Cooking With Confidence
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Breads, Breakfast/Brunch, Economical, Healthy

Homemade English Muffins

by Nick

NOTE: This is an update to a post I originally posted in 2009. The recipe is updated based on a suggestion from a reader (Thanks Jocelyn!). This recipe is much better than the original thanks to more liquid in the dough. The finished muffins are rustic and have lots of holes and crags like an English muffin should.

Sometimes the reason why I make things is because I can’t find them in the store. Last weekend I really needed english muffins for a brunch I was making and the local store didn’t have any so I decided to make some. How hard could it be? Turns out it isn’t that hard.

English muffins also stack nicely!

English muffins are very similar to a lot of other bread items. The real difference is the method of cooking.

Yield
6 muffins
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Homemade English Muffins

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces (2.25 Cups) unbleached bread flour
  • 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or milk)
  • Cornmeal for forming and dusting
  • Spray oil for cooking

Directions

1) Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix that all together and then stir in the butter.

2) Add in the buttermilk or milk to form a very loose dough.

3) Dip your hand in water and sort of using it like a dough hook to mix the ball of dough even more. After a minute or two of that, knead the dough until it passes the windowpane test, probably about 10 minutes.

4) Set this dough in a clean bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes.

5) Once the dough has fermented, cut it into six pieces.

6) Work with wet hands and take one piece of dough. Shape it into a round about 4 inches in diameter and place it on a baking sheet heavily dusted with cornmeal so the muffin can hold its shape.

7) Repeat until you have six muffins, dust them all heavily with cornmeal on top, cover them with a damp towel and let them rise for another 90 minutes.

8) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

9) Get out the largest pan or griddle your own and spray or wipe it with oil. Turn your stovetop on medium-high heat and get the pan hot. Spray some oil (or wipe some oil) in the pan.

10) When the pan is hot, put each muffin down without letting them touch. The dough will spread out and start to puff up.

11) Cook them on the first side for 5-6 minutes. When they are a medium brown, give them a flip.

12) Cook them 5 minutes on the other side and then transfer them immediately to a sheet pan in the pre-heated oven.

13) Cook them in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Then let them cool for at least 30 minutes.

The first mixing

The Dry stuff.

The Dry stuff.

Stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix that all together and then stir in the butter. Honestly, I just used my hands to mix in the butter, but you could use a mixer if you wanted to get all scientific. Then add in your milk until the dough forms a ball. I used buttermilk and needed about 1 1/2 cups to get to the right consistency.

The dough should be very sticky.

Sticky stuff.

Sticky stuff.

I use Reinhart’s tip of dipping my hand in water and sort of using it like a dough hook to mix the ball of dough even more. After a minute or two of that, knead the dough until it passes the windowpane test, probably about 10 minutes. Set this dough in a clean bowl that has been lightly oiled. Cover and let ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes.

Shaping the muffins

Once the dough has fermented, it will be very loose and stretchy.

Stretch!

Stretch!

When you are ready to make the muffins, get your hands wet so the dough doesn’t stick to them and pull off about a sixth of the dough. Shape it into a round muffin and place it on a baking sheet heavily sprinkled with cornmeal. The cornmeal will stick to the muffin and give it some shape.

It's okay if they are a bit sloppy at this point.

It’s okay if they are a bit sloppy at this point.

Sprinkle more cornmeal on top of the muffins and cover them with a damp towel. Let them rise for a second 90 minutes and they will be puffed and ready to cook. This second rise is what gives the muffins their traditional craggy look.

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Cooking the Muffins

The first thing to do when cooking these guys is to pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. We will finish the muffins in the oven. Then get out your largest pan or griddle and spray or wipe it with oil. Turn your stovetop on medium-high heat and get your pan hot. Spray some oil (or wipe some oil) in the pan. You want to make sure these don’t stick, but you don’t need pools of oil for that. When the pan is hot, put each muffin down. The dough will spread out and start to puff up. Don’t crowd the muffins too much. You don’t want them touching.

I used my cast iron skillet for this version.

Cooking these guys.

Cooking these guys.

These guys will brown quickly, but they won’t burn for some time. Cook them on the first side for about 5-6 minutes. When they are a medium brown, give them a flip.

Perfect.

Perfect.

Cook these guys for 5 minutes on the other side and then transfer them immediately to a sheet pan in the pre-heated oven. The griddle cooks the outside and gives the muffins their distinctive crunch and flatness, but the insides of the muffins are still pretty raw. Cook them in the oven for 8-10 minutes to solve that problem.

