A toasted English muffin slathered in butter and jam is one of life’s little pleasures. You’ll be happy to know that perfect homemade English muffins are easy to make with good instructions and no special equipment in about 2 hours.
Here’s the thing. The first time you make these little beauties, you’ll be pouring over the recipe to follow the steps. The second time, you’ll be ‘hey, I’ve got this’. After that – pro.
There are really no big tricks. And no need to be intimidated by yeast. When you see and taste the results – even on your first try – you will be very pleased with yourself.
What you can expect
I searched for a simple English muffin recipe that:
- requires short rise times for the dough
- can be made by hand – no electric mixers, special dough attachments or rings (to make them perfectly round)
- uses simple basic ingredients
- gets perfect results every time!
The recipe I used is from Truffles and Trends. I made 3 batches (sadly, all gone now) to provide step by step pictures, clear instructions and tips from my experience – and many others – that would ensure success.
The easy English muffins are soft, light and fluffy and they toast up beautifully. If you prefer denser muffins, there is a trick in the recipe you can use. The recipe takes just under 2 hours in total – unlike many that take 6-24 hours or more. Added bonus – the muffins are vegan.
Becoming a pro at making these English muffins? Then try our easy naan recipe.
Ways to use your homemade English Muffins
It’s hard to beat English muffins smothered in butter with or without jam. But there are lots of other great ways to use them. Four of my faves are pictured below – eggs benedict, French toast, grilled cheese (inside out) and mini pizzas.
Tailor To Your Taste
Here are a couple of variations and substitutions you can try.
- Substitute 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for extra nutrition. You can even use whole wheat flour up to half the amount of flour, but I don’t suggest going any higher as your muffins may have a coarser, denser texture.
- If you don’t have instant dry yeast, check out this great yeast article by Epicurious on how to substitute it with the type you have. For active dry yeast, use an extra 1/4 tsp in this recipe.
- A deeper more yeasty flavor is developed with longer dough rising time (including overnight in the fridge), but since English muffins are usually eaten with toppings, I don’t think it’s worth the extra time for this recipe. You can try adding 1-2 tablespoons of honey to the dough mixture if you like.
Tips for making English muffins
- Check to make sure your yeast has not expired.
- If you don’t have instant/rapid rise yeast, use active dry yeast, but add 25% more. In this recipe you would add 1 1/4 tsp.
- Keep unused yeast in the fridge or freezer in a sealed bag or container.
- Measure the flour by weighing it in grams. Or, by scooping flour and leveling it off with the side of a knife.
- Dough: The initial dough will be sticky. Add just enough flour, bit by bit, as you knead it until it’s no longer sticky. Adding too much will toughen the muffins.
- Cooking: The muffins can be dry fried in a pan covered or uncovered. They will cook quicker with a cover. Spray the tops of the dough discs with oil before sprinkling on cornmeal. The cornmeal will adhere better.
- For best eating texture, don’t cut your English muffin in half with a knife. Instead, use a fork (or your fingers) around the edges. to separate the two halves. This will create lots of nooks and crannies to capture that butter melting into your toasted muffin.
- You can shave some time off the dough rising by placing the dough in a warm place. Check out the tip in the recipe.
- When freezing English muffins for later use, I separate them into halves first. When I need one, I grab two frozen halves and pop them into the toaster. No need to defrost first.
- Store the English muffins, once fully cooled, at room temperature for several days in a sealed bag or airtight container. Or freeze them for up to 3 months.
- Tip: Once cooled, split the muffins into halves with a fork before freezing them. Then pop the halves into the toaster as needed straight from the freezer (no need to defrost).
Three easy jam recipes for your English muffins
All of these recipes have no pectin.
Other delicious breakfast ideas to try
- apple French toast casserole
- baked French toast casserole (sinful!)
- Montreal bagel recipe
- sous vide poached eggs (with easy hollandaise sauce)
- lemon blueberry pancakes
- super moist banana bread (no mixer needed)
- ricotta pancake recipe with caramelized bananas
- pumpkin spice pancakes
- make ahead breakfast burritos with caramelized onions
- instant pot oatmeal recipe (with steel or rolled oats)
How to make English Muffins (step by step)
Homemade English Muffin Recipe (step by step)
- Large frying pan, skillet, electric griddle or cast iron pan. (My 12" pan fits half the muffins at a time so I do 2 batches – or use two pans at the same time).
- 1 1/4 cups warm water it will feel warm on your wrist
- 1 tablespoon sugar (12.5 g)
- 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast (2.83 g) e.g. Rapid-rise yeast (Note 1)
- 2 tablespoon oil (canola, vegetable or neutral olive oil) melted butter is fine too
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour or bread flour (344 g) plus up to 1/4 cup extra
- 1 teaspoon salt (add extra pinch if using kosher salt)
- cornmeal for dusting (about 2-3 tbsp)
- MAKE YEAST MIXTURE: In medium-large bowl, add warm water. Sprinkle sugar over surface. Then sprinkle yeast over surface. Set aside for 10 minutes. It will foam and cloud up.
- MAKE DOUGH: Add oil, salt and flour to the same bowl with the yeast mixture. Mix with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until combined. Transfer to a floured surface (I use piece of parchment dusted with flour for easy clean up). Dough will be soft and sticky. Knead dough for 5 minutes, adding just enough flour, a bit at a time, until you no longer have sticky dough. I typically end up adding about 3-4 tbsp.
- LET DOUGH RISE: Spray inside of a medium-large bowl with oil. Transfer dough into bowl. Cover loosely and let it rise for about 1 hour until it doubles in size. Tip: To speed up the rise, I turn my oven to warm, open the oven door a few inches and place the bowl at the edge of the stove top to get warmth from oven. Dough will double in 30-50 minutes.
- FORM DOUGH INTO MUFFINS: Once risen, transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead a couple of times. Divide dough into 10 equal pieces. I 'strangle' the dough between my thumb and first finger to 'cut' it. Roll pieces lightly between your hands to make balls. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cornmeal onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place dough balls on top of cornmeal and flatten into discs with the ball of one hand to 3/4 inch thick. Lightly spray top of discs and sprinkle on cornmeal to top of discs. Loosely cover with a kitchen towel to let puff up for 20 minutes.
- DRY FRY MUFFINS: Heat large frying pan, griddle or cast iron skillet to Medium-Low heat (4 out of 10 on my stove) and spray it with oil. Transfer as many muffins that will fit in pan leaving 1/2 inch between them. You may have to do two batches or use a second pan. Cover pan and cook muffins for 9 minutes until light golden brown and toasted. Note 2. Flip to second side, then cover and cook for another 5 minutes until golden and toasted. Check for doneness: If muffins are not browning enough, increase the heat to medium the last couple of minutes. If browning too quickly, lower heat or finish cooking in 350F/177C oven for 5-10 minutes. An instant thermometer slid into the side of a muffin will read 200F/93C.Repeat with remaining muffins if you are cooking them in two batches. Cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack before eating.
- If you don’t have instant yeast: you can use 1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast instead.
- For less puffy muffins: The muffins will puff up when cooked and deflate only slightly on cooling. If you like flatter denser muffins, you can press them down a little with a spatula while cooking. I also found that if you leave them uncovered while cooking, they will take about 5 extra minutes to cook.
- Make Ahead:
- Store the English muffins, once fully cooled, at room temperature for several days in a sealed bag or air-tight container. Or freeze them for up to 3 months.
- Tip: Once cooled, I split the muffins into halves with a fork before freezing them. Then I pop the frozen halves into the toaster as needed straight from the freezer (no need to defrost).