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. These were great! I tried Bill S’s method above with a cookie sheet on top of the muffins with the lid of my cast iron dutch oven on top as a weight. I used peasant dough and sprinkled cornmeal on top of the muffins as well as under the muffins before the resting period (I let them rest about 1 hour before baking. Next time I will try removing the second cookie sheet for the last 5 minutes of baking. They were fabulous, but a little under-browned on the top this time.

    I know I will make these frequently – I love english muffins, but am always a bit disappointed with the texture of store-bought muffins (I often find them gummy). These had a far superior flavor, the texture was great, and they were amazingly easy. Can’t wait to try them with other doughs.

    Zoe and Jeff – Thank you for writing this book –my husband checked it out of the library for me last fall on a whim and I’ve had dough on hand in my fridge ever since. I gave several copies as Christmas gifts and my brother is now making your bread routinely too. I’m looking forward to the next book.

  2. WOW! I used the master recipe, and I don’t have the molds, so I just quickly shaped them into circles and dusted with cornmeal,They are fabulous!! Thanks for posting all of the tips on the website, my first two attempts were a little dissapointing, but then I realized that not only was I overhandling the dough, I didn’t let it rest long enough. I am trying the American Soft Sandwich bread next to try and win over my picky husband.
    I can’t beleive I’m this excited about bread :)
    Thank you Thank you for this wonderful book!

  3. Had to tell you of my English muffin adventure today. I made the light wheat recipe and used my muffin rings. So far so good. But I wanted to cook mine on the stove on a big griddle I have. All went well, until I tried to move the muffins to the griddle.

    I realized I would have to use a spatula to get them to the griddle and then wanted to remove the rings. Even though I had greased the rings the dough clung to the ring and I had these sheets of dough stringing down. It really was funny looking! So my English muffins came out funny shaped…but the flavor was good!

    Next time though I will just bake them in the oven as your recipe states! The 81 yr old I made them for started eating them before they were even transferred to his plate. It was the best birthday present I could think of to give him. He loves them!

  4. Hi Ezzie,

    What a wonderful gift! I’m sure he loved them no matter what the shape. I certainly would have too.

    The nice thing about doing them in the oven is you can leave them to rise on the tray and not have to move them.

    Enjoy and thank you for writing.

    Zoë

  5. I can vouch for the flavor even though I haven’t tried the recipe, because we made the pita bread and I rolled it a little too thick and I thought, hmm, this kind of reminds me of English muffins, wonder if they have a recipe for that. I think part of it is the bread texture.

    Re: baking in coffee cans, my mom and I used to make Easter bread in coffee cans, I am not sure about the coating on some cans.

  6. I tried the English Muffin yesterday. I used the light WW bread recipe.

    #1 : do I work the dough? or just roll it into a ball?

    #2 : if I wait the entire 30 min for cooling, then I miss out on the melted butter trick. We warmed them up in the toaster and they just got hard. ;-(

    #3: my tops and bottoms got hard…as if they were overcooked. OR? I followed the recipe 5 min each side. Is there something else I should do?

    Otherwise, the texture was fine. Looks perfect. I don’t have my forms so I just free handed them. Husband wanted more flavor like store brand. Will have to experiment.

    BTW – Jeff and Zoe, this is the first time that I have enjoyed making bread. No preservatives. The loaves last longer than store bought. I also found the book at the library, fell in love and bought it! Thanks!!

  7. Mary: Never work this dough, just form quickly into a ball.

    OK, don’t let them cool, you convinced me!

    Maybe try for a lower temp (check your oven temp)? for a softer result?

    Thanks! Jeff

  8. I made Laura’s citrus/orange marmalade and it did not set up. I read somewhere in my research of marmalade recipes that it could take up to two weeks for it to set. But no such luck. Does anyone have any suggestions or am I going to have to remake it adding a tad more pectin?

