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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Have a biscuit cutter ready.
Preheat oven to 400 and have a sheet pan ready.
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.
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.
Finish the muffins in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack.
Split with a fork (if you use a knife you won't get the same nook and crannies effect). Store in a bag.
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.
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.
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.
*****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!
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.
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.
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?
@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! :)
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.
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!
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. :)
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. :)