These English Muffins are easy to prepare, and taste better (in my opinion) than what you’ll buy at the store. The texture is slightly different, but you get the same “nooks and crannies” effect. I use these constantly, whether it’s for a sandwich or a quick pizza fix. They freeze well, so I always have some ready to go.
A few years ago, I first shared a recipe for whole wheat english muffins, and those are still a staple around here. I love the way whole wheat adds a subtle, earthy flavor. I’ve made a few minor tweaks to the recipe over time with repeated tests, and also taking into account reader questions and comments. I am frequently asked about how to make regular english muffins, and since the flour is not a 1:1 conversion, I figured it was time to share a new post that covers my version of the classic recipe.
I get a lot of the same questions and comments on the whole wheat version, so I’m going to attempt to address these issues immediately.
Comment: These don’t have the exact same taste/texture of store-bought english muffins.
Of course they don’t. The big brands use a variety of preservatives and interesting ingredients that don’t involve the standard flour, yeast, salt, butter, etc. I’m sure I could start experimenting with some of them, but you’re not really going to want to go out and buy weird additives, are you? Those english muffins also stay “fresh” in my refrigerator for so long it’s creepy. These might not bake up perfectly round or flat, either. That’s ok. Homemade breads aren’t supposed to look perfect. As long as you enjoy how they taste, that’s all that matters.
Question: Why didn’t my english muffins rise?
If your english muffins seem overly dense and/or like they didn’t rise at all, there are four possible causes:
- The milk/butter mixture was too hot and killed the yeast
- The yeast was too old when you started (check your expiration dates)
- Your baking soda has expired (check your expiration dates or do a vinegar test)
- You didn’t let the dough rest long enough. I don’t mind the 20 minute rest, but the results are more dense than if you give them at least 60 minutes or longer. Keep in mind that even after 20 minutes, they should still puff up on the skillet.
Tip: Do not add hot liquid directly to yeast.
Once again, repeat after me: hot liquids will kill yeast. Let the milk cool until lukewarm.
Anyway, I hope you love these as much as I do! Do I have any sourdough fans out there? At some point, I’m hoping to try using my starter to create a sourdough version of these. Let me know if that’s something you’d like me to share on the blog!
To see how I make these, you can check out the video for my whole wheat english muffins, which follows the exact same process:
- 22 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 5 cups)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large egg, beaten
- semolina flour for dusting
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and baking soda.
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk and butter over medium heat until the butter has just melted. Let the milk cool for several minutes until it's lukewarm.
Place the dry ingredients In a stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment, and turn on low speed. Add the milk and butter along with the egg, mixing until the dough comes together. Allow it to mix on medium speed for an additional minute. (Note: This can also be accomplished without a stand mixer, by combining the ingredients in a large bowl using a spatula, and then kneading the dough until it comes together).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to around 1-inch thickness (they will puff up quite a bit while cooking). Use a 3-3/4 inch cutter to cut the dough, re-rolling as needed. Place the cut dough on a baking sheet dusted with semolina flour or cornmeal. Cover the baking sheet loosely with a towel and allow the dough to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes, up to 90 minutes. The less time these rest, the more dense they will be.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Use a nonstick skillet on low heat to cook the muffins for 4-5 minutes per side, until lightly crispy and brown on the exterior. Finish cooking the muffins in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Before serving, fork split and toast the english muffins.
Make sure to let the milk cool before adding it to the dry ingredients to avoid killing the yeast.
Since these English muffins don't have preservatives, they'll go bad faster than the store bought versions. I recommend using within one week. However, they freeze beautifully! Once cool, you can place them directly into a gallon-size resealable freezer bag, and use as needed. Defrost them individually in the microwave for about 2 minutes, then fork split and toast.