    Thriftyredhead

    • ThriftyRedHead: OK, Laura says…

      … if you’ve waited two full weeks, there was a probably too much liquid in the mix. Sometimes the fruit differs from batch to batch. Don’t add more pectin. Just take one jar, dump it into a pan and bring to a rolling boil and keep it there for a minute or two— you’re trying to boil off some of the liquid. See what the consistency looks like, and then refrigerate over night. If it looks about right, you can do this to the whole batch (and re-can, following USDA instructions for safe canning), or do this for each jar before you use it, then refrigerating. Jeff

  9. I have 2 tweens and a toddler. Speed and convenience is of the utmost. I paired the master whole grain recipe with the cooking technique for Eng. muffins from another popular flour site. Now I can have a small batch of whole grain muffins in pinch. I rolled out enough whole grain dough for inverting 4, 3″ diameter plastic drinking glass impressions. Returned unused dough to bucket. Let circles sit on cornmeal under a damp dish towel for 30 min, to settle/rise. Cooked in a cast iron skillet on cornmeal, stove top. 6 minutes aside. A little more work than using molds I don’t have, however much less effort than having to make 16 muffins at a time when following a traditional English Muffin recipe. Thumbs up! Soon I’ll try the tuna fish can idea to see if I can make more uniform shape muffins.

    • Kathy: This sounds like a great adaptation! Thanks for the suggestion, and so nice to hear that this works for you even though you sound very, very busy…

      Jeff

    • Hi Jennifer,

      It would be hard to maneuver in a Dutch oven but I suppose they could. You will end up with a harder crust on them if you use the lid.

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. I just made my first batch. I let them rest in a warm oven (warm setting on my oven) for 30 minutes. They did not rise to the top, but that didn’t really bother me. I placed a cookie sheet on top and then the lid of my dutch oven. Not sure it was neccesary since they didn’t rice to the top. Next time I will try it with nothing on top and see what happens. I let them cool on the baking sheet in case they didn’t cook all the way through. when they were less than lukewarm, I cut one open and saw a perfectly cooked muffin!!!! I love Alton Brown, but his recipe isn’t as good. I’m eating one right now. They are very chewy. I can’t wait till my husband gets home and he tries one. I wish there was a way we could post pics and show Zoe and Jeff our creations! Thanks for a great recipe! I LOVE your blog and your books.

  11. Hello,
    Your master recipe I make all the time……..have both of your books….LOVE THEM…one thing I can not figure out is how to used your dough in my pullman pan and it is 9″ pan for sandwich bread. Thank you.

  12. THANK YOU for all this help after introducing this great bread.
    I am hooked. I have forwarded your recipe and website to family and friends.
    Many blessings back to you.

  13. Oooh, I am making English muffins for the first time today. I had just enough of the Whole Wheat with Olive Oil dough left to make four muffins. They are resting on the counter right now and I will pop them in the oven in about 30 minutes…yum.

    Do you think it would work to turn the muffins over (keeping them in the ring) half way through the baking time to brown them on both sides?

    Thanks!
    Tara

  14. I ran across this site… and when I found the recipe.. 3 cups water to 6 cups flour.. had me intrigued.. so I made the bread today….. WOW was it great…… no eggs or milk. or oil ….. or sugar… amazing.. like sour dough bread. I could not resist adding a tablespoon sugar, for the yeast. Ha probably did not need it. I will buy the book now to expand the different varieties. Thanks for the very simple recipe. I had one I got over 50 years ago from a powdered milk hand out in a Home Ecomomics class in High School .. no boiling milk just use powdered milk. but this recipe is amazing….I had to rush off to an appointment .. made it left it in the sink with warm water on the bottom of the mixing bowl and a wet towel over the top…..When I got home 3 1/3 hrs later made up some clover leaf rolls and wow husband said make these again. Thank you thank you. Pat

