Whole Wheat English Muffins

These whole wheat english muffins are a surprisingly easy breakfast option! Making english muffins from scratch is super satisfying!

These whole wheat english muffins are a surprisingly easy breakfast option! Making english muffins from scratch is super satisfying!

I don’t use a lot of bread products. I’m hardly a low carb gal, but bread has always been a slippery slope for me. Regardless of whether it’s a fresh artisan loaf from the local bakery or pre-sliced potato bread from the grocery store, if there’s bread around, I find myself eating more of it than I should. There are two exceptions to this: sprouted ezekiel bread and whole wheat english muffins. For whatever reason, I don’t feel compelled to binge on either of these. When I have some extra time, I especially love making whole wheat english muffins from scratch.

A photo of whole wheat english muffins.

Cooking these english muffins in a skillet before baking them creates the traditional nook and cranny appearance we’re all used to but their texture is slightly more dense than supermarket counterparts. Feel free to play around with the ratio of whole wheat to all purpose flour. At some point soon I plan to try creating a version of these that uses my sourdough starter instead of instant yeast. I think that will add more flavor and lighten up the texture substantially. But don’t get me wrong- I love the flavor and texture of this version (or I wouldn’t be sharing it!)

4.5 from 2 votes
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Whole Wheat English Muffins
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

These whole wheat english muffins are a surprisingly easy breakfast option! Making english muffins from scratch is super satisfying!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Author: Jennifer Farley
Ingredients
  • 10 1/4 ounces (2 1/4 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 11 1/2 ounces (2 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flours, salt, sugar, baking soda and yeast. 

  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over medium heat until the butter has just melted.
  3. In a stand mixer with the dough attachment, combine the milk and butter with the egg and dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. Allow it to mix on medium speed for an additional minute. This can also be accomplished without a stand mixer by combining the ingredients in a bowl and then kneading the dough briefly.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1 inch thickness. Use a round cutter (approximately 3 3/4 inches) to cut the english muffins, re-rolling the dough as needed. Place the cut dough on a baking sheet dusted with semolina flour or cornmeal. Cover the baking sheet with a towel and allow the dough to rise for 20 minutes.
  5. 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 crispy and brown. Finish cooking the muffins in the oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Before serving, fork split and toast the english muffins. These will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from Honest Cooking

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  • Jen I love this whole thing! First that you were able to work whole wheat flour in (it can be tricky as any breadmaker knows to get the rise and lack of density) AND that you’re making your own muffins. And the photos are stunning. I would buy that wood plank off you in a heartbeat if you ever want to sell it. Pinned!

        • Well I just used 100% whole wheat flour (I was unaware that whole wheat flour can cause issues with rising – I’m new to using yeast and in several batches of bread I’ve made I did the same thing and had no issues). This time though it didn’t rise at all until I put them on the stove top to toast the sides, but even then it was just barely. I’m thinking next time I make these (and there will be a next time, they still turned out delicious even though they are flat), I’m going to let the yeast activate in the milk/butter mixture before mixing it with the rest of dry ingredients and hope that helps since that’s how I did the bread batches. Also possibly adding a touch more milk because they are a tad bit dry. But like I said, delicious, my one and a half year old just ate one plain and loved it!

          • In my experience (and through a fair amount of research), you’re exactly right about it needing more liquid. Whole wheat flour absorbs more and therefore needs more to attain the said fluffy, soft consistency as baked goods made with AP flour. If you add an additional 2 tsps of liquid for each cup of whole wheat flour that you substitute, you should get closer to the original. Also, it usually helps to let the dough rest a little before you knead so that the flour absorbs some of the liquid. Otherwise, the dough will be sticky and you’ll have to add more flour, which will just defeat the purpose of adding the additional water. I plan on trying these in the next few days with all whole wheat flour; hopefully they turn out!

  • Thanks for sharing this recipe. So many people, including me, have to make difficult decisions at the grocery store every day. We want to buy the best quality ingredients, but it’s just not possible. The other day, my family of three ate at Taco Bell for $10. I just went to the store to buy ingredients to make homemade tacos and spent $30. It’s crazy. I definitely need to try making my own English muffins because I can’t afford to pay five bucks for them at the store. I really appreciate this post.

  • My husband eats an English muffin every single day of the week and though I haven’t quite figured out how to keep up with his needs, I’m trying :) These look fantastic, can’t wait to try them!

    • For english muffins, and for a lot of yeast breads actually, you can make up a bigger batch and refrigerate any extra dough (before shaping and letting them rise). Then bring to room temp and continue another day. Or, just make a bunch extra and freeze them, then pop them straight into the toaster!

  • This is really impressive! I love english muffins and I hear fresh muffins are 100x better. I am looking forward to hearing how they turn out with almond milk.

  • Jen, I can totally understand where you are coming from (supporting the student husband). I’ve started baking our bread, but haven’t tacked English muffins. I love that you used whole wheat flour, and I’m sure these taste outstanding. Way to go!

  • These are so pretty!!! I would never have guessed they didn’t come out of a grocery bag…but I bet they taste so so much better. It’s so hard to budget food…supermarkets can be so expensive.