Then let them cool before cutting into them so the structure can set.

These were my finished muffins!

Rustic and delicious.

Rustic and delicious.

There are tons of ways to serve english muffins, but my favorite is with a little butter, salt, and honey. Freakin’ delicious.

homemade english muffins

Check out those crannies!

This may seem like a bit of work, but they are really very tasty. What was nice about this recipe, and what I’m learning from baking more and more, is that I had every ingredient I needed to make them. It wasn’t like I had to go to the store to pick up any ingredients, which was nice.

How to make authentic homemade english muffins with lots of nooks and crannies for melted butter or honey!

If you liked this post, you should share it with your English muffin loving friends!

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43 comments on “Homemade English Muffins

  1. I LOVE homemade English Muffins! It looks like you cut them with a knife – which is why you didn’t get nooksncrannies. Using a fork, make perferations around the sides of the muffin. Then, slowly pull the halves apart. Ta Da! nooksncrannies!!

  2. I seriously just made these. I haven't been able to blog them yet, but they were delicious. I ended up shaping and cold retarding overnight so I could cook them first thing in the morning. Worked great. Not sure if that helped with the nooks and crannies, but after being fork split they were quite nooky.

  3. I love english muffins! I have one almost everyday. I would love to make my own, but can not find a recipe that will give me those nooks and crannies. O well, homemade still tastes yummier though!

  4. My next project…..this weekend. Last weekend I made the No Knead Bread….made only 1 loaf (15″ wide loaf) arrgghh! My next mistake (which you didn’t mention in the instructions) was not greasing the pan before cooking…lost my whole bottom crust to the pan. I also had to throw the towel out….guess I didn’t use enough flour (I thought I did, though. All in all, excellent taste and will try it again…two loaves, oil sheet, use 475 deg instead of 500 (top browned too quicly) on my gas stove.

    Do you have any other tips? Can I use a Corel oval casserole dish (the new red ones)?

    Thanks.

  5. Wow!! I've never imagined these as being cookable – they just magically appear in packets. Now, how about crumpets? :) English people (in England) don't actually eat English muffins, the closest thing is a crumpet (but IMHO they're weird – the crumpets, not the people). Fabulous site, btw!

  6. Those look great. I have the BBA and have been eye balling this recipe for months, maybe now I will make them. It looks like you cut through your muffins with a knife which ruins the nooks and crannies. The fork method works best or just begin slicing with a knife then slowly pull the sides apart.

  7. You also never said to grease the barbeque grill even though my English muffins stuck to the grill. This ruined my muffins–and my evening. Stop failing to give warnings about things you don't give directions to do.

    1. His directions are very clear about oiling the griddle. “Then get out your largest pan or griddle and spray or wipe it with oil. Turn your stovetop on medium-high heat and get your pan hot. Spray some oil (or wipe some oil) in the pan'”
      My advice: read and understand all the directions before beginning any project, that way you won’t ruin your own evening. Good luck!

      1. Thanks for the comment Linda. I’m working on reformatting all my old recipes in the new recipe format (printable/etc) which will hopefully make them easier to read also.

        Cheers!

  8. Outstanding photos and wonderful work. I did a tutorial on these last week on my blog and loved seeing yours this week! Nice!…Though I don't think you even know me from anybody. Just had to tell you I think you did a wonderful job.

  9. I absolutely adore English Muffins, especially with cream cheese, grilled tomato and bacon for breakfast on Sundays – YUM! It's handy having this recipe, I think I will try this next weekend. :)

  10. Thanks for the comments everyone and for the fork tips ;) I definitely used a knife and that explains the lack of nooks and crannies.

    Thanks for reading everyone!

  11. I made these today-very good recipe! Mind didn't spread out very much on the skillet, but they were still the right texture and everything. I used the fork suggestion from the comments, and got all the nooks and crannies. Will Definitely be making again!

  12. Hard to burn my ass! I burned mine in 3 minutes, totally my fault for taking your words as truths to my kitchen. Ill be making these again. Any recommendations for making triple or quad batches?

    1. Ha. Sorry Hillary… I guess you can burn them… They are just more sturdy than I thought they would be. ;)

      Shouldn’t be a problem multiplying the recipe. Cook them on a griddle. You can even freeze them once they are cooled down.