  15. I just ordered a set of 8 english muffin rings from King Arthur and cant wait to make these english muffins. I remember years ago making them the old fashioned way for my sons and now with 8 grand-children I’m baking again on a daily basis.
    I also intend to try some of the healthy bread reciepes for making the english muffins..especially the carrot bread ones..they just sound yummy..I cant wait. Thank you Thank you

  16. The english muffin rings arrived yesterday and so far I have baked 22 muffins!!! The grandsons ate the first batch ( along with their dad aand mom) after school yesterday..I did manage to get 1/2 of a toasted one..absolutely wonderful..The oldest grandson came down today and said he wasnt allowed to go home till he got muffins..he left with 11..all we could fit in a bag..So I managed to hide 5 for me before he got here. They are wonderful and everyone loves them I never thought to use the rings for baking.
    I am so into BYOB this year!! Thank you both so much for this wonderful experience.

    • Linda: Wierd coincidence, my muffin rings arrived last week– I never did try Zoe’s recipe. This is the week… Jeff

  17. This morning I made a muffin for breakfast and I have so enjoyed the fact that I made it!! They taste so much better than the store bought ones. I think the possibilities are endless..I am so hooked on this way of baking breads..I bought a 25 lb bag of bread flour from Sam’s club..
    BYOB!!!!

    • Linda: FYI, re: Sam’s Club flour. Be sure you have unbleached white flour for the recipes that call for white flour. Otherwise the result will be too wet. Or, if you have bread flour, too dry. Adjust the water if needed, see the FAQ about that— click above. Jeff

    • Be very careful with buying flour in that amount. I did the same thing to find it went buggie on me. You have to use it fast. Can’t let it set around for two months. The funny thing was it wasn’t the bugs you normally see in flour. You know the black ones that you a see very easily. These you really had to look very closley the were very small and very light in color.

      • Hi Christine,

        You can store the flour in glass jars, with tight fitting lids or in the freezer to eliminate the meal bug issues.

        Thanks, Zoë

  18. I am absolutely in love with the entire book. I’ve made several batches with the master recipe and I recently did my first rye (so good!). I’ve recommended the book to everyone I know, and a good friend of mine is also now hooked. I just got English muffin rings and will be making them as soon as I can. I am also excited to conquer brioche for the first time. I just can’t say enough about how much I love this method. I have become completely bread-obsessed and I will never buy bread again!

    • Thank you Elise!

      We are so thrilled that you are baking so much bread! I can’t wait for you to try the brioche and all of the wonderful breads you can make with it!

      Enjoy and happy baking! Zoë

  19. I made the English muffins last night for the first time, with HBin5 master recipe. We ate them this morning as breakfast sandwiches, toasted with egg, turkey & cheddar (we have one of those all-in-one toasters… since we don’t make a lot of plain toast). Yum! I had to let mine rise a lot longer as suggested… I think the yeast in this batch may have been older as well. Even the next day, cold, they split easily with a fork. Thank you for posting the recipe!!!

  20. just made these with the boule dough master recipe, using a frying pan (because i only needed 2 and didn’t want to turn on the oven). didn’t even bother using english muffin rounds, just shaped them before letting the dough rest and put them in a pan on low for about 7 minutes per side.

    beautiful, amazingly good and almost as easy as the naan recipe!

  21. You don’t need molds to make english muffins, you just need a cutter to make them into rounds, or be skilled with a knife. The dough holds its shape just fine after being shaped. Those molds you are buying are not for english muffins, they are for crumpets, which use a batter and would go all over the place.

    I make english muffins all the time, and I’ve never used a mold. They turn out looking just like the ones in the store. Just roll out to 1/2″ thick, cut, let rise, and toss them in a skillet at medium heat for 6 mins on the first side, and 4 on the other.

