Baking bread from scratch can be intimidating, no doubt, unless you start with the best ingredients, understand the steps, and have the right tools. This foolproof recipe is no different.
When done right, for so many of us, breakfast is the favorite meal of the day. Perfectly prepared dishes like crispy hashbrowns, blueberry waffles, and fluffy scrambled eggs get only better when served with freshly made bread. These muffins are amazing by themselves, lightly toasted, but they are also the foundation for other iconic breakfast dishes, such as Eggs Benedict or Eggs Blackstone.
How To Make Homemade English Muffins
These iconic baked goods may seem too much of a challenge at home. Trust us, though, they honestly aren’t.
You can even prepare the dough the night before serving them and let the dough proof in the refrigerator.
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The Ingredients and Tools You Will Need
To produce English muffins that are crispy on the outside and tender, and chewy, with lots of “nooks and crannies” on the inside, it’s really important that you start with the correct ingredients and use the recommended tools.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to have on hand
Flour – We use King Arthur all-purpose, but we’ve also used bread flour and had success with it, but all-purpose is great.
Milk – Whole and warm, in the range of 120°F to 125°F, see NOTES
Egg – Room temperature is best
Unsalted butter – Chilled, then cut into cubes, and then allowed to come to room temperature
Sugar – Granulated
Yeast – Instant, or Active Dry (either will work just fine)
Salt – Kosher is what we use
Baking powder – Check the date, and make sure it’s not too old
Semolina flour – If you can’t find it, just omit it and only use cornmeal
Cornmeal – Finely ground. You can also use fresh polenta
Here are the tools you’ll need
3½-inch muffin rings – You could use a tuna can in a pinch, but order the rings, they make a big difference
Griddle – Either cast-iron or electric
Instant-Read Thermometer – Critical for cooking the muffins sufficiently through
EXPERT TIP: Once the dough has come together, you’ll want to form it into a smooth ball and place it in a liberally greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and either place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, or place in a warm, non-drafty area for 1 to 2 hours. The dough should come close to doubling in size.
Tips for Perfect Homemade English Muffins
Double-Check Your Yeast – Yeast has a fairly long shelf-life, but it’s too old, it can no longer be active and your dough will not rise sufficiently. Check the date on the package. If has expired, you’ll need to get a new package. This is very important to producing perfect muffins.
Give the Dough Time to Proof – Your dough may not completely double in size, but you should see a definite bulk in size before you proceed with adding the dough into the rings. Our oven has a “proof” setting, which warms the oven space slightly, but not much. 90 minutes is usually all we need. Overnight in the refrigerator is an excellent option, too. If your dough has not had time to proof (rise) sufficiently, you’ll end up with tough biscuits
Cook to 190°F – As you cook the muffins on the griddle, they will brown nicely and get nice and hot, but depending on how thick your muffins are, they most likely won’t reach the optimal internal temperature. Use a thermometer to check the temperature. If they are golden on both sides, but below 190°F, place them on a prepared baking sheet, cover with foil, and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes at 350°F.
How To Serve and How To Store
We recommend allowing the muffins to cool completely before serving.
For optimal taste and texture, we recommend splitting the muffins open in half, and then bake on the “BAGEL” setting or “TOAST” setting on your toaster oven.
The best way to split an English muffin is with your fingers or a fork. Don’t use a serrated knife. This will cause the “nooks and crannies” to compact.
Other Breakfast Baked Goods Recipes to Try
The uses for homemade English muffins are endless, but here are some other classic baked goods recipes that are ideal for breakfast or brunch:
Whether you slather butter and jam on these muffins or use them as the base of a classic eggs benedict, you will be amazed at how incredible they are!
This recipe truly is foolproof if you are careful to follow each step and be sure to grab the tools you need.
Sure, it’s easy to pick up packaged English muffins from the store, and they’re great. But, folks, there’s just nothing better than homemade.
Make them on a Sunday and enjoy them all week for breakfast! They keep in a tightly sealed baggie for up to 5 or 6 days!
Ready to make the best muffin this side of England? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of them, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
Homemade English Muffins
- 1 Griddle electric or stove-top (cast-iron)
- Baking sheet and aluminum foil
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup whole milk warmed to 120°F - 125°F
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter cubed, room temperature
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Cooking spray
- ⅓ cup semolina flour
- ⅓ cup cornmeal
- softened butter for greasing the rings
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, warm milk, egg, butter, sugar, yeast, salt, and baking powder. Using the paddle attachment on medium-low, mix the ingredients until just combined. Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on medium-low (#2 setting) for 7 minutes, until the dough is elastic and not sticky to the touch.2½ cups all-purpose flour, ¾ cup whole milk, 1 large egg, 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 1 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp instant yeast, 1 tsp Kosher salt, 1 tsp baking powder
- Remove the dough from the bowl and use your hands to form it into a ball.
- Liberally grease a large bowl with cooking spray and rotate the dough ball in the bowl to cover it with cooking spray. Lightly spray the top of the dough with a little more cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, or in a warm, non-drafty area for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough has nearly doubled in size.Cooking spray
- If the dough has been proofed (rested) in the refrigerator overnight, take it out and let it sit on the counter for at least an hour to become room temperature.
- In a small bowl, mix together the semolina and cornmeal until combined.⅓ cup semolina flour, ⅓ cup cornmeal
- Sprinkle a light layer of the semolina/cornmeal mixture over your griddle.
- Use a paper towel to lightly grease the insides of the rings with softened butter.softened butter
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pinch off 2.5 ounces of the dough (about the size of a golf ball) and use the palm of your hand or a rolling pin to flatten the ball into a thin circle (about ¼-inch thick). Place the circle of dough in one of the buttered rings and place it on the prepared griddle. Repeat with the remaining dough (you should have enough dough for 8 muffins). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place the griddle in a warm, non-drafty area for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. (If proofing the muffins in the oven, don't turn the oven on until you remove them.)
- Remove the plastic wrap from the muffins and turn the griddle to medium-low (about 275), or place the cast-iron griddle over medium-low heat on the stove. Use your hands to gently move the rings around on the griddle, for even browning. Cook for 7 minutes, and carefully flip them over (the bottoms should be nicely browned). Carefully remove the rings and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until both sides are golden brown.
- Sprinkle more of the semolina/cornmeal mixture over a baking sheet. Place the muffins on the sheet and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until the inside of the muffins reach 190°F.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool on a baking sheet.
- Use your hands or a fork to split the muffins. If desired, toast until lightly browned. Serve at once.