Homemade English Muffins

I am fortunate to live steps away from a fantastic bakery, which supplies me with warm, fresh loaves of bread on any given weekday. I don’t buy bagged supermarket bread, because fresh is so accessible and tastes so much better. And (because I love to wrap my fingers around a smooth ball of springy dough) what I can’t get at the bakery, I make myself.

One exception to the fresh-only rule has been English muffins – why? I don’t know. But I read the ingredients list on the last bag I bought…

Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Yeast, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Canola Oil” – this is about where I’d expect the list to end – but no, we’ve got, “glucose-fructose, calcium proprionate, monocalcium phosphate, calcium sulphate, ammonium chloride, azodicarbonamide, diacetylated tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides (??!?), calcium peroxide and ascorbic acid” in there too. Yum?

I decided that bag would be my last!

I can’t believe I had never made English muffins before. They are so easy they practically make themselves, and they blow those bagged pucks out of the preservative-laden water. I made a double batch and froze them. Now I have an eggs-benedict vehicle at the ready whenever the whim should strike.

Homemade English Muffins

Have you tried no-knead bread? English muffins are just as easy, but with less waiting. You simply stir the ingredients together – no kneading – and only have to wait an hour. And if you haven’t made no-knead bread, you should get on that, stat.

The dough is very sticky, you’ll need a well-floured surface. I used a 3 inch biscuit cutter to make circles, but you could just as easily use an overturned glass.

The muffins are cooked first in a cornmeal-dusted frying pan (you could simply use more flour if you don’t have cornmeal, or wheat germ) and then transferred to an oven to finish baking. Don’t skip the skillet and try to shortcut them straight to the oven – tried this, and the result was flat buns, not english muffins.

Homemade english muffins are fresh and chewy, all full of craggly crevices for melted butter to seep into. Use a fork to stab around the circumference, then pry it apart (if you use a knife, you’ll lose the nooks and crannies!).

My recipe uses some yogurt to mimic the tang of a sourdough english muffin, and also helps to make them extra soft and chewy.

Homemade English Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour (or 2 cups whole wheat, 2 cups all purpose)
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • Cornmeal, for dusting skillet
  1. In large microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave milk on high power until starting to simmer at edges, about 2 ½ minutes. Stir in cold butter until melted. When mixture has cooled to warm, stir in beaten egg and yogurt.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. With mixer speed on low (using beater attachment), slowly add milk mixture. Beat 1 minute, until thoroughly combined. Dough will be very wet. Cover with saran wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for one hour.
  3. Scrape dough from bowl onto a floured work surface. Lightly flour the top of dough, and pat down until it is about ½ inch thick. Use a floured 3” biscuit cutter (or a upside-down drinking glass) to make rounds. Gather up scraps of dough and repeat. Use a floured spatula to pick up the English muffins as you go, and set them aside to rise for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and heat a skillet (or two) over medium heat. Dust skillet generously with cornmeal. Place English muffins 1 inch apart in skillet and cook 3-4 minutes, until golden brown on bottom. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes on other side. Transfer to baking sheet as they’re done. Once all English muffins have been browned, bake in centre of oven for 7-10 minutes, until they sound hollow when you tap their tops.


  • http://eatsdaily.wordpress.com/ Megan

    Great recipe! It seems easy enough, and I am pretty sure I have all the ingredients in my house right now. What’s the best way to freeze them so they won’t get freezer burnt?

    • foodess

      I just toss ’em directly in a large freezer bag once cooled. However, double-wrapping bread is the best way to keep it freshest – you could put them in a freezer ziplock bag, with all the air removed, then pack that inside an air-tight food storage container for extra security against freezer burn…

  • Jessica

    Oh gosh, these look incredible! I’ve tried your cinnamon rolls and they were soooo good. Can’t wait to try this as well.

    • foodess

      Thanks, Jessica!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristina.flaschbailey Kristina Flasch Bailey

    I’ve got to try this! The ones you freeze do you “cut” them ahead of time, or after you thaw them? Best method for thawing?

    • foodess

      I either pre-split them then toast from frozen, or else I pop a frozen one in the microwave for 20 seconds then split and toast. I like the microwave way better.

  • http://twitter.com/Kitchen_Door Katie@TheKitchenDoor

    These look really great, I’m going to have to try them. I never make it through a batch of the store-bought kind – they get all stale and unappealing. These look like the opposite – all flaky and rich and awesome!

    • foodess

      Thanks Katie!

  • yasd9

    what kind of salt do you use? kosher? sea? table? thank you.

    • foodess

      In baking recipes I always use table salt (unless otherwise stated).

  • Liz

    English muffins are the one thing I have truly missed since moving to Europe. I never even thought about making them. Thanks so much for the idea & recipe!

    • foodess

      You’re welcome, enjoy!!

  • http://www.healthbean.ca/ HealthBean

    these are delicious! I’m eating one as we speak with peanut butter goodness melting down the edges….yum.

    • foodess

      Glad you like!!! :-)

  • Laurel

    sheer brilliance!!! i bake bread pretty regularly but it never occurred to me to try homemade english muffins. i’m new to your blog (directed here from thekitchn’s link to your yummy-looking chocolate cherry granola) and i’m so excited to look back through your archive of awesome looking recipes! these english muffins are now on my to-do list for this afternoon…if my three month old cooperates :)

    • foodess

      Thanks, Laurel!!! I’m so glad you found me :-) Let me know how your english muffins turn out!

