My family is so wild for homemade English muffins that I’ve learned to double, and sometimes triple my recipe so we always have some on hand. They freeze beautifully, which means I usually have a couple dozen stashed away for lazy mornings or sudden Eggs Benedict cravings.
If you plan to make a double or triple batch, I strongly encourage you to use a stand mixer. I tried doing it by hand once and my arm ached for nearly a week. For single batches, you can use a bread machine. 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 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.
And the taste? Honest. No, I mean that: there’s just something very honest 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 GENTLY roll or pat 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. Reshape dough and continue cutting until all dough is used. NOTE: it is important to be gentle with the dough to avoid a dense end result.
- 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: