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Wednesday Baking | Homemade English Muffins

I showed you all my English Muffins in my What I’ve Been Up To post and a LOT of you asked for the recipe. Fortunately for you, I was already planning on posting the recipe, so I’ve got pictures in hand. Or rather, on my hard drive. 😉

homemade English muffins

English Muffins aren’t actually English…they just got their name because they resemble crumpets, which are indeed from England (I know this tidbit because I read way too many baking cookbooks as a teenager. I lived a wild life in those years. 😉 ).

But, they are yummy nonetheless, and it’s kind of fun to make these at home. Homemade English muffins are even more unusual than other types of homemade bread, so if you can manage to get your English-muffin-making skills down pat, you can handily impress your friends and family. 😉

The dough is really not that much different than most bread doughs…it’s the cooking method that’s odd. These are cooked on a griddle or in a dry frying pan, which means that you don’t have to turn on your oven (which is just about perfect at this time of year).

To start, dissolve the yeast in a cup of warm water.

Yeast dissolved in water.

Then heat the milk, sugar, salt, and butter to 110 degrees F. This is cooler than the temperature required for most of the recipes I use, and that’s because we’re adding the warm liquids to the dissolved yeast instead of to a yeast/flour combo.

Melted butter in a pyrex measuring cup.

Add the warm liquids to the yeast mixture along with 3 cups of flour. Beat for 3 minutes on medium speed (or mix well by hand). The dough will be more like batter at this point.

a Ktichen aid paddle mixer.

Add enough flour to make a soft dough (don’t add too much flour…err on the soft side!). Turn it out onto a floured surface,

Un-kneaded bread dough on a floured counter.

and knead for 3-5 minutes, or dough is smooth and elastic.

A kneaded batch of bread dough.

Place the dough into a bowl (I usually just put it back into the messy mixing bowl and call it good.), cover it with a wet tea towel, and let it rise for an hour.

Punch the dough down, and divide it into half. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes or so. This will relax the gluten in the flour and will make the dough much easier to roll out.

Sprinkle your counter generously with cornmeal. Place each dough half on the cornmeal and roll or pat it out into a 1/2 inch thickness.

Rolled-out bread dough on a counter.

Now you’ll need a biscuit cutter or something similar.

A stainless steel biscuit cutter.

Dip it into flour, and use it to cut rounds out of the dough. I dip it into the flour between each cut. Place the cut muffins onto an ungreased baking sheet. Do. Not. grease the pan. It’ll bring you grief later if you do.

English muffins waiting to rise.

When you’re finished cutting out the rounds, you’ll be left with some scraps.

Yeast dough scraps.

Shake them off, and combine them together to form a ball. Let the ball rest for a few minutes to relax the gluten and then pat out the scrap ball to make more muffins. Your very last muffin will probably look all gnarly like this, but it’ll be ok.
A scrappy-looking English muffin.

Cover your pans of muffins with a dry tea towel. Normally I use wet tea towels to cover dough, but if you use a wet one for English muffins, it’ll be really, really hard to transfer them to the griddle. You want to keep them dry. Let the muffins rise for 30 minutes.

Risen English muffins.

Heat a skillet or griddle to medium hot. Before I got my awesome electric griddle, I used to use multiple skillets on the stove. An electric griddle is SO much easier, though.

Gently place the muffins, cornmeal side down to the griddle. This will not be an impossible task as long as you’ve (1) covered your counter with cornmeal before rolling the dough out, (2) have not greased the cookie sheet and (3) have not covered them with a wet tea towel. Trust me, skipping those 3 steps will make the transferring stage an exercise in frustration.

Cook the muffins for about 10 minutes on the first side and then flip them over and cook them for another 10 minutes on the reverse side.

The first side will look more flat, like this.

Partially-cooked English muffins on a griddle.

And the second side will have a nice brown circle.

A collection of homemade English muffins.

Cool the muffins on a wire rack. To serve, you’ll want to split them in half. Simply take a fork and insert it into the side of the muffin, repeating all the way around the muffin.

A fork splitting an English Muffin

Here’s what the inside should look like.

An untoasted English muffin

Of course, English muffins are not meant to be eaten all pale like that. You really should toast them first. When I’m serving these to our whole family, I like to place them on a baking sheet and put them under the broiler, as that’s a much faster way to toast multiple muffins.

A toasted and buttered English muffin.

If you prefer flavored English muffins, you can replace some white flour with whole wheat flour, or you can add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of raisins.

Store any leftover muffins in a plastic bag for no more than a day or two. Since the dough has very little fat and sugar (those are preservatives), the muffins will not stay fresh for longer than that, so freeze them if you’re not going to use them up quickly.

Homemade English Muffins
printable English Muffin recipe

Printable English Muffins with step-by-step photos (thanks, Zaheen!)

1 cup warm water (105 F)
1 pkg (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
5-6 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a mixing bowl. Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter, and heat to 110 F. Add to yeast mixture along with 3 cups flour. Beat for 3 minutes. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough and turn out onto floured surface. Knead for 3-5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a bowl, cover with a wet tea towel, and let rise 1 hour.

Punch dough down, and divide in half. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. On a surface generously sprinkled with cornmeal, pat or roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into circles with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter. Place circles onto ungreased baking sheet. Cover with a dry tea towel and let rise 30 minutes.

Place risen muffins gently onto a medium-hot griddle or skillet and cook for 10 minutes on each side. Cool on a wire rack. Split with a fork and toast before serving.

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Tuesday 23rd of June 2015

Hi Kristen! I tried your English muffin recipe yesterday, and this morning we enjoyed "Egg McMuffins" for breakfast. Yum! We live in a country that doesn't have a McDonald's, so that was an extra special treat! Thanks for sharing a delicious recipe!


Tuesday 23rd of June 2015

Yay! So glad they turned out for you.


Sunday 23rd of November 2014

They are amazing. Thank you for the fresh tast.

Karen K

Friday 5th of September 2014

I made these a couple nights ago and they are slowly disappearing, quickly! I didn't realize how much time it would take to make them but it was absolutely worth it! My boyfriend can't stop eating them and now I am stocked up for quite awhile...My boyfriend said they taste like pretzel dough and they aren't as crispy as the english muffins in the store but they worked perfect for a breakfast sandwich this morning! Next time I plan to try to make them a bit bigger but until then...Thanks for this recipe! :)

Karen K

Friday 5th of September 2014

PS: I also used Almond milk because I can't drink regular milk and it didn't seem to affect the outcome.

Dorothy Miramontes

Monday 18th of August 2014

Hi:) Most bread recipes say to oil the bowl before placing the dough so that the dough wont "dry" while it's rising? Just to be sure, is it not necessary to do that for this recipe?


Monday 18th of August 2014

As long as you cover the top of the bowl while the dough is rising, it won't dry out. But oiling the bowl will make it easier to get the dough out, so you certainly can go that route if you wish. I'm usually just too lazy to do it!

And yes, you can cook these in a regular frying pan on the stove. It'll just take longer since you can only do a few at a time.

Dorothy Miramontes

Monday 18th of August 2014

And also, can I use a regular pan instead of a griddle?


Wednesday 6th of August 2014

Has anyone ever tried this recipe with whole wheat flour? I mill my own flour from hard white wheat berries and I'm wondering if I would need to alter anything else.

Karen K

Friday 5th of September 2014

I opted out using whole wheat flour because I have had problems in the past with whole wheat flour and I didn't want the whole recipe to be a flop since it takes quite a bit of time to make these.

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