  • These look AMAZING!! I’ve always avoided making English muffins because I thought you needed the English muffin rings or whatever to make them, but this seems like such an easy, accessible technique. I can’t wait to try them! That first photo is just gorgeous!

  • I’m the same way. I spend WAY too much on groceries and a lot of it goes bad. I’m trying to be more conscious of using up ingredients rather than getting a grand idea for a new recipe and running out to buy a bunch more food. It’s hard when you REALLY want to make something that you don’t have the ingredients for.

    I LOVE english muffins, and as far as bread goes, less calories than you’d expect. Beautiful job.

  • Jen,
    Your English muffins look gorgeous. Very nice photographs!
    My spouse loves egg, cheese, and English muffin sandwiches for weekend breakfasts, so I keep my eye out for day old store brand English muffins marked down, and throw them in the freezer whenever I see them in order to have on hand. That was rambling, hope it made sense. However, the store brands don’t taste particularly good (since it’s more about what’s on them, not them). I’m glad to know that I could give this a try and have good tasting, wholesome, muffins for him when he returns.
    I hate to throw away food, which is why I’m stumped with what to do with all this whey leftover from the mozzarella/ricotta making. I picked up marked down gallons of whole milk, got my organic mozzarella and ricotta out of it, but I’ve still got quarts of whey! Luckily the internet is an excellent source for ideas.
    Thanks for yet another idea!

  • These look so much better than my english muffin experiment! FYI, I used almond milk in mine and I found that it turned out dense without nooks and crannies. Perhaps because it has less fat?

  • awwww Jen!!! I cannot believe I inspired you to do these!! they look amazing. even if they had come out like hockey pucks I would eat them they look so stinking good!! You’ve encouraged me to make them from scratch. they were in my bucket list! Yeah, I cannot believe i haven’t made them -yet-… but soon. and i will try your recipe and will give you a ratio report. :)

      • oh man… and IF you grind your own wheat… it’s even denser -because hard white wheat is most common (what i have) and i’m always wishing i had soft white wheat (what whole wheat cake flour is made from…). will try them soon!

  • I applaud your honesty in food budgeting! The impressive Whole Wheat English Muffins are a scrumptious way to beat high grocery costs! I also find food waste troubling. And being a “food blogger” doesn’t seem to help. I often throw away food from failed recipe testing or because I have made more food than we can eat. Although I often give away food, all this cooking leads to waste. I keep trying to be a better planner and think about what I am buying and if it will be used in a timely fashion.

    • Food waste is a huge problem with recipe development and testing. Luckily my husband is willing to eat my mistakes but we can’t possibly eat all of the desserts I make so a lot of food is given away.

  • We’re on a tighter food budget than ever before because we needed to get a new car and started my daughter in day care in the same month. I’ve been doing the same thing with store brand stuff and putting back some of my precious favorite fruit. Luckily, it CAN be done, and if you can cook it is even easier. These English muffins are a great example. Thanks for being so honest about a food budget (I think a lot of people assume food bloggers are rich for some reason) and for sharing a great, healthy recipe.

  • Great job on the English muffins – they look terrific. We’ve made them before, and they’re loads of fun. We don’t often have a craving for them, so for us baking English muffins is just a sometimes thing. Our bread we do bake, all the time these days. You’re so right that you can save a bit when you start doing your own baking!

  • I must need stronger glasses I see eggs in the recipe but no where does it say when to add in the directions. Did I miss something???

  • These look AMAZING! Question- do you think they freeze well? I don’t know if I could eat them all before they spoil (don’t fresh baked goods spoil faster than store-bought?) – could I bake and then wrap in plastic and freeze? Need to try this! :)

    • Hey Molly! You’re the second person to ask and now I really want to know as well. I haven’t tried freezing them but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, especially if they’re wrapped well to avoid icing. I will try this with the next batch and report back!

  • I found your blog and recipe on Pinterest. I tried them this morning with a few modifications based on what I had on hand. I used 1% milk, 2 1/2 cups white flour, 2cups wheat, and a 3″ cutter. They came out wonderful! Thanks for sharing this recipe. I’d love to hear if they freeze well and if you perfect the ratio for more nooks and crannies. I’m looking forward to trying them again with a larger cutter.

  • I am so proud of myself. I had only 9 muffins and they were perfect. I think a good after school snack with some of the summer fruit jams is a winner.

  • I just finished making these and I followed the recipe to the letter. My cutter was 4″ instead of 3 3/4″ as stated in the directions. I am a seasoned baker and am very good with yeast dough but I don’t understand what happened with is recipe. The muffins came out heavy and, even after baking at 325 for half an hour, were doughy in the middle. They were also a bit bland IMO. I am willing to admit that the issue could be on my end but for the life of me I can’t figure out what I did to create a doughy, heavy product. *sigh* oh well! things happen!

    • Oh, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like them. Several others have commented on their success but who knows. I would say mine come out slightly heavier than Thomas english muffins but there shouldn’t be a dramatic difference. :\

      • Lol, I’m not giving up! With everyone else praising them I can only think I must have done something on my end. I am thinking that next time I will roll them out a little thinner. Maybe that will help. Love your site!

