I don’t make Homemade English Muffins very often, not because we don’t like them, but because we like them so much. Since they freeze well, I’ve been known to double and even triple my recipe for homemade English muffins, making a batch of dough in the bread machine, another in the stand mixer, and a third by hand. Yes, my guys go through them that quickly.
If you decide to let your bread machine do the work for you, just add the ingredients in the order specified by your machine and set it to the “Dough” setting. Be sure to stick around so you can pull the dough out after the first rise. (If you’ve lost the instructions to your machine, it’s usually safe to add all of the liquid ingredients first, then the dry ingredients, saving the yeast for the last.)
You’ll notice as you read the recipe that there’s an extra step involved in making this beloved breakfast bread. Most bread doughs go from the second rise straight into the oven. Not this one. English muffins are unique in that they’re first cooked on a griddle (or skillet) for a few minutes before going into the oven. That’s what creates those airy nooks and crannies which make English muffins so different from American biscuits.
In other words, your kitchen is going to get hot but, oh, it’s so worth it! As always, I love being in control of the ingredients. No high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for my family, thanks! I also like being able to make fully whole wheat English muffins, or mix the flours for a lighter texture. It all just depends what I have on hand.
And the taste? Honest. No, I mean that: there’s just something very homely and humble about homemade English muffins. From the smell of the bread baking to the crunch as you bite into a perfectly split, toasted muffin smeared with butter or your favorite jam, this is what breakfast was meant to be. Comforting. Filling. Wholesome. Delicious.
- 4 cups whole wheat flour (or equal amounts whole wheat and all-purpose flour for a lighter texture)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 package yeast (or 1 tablespoon
- 1 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- Combine flour, salt, baking soda and yeast in a medium bowl.
- In a small sauce pan, heat milk slowly. Stir in honey and butter and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until butter is melted. Do NOT scorch milk!
- Transfer milk mixture to the bowl of a stand mixture (or pour into bottom of large bowl). Add egg and continue mixing until well combined.
- Leaving mixer running, or stirring constantly, add dry ingredients a small amount at a time until fully mixed. Mix or knead one additional minute.
- Lightly flour a work surface. Sprinkle two baking sheets with cornmeal.
- Tip dough onto floured surface and roll it to 1-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter (or empty tuna can with lids cut off), cut muffins and transfer them to the baking sheets. Re-roll dough and continue cutting until all dough is used.
- Cover baking sheets with a clean kitchen towel and let the muffins rise in a warm, draft-free place for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Preheat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
- Cook muffins a few at a time, without letting the edges touch, around 2 minutes per side or until lightly golden. Transfer back to baking sheets.
- Bake browned muffins in 325F oven for 15 minutes or until fully risen and lightly golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.
- To serve: split muffins by wedging the tines of a fork toward the center of the muffin, working all around the sides.
- To store: keep in refrigerator (since they don't have preservatives) up to two weeks, or freeze on baking sheets and store in freezer up to a year.
Serve homemade English muffins with butter, or top with your favorite jam, jelly or marmalade. However you eat them, they’re going to be good!
Equipment I Used To Make This: