat’s day, all,

    Pat

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>