  • Just made these and they were fantastic! I tried english muffins from another recipe for the first time earlier this week and it was a major fail, so I was intimidated because I know whole wheat is trickier. I accidentally left them for an hour and a half instead of 20 minutes because my toddler put up a fight at naptime, but they were still wonderful. Mine made 18. Maybe they were supposed to be much thicker to make fewer? I used freshly ground hard red wheat flour- closer to 3 cups worth- and then used a mix of AP flour and a little bit of bread flour that I had left over for the rest. They are so good I keep taking them out of the toaster before they’re done because I just can’t wait any longer to shove another one into my mouth! Can’t wait to make eggs benedict with them!

  • I am soooo excited to try this recipe! I have a very strict $125 weekly grocery budget for my family of 6 so I try to make most things from scratch. I’m also trying to steer clear of most processed foods. However, I’ve still been buying bread and english muffins. So I was completely disappointed when I realized just a couple of days ago that my 4 year old’s beloved 100% whole wheat Thomas English Muffins contain sucralose! I cannot wait to try these. Thank you so much!

  • I would like to make these muffins but I have a concern with all purpose flour. Is it the right flour for weight watching person? Can I substitute it with other flour like brown rice flour, quinoa flour, etc.?

    • I would try searching online for some recipes that were developed specifically using gluten free flours like the ones you reference. Typically you can’t do an even swap with flours so it would change the recipe and I can’t guarantee the results will be good. Let me know if you find a good recipe!

  • Hi did anyone else kill their yeast when adding the hot milk to the flour mixture? I’ve made a few breads before and always added the yeast to the liquid, made sure it bubbled to see it activated then added that to the flour as salt can retard the yeast too. Oh and also sugar is in the liquid or honey to give the yeast something to eat. I waited a little to try and ensure the liquid wasn’t too hot. I could dip my finger in it, but when I poured it into the flour and started to knead it was still pretty hot to the touch.

    • The problem might be that you added hot milk. For the butter to be just melted the milk shouldn’t have to be hot, just warm. Next time try letting it cool if it seems hot. You only need to proof yeast when the label says “active dry yeast.” Instant yeast can be added immediately but you still don’t want the liquid to be too hot.

      • Thanks. They did rise a little but the texture once cooked was dense, obviously not going to be the same as store bought. And maybe I over kneaded a little because I did it by hand and not the machine so kneaded a little longer to get it to all come together. Are they a bit like scones that if you over mix it becomes denser and chewy?

        • Also I asked around as I’ve made Irish soda bread before and these really reminded me of the taste and a baker suggested it could be because the normal ration of yeast to baking soda is 4:1

  • Hi Jennifer, I found your muffins recipe on your great website and I would love to try and make them. However here in Australia we have different measurements. I was wondering what is the cup size in recipe, is it 250ml or 235ml?
    Thank you

  • Perhaps using bread flours in place of regular flours would give a less dense texture to these. The recipe for english muffins that came in the box with my rings uses bread flour.

  • Great english muffins! My boyfriend doesn’t usually like whole wheat but loved these. For anyone interested, here is the nutritional information. I’m into nutrition so I like to nerd it out with these things.

    Serving size: 10

    Nutrition per serving (1 muffin):

    Calories 287
    Protein 9 grams
    Fat 6 grams
    Carbs 50 grams
    Sodium 453 mg
    Sugar 4 grams

    I figured this out by adding the nutritional content of all ingredients and then dividing by the serving size (10). If you make less or more muffins than 10, here’s the total values. You would just divide by how many muffins you made to figure out the nutrition of one muffin.

    Calories 2866 Protein 94 Fat 64 Carbs 495 Sodium 4,529 Sugar 36

  • I made these today and loved them! I used non fat milk (already had it) and subbed honey for the sugar. They were wonderful! Your recipe was great. They rose more than I expected for being half Whole Wheat. They were a big hit at my house.

  • I was disappointed in these English muffins. They looked great but there was something lacking in the texture. The recipe is different from most in that there’s only one rise, so if you’re short on time, this is a good recipe to use. However, I’ve had better results when I’ve used a sourdough starter in the dough and proofed it twice. I cooked the muffins in an electric skillet set at 300°, covered, for 6 minutes on each side and they were done. I didn’t have to finish them in the oven.

    • Hi Sadie,

      Thanks so much for your feedback! I’m so sorry you were disappointed with them. I’ve thought about trying a sourdough version now that I have a good starter. It seems like it would add so much, especially with the double rise. These are the only English muffins I’ve ever made from scratch, so it sounds like I have no idea what I’ve been missing. I appreciate the inspiration :)

      • Hi Jennifer, These muffins look beautiful and this is a great recipe if you’re pressed for time. I’ve tried several recipes for English muffins and the sourdough ones are my favorite. I don’t add any yeast to the dough when using my starter. The rise time is longer, but the flavor develops more deeply and the texture has a bit of “chew” to it.

  • Absolutely love your wheat english muffins recipe! Definitely i’ll try your recipe but instead of 1 tablespoon granulated sugar i use 1 tablespoon of honey and it would be perfect! Thanks for sharing!