  • ambrosia

    no way! I LOVE English muffins!! I will add this to my list of recipes to try and post to my blog (http://poppyleigh-designs.com)

  • Kaychrann

    I just made these while my wife was out with her mother doing the groceries. My son woke up and has not been eating much for the past week (He’s had a fever on & off for the past 6 days) and wouldn’t you know he started with the loony sized one I made with the scraps and then had another. My mother-in-law had one and took some to go. I had a yield of 17 and there are only a few left. Hopefully they will make it to morning. Beautiful blog, easy to follow instructions, thanks for sharing.

    • foodess

      I’m glad you got some nourishment into your little guy – I hope he feels better soon!

  • Moddang77

    I just made it and it’s so good and so easy to make. Thanks for sharing :)

    • foodess

      Thanks for coming back to comment, so glad you enjoyed! :)

  • latsirk

    Made these tonight, and they are ridiculously good. The only change I made, was a swap of light sour cream in place of the yogurt. I had it on hand, and the store only had 32 oz containers of containers of yogurt. They are so easy to make and and about a million times better than something from the store. Thank you for sharing!

  • Latsirk

    Made these tonight, with awesome results! I did make one change, I swapped the yogurt for sour cream, as that is what I had on hand. They were so easy to make, and the results are worth it. I loved the whole process, especially watching them puff up ever so slowly on the griddle. Thank you for sharing!

    • foodess

      Isn’t it so satisfying to make your own? I’m so glad you had awesome results!! :-)

  • Emily

    This recipe is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing!! I would have to agree, watching the english muffins puff up and turn golden brown was perty exciting :) Thanks again!

    • foodess

      Glad you enjoyed, Emily!!!! :-)

  • Evan

    Very good recipe! Light and fluff, especially if you proof them for even longer than the recommended 20 minutes. At least as tasty as store-bought and like you say, minus all the preservatives.

    • foodess

      Thanks for the tip, Evan! I’ll try next time with a longer proof. I do love the convenience of how fast they are though!

  • Julijuli

    Hi. :)
    We LOVE english muffins and we can’t get them here (Italy), so I was thrilled when I saw your recipe.
    I prepared this last Sunday and we had a wonderful breakfast. The english muffins were just perfect! It had that added dream like feeling that you get when you eat that perfect and simple food you usually don’t get to eat, so I am not sure I am being objective.
    I froze some, and I realized afterward that I should have cut them before freezing them.
    We will be making this again soon.
    Thanks for the recipe. You are welome for breakfast anytime. :)

    • foodess

      Hi Juli! Thank you for the lovely note, I’m so happy my english muffins could bring something special to your breakfast table in Italy! And that invitation is very tempting… :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lauren.jaffe.9 Lauren Jaffe

    I was really excited to try making English muffins on my own, so I tackled your recipe here. The only adjustment I made was using 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 of AP flour. Also, my biscuit cutter (glass) was maybe more like 2 inches than three. The muffins didn’t come out quite as fluffy as I was thinking they would. It could have been that my old hand mixer didn’t mix the dough well enough (it got so sticky!!), or that I didn’t let it rise long enough…but I’ll give it another shot in the future. Did you ever try this recipe with whole wheat flour?

    • foodess

      I’m sure the reason they weren’t as fluffy was simply because of the whole wheat flour…. I haven’t tried it, but if I did, I would use whole wheat bread flour (which has gluten added to increase elasticity of the dough and make it rise better…) or just add 2 tsp vital wheat gluten for cup of regular ww flour for the same effect.

  • Anna

    Any suggestions of what to do if you don’t have a standing mixer?

    • foodess

      You can do it by hand with a big bowl and a wooden spoon!

  • Trish

    These were simply AMAZING. I followed the recipe to a T and they were PERFECT. Never will buy a store muffin again…ever.

  • Andy

    Hi Jenn! I just discovered your site here and love it. I made these English muffins for my mom while she is visiting from Vernon, BC. We needed something to slather her amazing Okanagan apricot jam on! I planned to make them early one morning and when I got my sleepy head into gear I realized only after I had put together the dough that I had only regular yeast and not rapid rise. I gave the dough a few minutes to see if it would still rise but on closer inspection I saw all the tiny beads of undissolved yeast dotting the dough. I decided to start over, proofing the regular yeast according to the jar’s directions and reducing the milk to accommodate the added liquid. It worked great – rose like a champ in an hour – and were delicious. I just wanted to pass this on in case anyone else found themselves with a English muffin craving and only regular yeast.

    • Andy

      Also when I was taking my organic waste out I saw that the discarded dough finally did rise. I believe it grows still out in my green bin. It make take over Toronto….

    • foodess

      Great tip, thanks Andy! P.S. Mmm.. I am SO JEALOUS of your mom’s Okanagan apricot jam.

  • avidbreadmaker

    I made these back in june while on vacation with family in Antigua. Regardless of the very limited baking utensils I had at the villa, I managed to make the best english muffins my family has ever had! I will treasure this recipe, thank you for sharing.

  • http://joeyarmstrong.ca/ joey armstrong

    these look amazing! i almost bought a bag the other day, too, craving them badly. but put them back on the shelf when i read the ingredients. i can’t wait to try your recipe.

    • http://www.foodess.com Jennifer Pallian

      Thanks Joey! I’m gonna make a big batch this weekend myself ;)

  • foodess

    @joey armstrong I’m due to make another batch, too! Hope you like :)

  • Krystal

    These looked so good but I am afraid I messed them up. The batter was wet and runny. It was like thick slop on the counter. I tried cutting with the rings and transferring to waxed paper and they just flattened out. Maybe my yeast is bad? I’m going to attempt to skillet and bake them anyway but my gut says something went south.