English Muffins

English Muffins

It’s English Muffin Week at Alaska from Scratch! Every post this week will feature the ever-popular household bread, beginning with a tried and true from scratch recipe for basic English Muffins.

English Muffins

I’ve tried a few homemade English muffin recipes since moving to Alaska and I’m pleased to announce after months of experimentation that I’ve landed on one that is good enough (nay, great enough) to share with all of you, full of all those airy nooks and crannies we all hope for. If you take a gander at the dough (pictured above) you can spy many large air bubbles. That’s exactly what you need to achieve perfect, classic English muffins.

English Muffins

The trick is to take that sticky, loose, airy dough and dust it enough on both sides with flour and cornmeal to just be able to work with it. Pat it out very lightly so as not to lose all of the all of the nook and cranny magic. No kneading at all. Cut them with a biscuit cutter and place them directly into a hot skillet.

English Muffins

Then, just watch the wonder of it all as the muffins puff up beautifully and turn crisp and golden on both sides. Give them a quick finish in a 400 degree oven to make sure they’re cooked through and then split them with a fork…

English Muffins

English Muffins

The appearance and texture of these muffins is just like store-bought, but they taste even better, with that fresh, homemade bread taste you can’t buy. Toast them well until they’re golden and crisp then get some butter melting into those little crannies pronto. Jam or honey optional. Stay tuned all week for even more ways to use your homemade English Muffins.

English Muffins

Yield: one dozen muffins

English Muffins

Adapted from Michael Ruhlman

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups milk, warmed to about 110 degrees
  • 1-½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 cups flour (fluffed, loose cups of flour as opposed to pressed and leveled off)
  • 1-½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder dissolved in 1tablespoon of hot water
  • cornmeal and flour for dusting

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, stir melted butter, sugar, and warm milk together until sugar is dissolved (I stirred this by hand with a spoon, not with the dough hook). Add yeast and beaten egg and stir to combine.
  2. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the milk mixture, followed by the salt and baking powder/water mixture. Knead with the dough hook until a sticky, elastic dough forms, being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Dough is meant to be loose and sticky; you may be tempted to add more flour, but don't.
  3. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 90 minutes - 2 hours. The dough should be well-risen and full of air bubbles.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Have a biscuit cutter ready.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 and have a sheet pan ready.
  6. Dust your work surface generously with cornmeal and flour. Gently pour your risen dough onto the work surface, being careful not to knead or stir. Dust top of dough with cornmeal/flour until it's not sticky. Gently pat the dough out into a circle about 1-1.5 inch thickness. Use the biscuit cutter to cut your muffins. Carefully pick them up and place them promptly into the hot skillet.
  7. When the muffins are golden and firm on the bottom, after 2-3 minutes, flip. Cook another 2-3 minutes, then transfer them to the baking sheet. Continue cooking muffins in batches.
  8. Finish the muffins in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
  9. Split with a fork (if you use a knife you won't get the same nook and crannies effect). Store in a bag.

Notes

Although you can finish the muffins completely through on the stove, I found that some of my muffins became too dark on the outside before being cooked through. This is why I recommend a quick finish in a hot oven.

The muffins freeze nicely if you'd like to make extra for another day.

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English Muffins

28 comments
MarkStanton
MarkStanton

I'm sorry to ask a silly question but I'm very new at this baking game and have a lot to learn:  did you use instant dry or active dry yeast or doesn't it make a difference?  And do you need to let the yeast proof? I am having company this weekend and would like to impress everyone with my (as my kids say) mad baking skills.

Linda W
Linda W

 I followed recipe to the letter and ended up with a soupy mess poured out on work surface!!!!

SharonThomas
SharonThomas

I've been looking for a simple but good recipe for english muffins for quite awhile. I'm wondering if this could be done in a bread machine? I don't have a stand mixer and with arthritis in my hands, this might be tad difficult.

Leah Marshall
Leah Marshall

*****5 stars!***** These English muffins are fabulous! Your instructions and photos made these home-made yummies super easy. They were in instant hit in my household. We made breakfast sandwiches and pizzas with them. I'll never store-buy them again! THANK YOU!

