Homemade English Muffins

My aunt got me hooked on English muffins.

As a grade schooler I spent a week with my aunt up in Rhinelander, in northern Wisconsin. I had no idea what I thought we would do, with me being so young and her being a teacher and no doubt tired of spending day in and day out with kids my age. Because I have an older brother, the idea of a vacation where I would be by myself with my aunt sounded like the ultimate experience.

I don’t recall doing anything remarkable, although at the time we had a fondness for the gem and mineral shows that would come around, and I of course was usually found with my nose stuck in a Babysitters Club book or other preteen serial. (Anyone else remember the Sleepover Friends series? I was *obsessed* with Stephanie, the “cool” one who only dressed in black, white, and red. Oddly, those books are where I first encountered edible violets. I was pretty confused about it.)

English Muffins

When we would come around just for weekend visits my aunt would often buy the old-fashioned sour cream doughnuts, but eventually they gave way to English muffins. We only ever had toast at home, so the bubbled texture of the English muffin was exotic to me. Toast it and slather it with peanut butter and you have my go-to breakfast.

Until a few months ago it never occurred to me to attempt making my own version. Having never had homemade English muffins before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure, nooks and crannies are the selling point but beyond that there seemed to be a great number of methods out there. I had to try a couple different recipes before I was satisfied enough with the result. The first go resulted in muffins that were tall and doughy, more like dinner rolls than English muffins. All in all not too bad if you like bread, but I kept searching.

I think the second recipe might be what I’ll keep using. They still were quite tall but the final taste test revealed what I was looking for. I’m really quite a novice when it comes to baking bread, but I’ll continue to learn and perfect my methods in the year to come.

English Muffins

Honey Wheat English Muffins

adapted from All Recipes

2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
3 tablespoons softened butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
Cornmeal

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water and set aside until frothy.
Combine milk, butter, salt, whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour. Mix in egg, honey, and yeast mixture.
Stir in remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/2-inch thick. Using a round cutter or large glass, cut out muffin shapes, reform dough, and repeat until all dough is used. Set rounds on a baking pan dusted with cornmeal, and let rise until doubled. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over low heat.
Working in batches, bake muffins for about 10 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.

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13 Responses to Homemade English Muffins

  1. Baking Barrister January 3, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    English muffins! There’s something so special about them–so much better than toast, so different than a bagel. And who knew you cooked them on your stove top? And my mom never let me have peanut butter for breakfast–you were lucky.

    I can also picture you with your glasses in a corner somewhere enthralled with the BSC books.

    [Reply]

    Megan Reply:

    Ha! I didn’t get glasses until I was 17, but I was dorky enough without them.

    [Reply]

  2. Shelley January 3, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    I’ve never been a fan of English miffins but then I’ve never had a homemade English muffin. I was a bagel kid and pretty much subsisted on bagels well into adulthood. These look yummy. Must try.

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  3. Carolyn Jung January 4, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Homemade English muffins are THE best! I’ve made them twice before from scratch. It’s a lot of work, but the taste is pure “wow.”

    [Reply]

  4. The Pioneer Cookerella January 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Thanks for posting this! They look amazing. I’ve been bread baking for a few years now, but have yet to tackle english muffins. They scare me! Thanks for encouraging me to try them.

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  5. Isabelle January 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    English muffins are one of my go-to breakfasts, too! I keep a stash of pre-sliced ones in the freezer at work so that I can pop ‘em in the toaster whenever I forget to pack a breakfast.
    I’ve been toying with the idea of making English muffins at home for a while now, especially since I’ve finally mastered the art of making pita bread… I’m thinking I just might take the plunge and do it this weekend. :)

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  6. Liz January 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Gosh, your English muffins look perfect! I need to try these soon…fabulous job!

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  7. Janis January 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    These look sooooooo good. I am too lazy right now to make them. Can you just sent them to me. I make “Hells Kitchen” peanut butter and you make muffins. Wait, they may not travel well.

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  8. Tracy January 5, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    This looks great! I am a huge english muffin fan. I would love to try this recipe. A few clarification questions:

    “…and let until doubled. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over low heat.”

    You mean “and let [___] until doubled?” I’m not clear on that direction. Also, what am I using the heated skillet for…? I thought these go in the oven to bake. If so, what oven temperature?

    Thanks!!

    [Reply]

    Megan Reply:

    @Tracy,
    Oops, that should be “let rise”! And yes, these are cooked in a skillet on the stove. Some recipes call for baking but I find the end result is better if you use the stove for these.

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  9. molly January 23, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    how long is the second rise? about another hour?

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  10. molly January 24, 2011 at 3:20 am #

    These were really easy to make – and definitely good for first timers who have never made english muffins before. It was fun to cook them in the pan, and see how that it does in fact work. My only complaint is that it lacks the famous “nooks and crannies” that I associate with and love about english muffins. It is a little bit more like a breakfast roll. I have looked at a few other recipes which suggest adding baking soda at the end to create that bubbly affect. I think I will try that next time. But these are easy, pretty (they do look exactly like english muffins) and good. I made an egg sandwich this morning and it was delicious!

    [Reply]

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