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Homemade English Muffins (easy step by step)

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.

10 English muffins in a basket

 

I searched for a simple recipe for English muffins 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 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. I also use them for appetizers like avocado crostini with balsamic drizzle, egg Mcmuffins, croutons, breakfast pizzas and hamburger buns.

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are a couple of variations you can try.

Flour

  • 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.

Yeast

  • 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.

Flavor

  • 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

  • Yeast
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Shortcuts

  • You can shave some time off the dough rising by placing the dough near a warm environment. 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.

Make Ahead

  • Store the English muffins, once fully cooled, at room temperature for several days in a sealed bag or 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.

How to make homemade English Muffins (step by step) 

yeast, cornmeal, flour oil, sugar, salt water
Gather ingredients: yeast, cornmeal, flour, oil, sugar, water, salt
warm water with sugar and yeast in bowl
Sprinkle sugar then yeast over warm water. Wait 10 minutes.
dough mixed in bowl
Mix in oil, salt flour. Knead for 5 minutes, adding more flour if dough is sticky.
dough in bowl covered sitting on stove to rise
Transfer to greased bowl to rise for an hour (or less if in warm area)
english muffin dough in bowl doubled in size
Dough should double in size.
balls of english muffin dough on cutting board
Divide into 10 pieces and roll into balls in your hands. Flatten into 3/4″ thick disks
10 pieces of english muffin dough in pan with cornmeal ready to cook
Lay disks on parchment dusted with cornmeal. Add cornmeal on top. Cover and let puff up for 20 minutes.
5 pieces of english muffin dough in pan
Dry fry on medium low in pan, covered, for 9 minutes on first side. (You may need to do 2 batches).
5 english muffins in a pan fully cooked
Flip and continue cooking for 5 minutes on 2nd side)
two halves of an english muffin showing fluffy inside
Let cool 10 minutes. Split with a fork. Done!

toasted english muffin with jam and butter beside 3 whole muffins and dish of jam

homemade English muffins laying on a black tea towel p

10 English muffins in a basket
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Homemade English Muffins (easy step by step)

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.
Prep Time1 hr 40 mins
Cook Time14 mins
If cooking in 2 batches, add:14 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 English Muffins
Author: Cheryl, Two Kooks In The Kitchen

Equipment

  • Large frying pan, skillet, 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).

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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 bowl. 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, to make it no longer sticky. 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 tbsp cornmeal onto sheet of parchment or a pan. Place 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 tea towel to let puff up for 20 minutes.
  • DRY FRY MUFFINS: Heat large frying pan, griddle or skillet to Medium-Low (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 for 9 minutes until light golden and toasted. Note 2. Flip, 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 oven for 5-10 minutes. An instant thermometer slid into the side of a muffin will read 200F.
    Repeat with remaining muffins if you are cooking them in two batches. Cool for 10-15 minutes before eating.

Notes

  1. If you don't have instant yeast: you can use 1 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast instead. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Make Ahead:
    • Store the English muffins, once fully cooled, at room temperature for several days in a sealed bag or 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). 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Homemade English Muffins (easy step by step)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 235mg10%
Potassium 55mg2%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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12 Comments

  1. Hi! Made them yeaterday and I wish somebody would tell me how to divde them evenly. Mine wer very differnt in size. And the next time I will not flatten them while backing . Found it easy to do . Will try again.

    1. Hi Marlene, I’m glad you will try again – you’ll be a pro next time I’m sure. It’s not critical that the muffins are all the same size. But if you prefer that, here’s an easy way to divide the dough into 10 more-or-less even pieces. First, divide the dough into two unequal parts – roughly 40% and 60% (instead of 50-50). Then take each half and divide that in half, then the two pieces in half again. Hope that helps. Good luck!

  2. Love this recipe – have made it several times! Today I used a combination of red fife, hard red, and rye flour from Brodflour. It’s freshly ground flour, and light as a feather. Next time, I might try them with cheddar cheese!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Fran, So glad you let us know about your successful (and healthier) flour combination. Great idea – thanks! And let us know if you try the English muffins with cheese.

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