  13. These turned out fabulous! I made a double batch to make and freeze breakfast sandwiches. I used my bread machine to make the dough and thought these were really easy and fun to make! Thanks!

  14. I’ve made English muffins 3 or 4 times but I don’t think they’re worth it. No matter what recipe I use, the flavor always comes out overwhelmingly yeasty. I think I’ll stick to Thomas’ on sale.

  15. These look awesome! I bet homemade English muffins are totally amazing…definitely need to try this next time I have a non-busy weekend (hmmm, if that ever happens!!)

  16. I was so intrigued…I made these! Wow are they messy…cornmeal is everywhere. But delicious!

    That batter is GOO! I’ve never tried to knead anything that soft. More like…stirring. I was sure I must be doing it wrong and kept checking my flour. But stayed strong and went with it.

    Mine didn’t rise as well (think it’s colder here for a room temp rise, mine did nothing first go-round, so second rise I did a warm oven, which helped)…but…delish!

    Also burned mine more…think temp was too high on that. Darn electric burners! Hard to control. I started around 6.5 and think 5 would have been a better temp.

    Totally agree with you on the butter & honey…but PBJ also rocks. I made my daughter a butter one last night fresh from the oven and she insisted on being fed another immediately. ;-) Thanks for a fun idea!

  17. I have a question, did you knead in the bowl with a spoon (there’s a pic with a spoon) or on the counter? I had to add a lot more flour because it was extremely sticky an wet.

    1. Hey Michelle, yes… it’s a very sticky dough. You can’t really knead it in a traditional sense on the counter. I just wet my hand a bit and used it to work the dough around in the bowl. It’s kind of an unwieldy dough to work with but the result is delicious. :)

  18. Hello! Thanks for sharing your recipe! I felt truly empowered making my own English muffins. I’m probably never going to buy muffins at the grocery anymore. Although, my stovetop might be different than yours. Next time I think i’ll have to do mine on a lower gas setting because my muffins started to brown and burn quite quickly. I also used a cast iron skillet, so as I went on I needed less and less heat. I think the trick is letting them sit on the skillet for a good five minutes on each side, right? Anyway, again much love and admiration! Leslie

  19. I forgot to mention! The recipe doesn’t make nearly enough- my boy friend ate the entire batch while I was at work. If the recipe is doubled will it work the same or does the chemistry need to be tweaked if someone is intending on increasing the output?

  20. Hi.. am making english muffins right now.. using bread machine.. so far so good.. i bake a lot of breads, especially sticky no knead rise 18 hours bread, so I know what a nice sticky dough should look and feel and smell like… am very excited to see results of this experiment.. I have a mixer, but haha.. lazy about it.. when I do use it results always good.. Love my mixer.. adore bread.. enjoy and use bread machine whenever I think recipe adapts.. even biga or starter dough recipes work in bread machine.. have maybe twice did a whole cycle in machine.. oven best.. i have a nice griddle too so should be a home run home made engy muffin bake. thank you for the recipe. happy new year.

  21. Thanks for the recipe! Instructions were easy to follow. My only mistake was not doubling the recipe!

  22. Just ate one and they are perfect! Once split and toasted the flavor was spot on! They are quite large though, I will probably make 8 next time. We are snowed in and planned on eggs Benedict today but no English muffins:(. Who knew you could make them and they are so good. I don’t think I will return to store bought again! Thanks a bunch!

  23. Judy Judy Judy (I think that is a Cary Grant-ism) remember it from something…Anyway you saved my bacon. I absolutely love English Muffins and could not get the nooks and crannies no matter which recipe I used. Brilliant brilliant brilliant! I was ready to throw out my perfect-looking-on-the-outside English Muffins. I immediately plucked one off my pile under their plastic wrap, still on the cookie sheet where they were hovering like evil mounds of…well, evil.

    Stuck a fork all around down the middle and carefully pulled the EM apart, toasted it to perfection, then cooled it, and then I gobbled each half down with butter and honey dripping from it. Thank you thank you thank you. Problem solved.

    1. Hey Samtee, you don’t want to bake them in the oven. You want to cook them in a skillet so they get crispy on the outside. Good luck!

  24. Can I do it without the corn mill, it kind of expensive and difficult to find here in Thailand ( we do have corn starch though).

    1. Definitely don’t use corn starch. Some sort of cornmeal is important so the muffins don’t stick to the pan. I think you could use masa flour if you can find that or you could honestly just grind up some tortilla chips really finely and use those to coat the muffins. Good luck!

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