    • Hi James,

      Thanks, I’m sure lots of folks will be interested in trying this method. I like the molds because mine tend to come out looking more like rounded buns without them, although the flavor is just as delicious.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  22. is it okay if i refrigerate the english muffin dough before i cook it?
    they were already in shape but i want to cook them in the morning..
    thanks :)

  23. My homemade english muffins were excellent. I used the buttermilk and light whole wheat doughs. I followed your baking directions but covered my molds with another greased tray weighted with a cast iron pan for the flat top. It was an absolute success. Adios store-bought english muffins. Love your books!!!

  24. I wonder….can you roll and cut these out and then store them in the freezer? Take them out the night before, put the in the fridge and then take them out of the fridge to let them rest in the morning for 30 min before cooking? I may have to experiment!

  25. It is interesting, I have been planiyg with muffins also although, I have been using vegetable to do this. I made a cabbage, carrot, potato muffin, last. For some reason, whether sweet or savory, it is better in muffin form.

    • Karri: Those capture and hold onto water, preventing dry-out. I would have guessed that’s an extra advantage for small breads, but can’t explain why it’s just better there.

  26. My daughter gave me the book for mother’s day. My youngest son gave me a bag of King Arthur Flour and my oldest son and his wife gave me 2 sets of the English muffin rings!

    Guess what I am baking today?

  27. I’ve already made two batches of these English muffins (I did them inside the oven with no molds, since I didn’t have them) and they have turned out SO DELICIOUS!!! I used the Master Recipe dough and can’t believe it’s just flour, salt, yeast, and water in the recipe! Thank you for posting this technique–it made it quick and easy to get such fantastic results. For the first time, I’m using Gold Medal Flour in a recipe (making some Brioche), and I can’t believe the difference just in mixing up the dough–the liquids incorporated effortlessly in the flour (usually, it’s a struggle to get the liquids incorporated in other flours I’ve used); I wouldn’t have guessed it truly made such a difference (but now I know better and am happily converted!). I’m so curious now to see how it bakes up–my crumb is usually a bit dense so I’ve been letting my bread rise for longer times, but I wonder how the Gold Medal will change that. Thanks again Zoë and Jeff for sharing all your hard work with us–I’ve never enjoyed bread so much!

  28. These were great with the master recipe, but I made them today with the buttermilk bread recipe from The New Artisan Bread in Five book and wow were they wonderful; they needed an extra five minutes to bake. With a cookie sheet on top of the ring molds, both sides are flat and they looked and tasted perfect with homemade eggs Benedict.

  29. I am such a fan. I’ve made bread in a bread machine for 20 years, and thought I was doing great. Than I ran into a group on FaceBook that were touting the wonders of your recipe, and I tried it. Oh my. Not only the best bread I’ve ever made, but also the easiest and most dependable. And now… this lovely English muffin recipe makes it that much better. By the way, to toast them, I first wrap them in plastic wrap and microwave for 15-20 seconds. This softens them. Then into the toaster on bagel setting, with the cut side of the English muffin facing out. They toast up beautifully without turning hard.

  30. I just discovered your book a month ago and have been baking bread like crazy, and everything has been fantastic. I grew up with English muffin bread – have you tried making this? How would you adapt this technique for a loaf?

  31. I’ve read that a small amount of rye flour in a dough will help keep breads fresher longer. Using baker’s percentages, about what percent rye flour should I try? I’m wild-guessing 10% rye + 90% white, or what would you suggest? Less? More?

    • A couple of tablespoons is enough to change the character, though I can’t vouch for the freshness question at that level. I do it for the flavor. If you push whole grains (rye or wheat) to 50% or more, then I’d agree, they seem to stay fresher longer. The hydration changes of course– when you do that.

      • Thank you, Jeff. It would probably be best if I started with a lower percentage of rye flour to give me a jumping off point for the English muffins and as you said, to check how the hydration is affected. We like rye, with or without the caraway, but so far I’m aiming for muffins with a mild flavor and mainly hoping to extend the freshness for a couple days or so. A “really” rye English muffin sounds like a natural next step – so good with eggs!

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