Erin Malone Ferguson
Erin Malone Ferguson

Thank you so much! You have managed to help me earn 5 stars with this recipe! When I tried the recipe, it was to make egg breakfast sandwiches but since the kids love them sooooo much - I guess it's going to be English muffin pizzas! So easy to make, and followed directions and ended up with a perfect product.

Michelle
Michelle

I have been eyeing this recipe for awhile now, waiting for the day I had enough time and motivation to try it. WOW. These ARE better than store-bought (and look just as good too!). I thought I was messing up the whole time, but in the end they looked perfect. Much easier than I anticipated and forgiving. I live at a high altitude so a couple of notes:

1. I did add a touch of flour, maybe about a 1/4 cup--maybe less, just guessing (sorry, I know you said not too, but experience told me my altitude demands it ;). 2. Also, due to altitude, I kept mine in the oven a couple of minutes extra. 

Thanks for the recipe!

Susan
Susan

I have just stumbled onto your website and recipe for English Muffins.  My dough was more of a batter consistency--cake batter, pancake batter etc.  Is that what you mean by loose and sticky, or should it be less runny?

Jenna
Jenna

Could you use whole wheat flour for this(I'm allergic to a by product of the bleaching process)? Also, I'm in love with your blog and you just got yourself a brand new blog stalker haha.

Mrs Wyant
Mrs Wyant

This is the first time I tried to make english muffins, and they turned out great.  My husband says we won't be buying them anymore.

jana
jana

my son is allergic to eggs...what would happen if i'd leave the egg out?

SG
SG

can I scoop the dough into cups and bake in ovens, instead of heating over skillet?

Rana
Rana

should the flour be bread flour (high gluten) or all-purpose flour?

Debra Kapellakis
Debra Kapellakis

Oh, WOW, I haven't seen or eaten English Muffins in about 20 years. I can't wait to try this recipe. thank you

audrajoy
audrajoy

Just made a batch tonight. DELICIOUS! I have been looking for an english muffin recipe and this one nails the spot!

Aukse
Aukse

These look so delicious! I might give them a try. :)

Mrs Wyant
Mrs Wyant

@Linda W I use only whole wheat flour, (a little more dense that white) and added a little extra flour (but still sticky). cut into circles and then fried it.  Hope this helps.

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

@SharonThomas Hi Sharon, although I've never tried this dough in a bread machine, I suspect that this recipe could work well on the dough setting, as long as your machine has enough capacity... it does rise up a good amount and it is 4 cups of flour. Please come back and let me know how it turns out for you, as I'm sure other readers would love to know the same thing! :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

@Leah Marshall You're very welcome! Thank you so much for letting me know how well these turned out for you! hope you enjoy for years to come. :)

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

Pancake batter is probably just slightly too loose. I'd add another 1/2c of flour or so until it's just slightly more doughy. You want it to be quite loose to achieve those big pockets of air, which creates those beautiful nooks and crannies. :) Hope this helps! Let me know how they turn out for you. 

alaskafromscratch
alaskafromscratch moderator

You could certainly try it (it would probably take less wheat flour than white flour as called for in the recipe). Also, I'd add a little honey to the recipe if I was making wheat. :) My concern with all wheat is that it will be heavier and may not rise as well and not achieve the same nooks and crannies (perhaps a longer rise time would help with that). But the flavor should still be good. Hope this helps. Let me know if you try it! 

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

It may alter the texture a bit, but I suspect the muffins would still turn out pretty well. Or perhaps try an egg substitute? I haven't tried this myself, so if you do try it, I'd love for you to come back and let me know how it goes for you! Thank you for your question. :)

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

Thank you for your question. The method you have suggested would alter the shape and texture of the English Muffins. If you try it, let me know how it turns out, but I would recommend sticking with the traditional method if you want classic English Muffins. :)

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

I used unbleached, all-purpose. Hope the English Muffins turn out well for you!

Alaska from Scratch
Alaska from Scratch

Happy to hear it! I suspect you might also like tomorrow's English muffin breakfast offering. Just a hunch... :)