This recipe for English Muffins is from King Arthur Baking Company. I tweaked it because y’all know I don’t know how to leave well enough alone and I refuse to be bossed around by recipes!
The first time I made these I was immediately sad, thinking of all the times I could have had fresh English Muffins in the past but didn’t because they just look and feel like they’re complicated and time consuming.
I’ve made them countless times now, and yes they are time intensive – but they’re also some of the easiest bread to make, period.
English Muffin Ingredients and Equipment
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the things you will need to make these English Muffins:
- Bread flour: Yes, you can substitute all-purpose flour in a pinch, if you have to. The dough will be stickier and much wetter because of the lower protein content. Get the bread flour.
- Instant Yeast: You can substitute active dry yeast if that’s all you have on hand. My recipe instructions work for both versions.
- Farina: I keep a box of Cream of Wheat in my pantry, solely for making English Muffins.
- Milk: The temperature of the milk you add is very important. If it’s too cold, it affects how the dough comes together and makes it harder to achieve the consistency you need. If it’s too hot it’ll kill yeast and the bread won’t rise. You need the milk lukewarm, around 110° F on a thermometer. If you stick your finger in it should be noticeably warm, but not uncomfortable.
- Butter: Make sure the butter is room temperature so that it comes together into the dough well. You can use unsalted if you prefer, but you’ll need to increase the amount of sea salt you add.
- Salt, sugar, egg: The rest of your building blocks to make the dough.
- Cast-Iron Griddle: A long cast iron griddle that covers 2 burners will allow you to cook all of your English Muffins at once. If you don’t have one or don’t want to use it, a regular cast-iron skillet will work just fine. Make sure it’s well seasoned – if it isn’t lightly oil it with vegetable oil or shortening before you sprinkle on the farina.
- Stand Mixer: I have never made these without my trusty KitchenAid Artisan, and I’m not sure I ever would. If you have a bread machine you can use that, or you can make all of this happen by hand, with a ton of elbow grease.
How to Make English Muffins
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this recipe:
- Make the dough. Since you’re using instant yeast you can really just toss all of the ingredients (except the farina) into the bowl of your stand mixer at once. I like to add my warm milk and yeast first, just to make sure the yeast is OK. Yeast can expire (die) or the milk can kill it if its too hot. I generally don’t knead this dough – I let the beater attachment do all of the work for me.
- Let it rise. I don’t think it doubles in size, but it does get pretty big and super puffy. Make sure to punch it down to release the gasses before continuing with the recipe.
- Shape the muffins. You can use a scale to make sure you portion the dough into equal sizes, or just eyeball it. Now if the dough is sticking to my hands like crazy, I’ll sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of flour over the surface of the dough and the work surface and knead that in a few times. Then I’ll keep my hands lightly floured while I shape them. Shaping them into balls can take some time, especially to make sure it doesn’t end up with one side that looks like a balloon knot.
- Prepare your surfaces. Sprinkle farina all over whatever surface these muffins will rest on before you start to cook them. You can place them directly in the cold pan or onto the cold griddle, or use a parchment paper-lined baking sheet like I do. Be careful transferring to the pan – you don’t want to disturb the shape.
- Cook the muffins. You’re going to dry fry these over low heat, for about 8 minutes on both sides. If the muffin isn’t browned enough when you flip it, just flip it again to brown more after the currently browning side is to your liking. Say that sentence 10 times fast. You can increase the heat to medium-low to help with that. The muffins need to read 200°F internally. Use a thermometer – just stick it into the side of the muffin to test the center – if you can because you can’t really tell from looking at the outsides. If they’re browned but not done, finish them in the oven. Don’t overcook!
- Split the muffins. Don’t use a knife to split your English Muffins! Use a fork, jamming it in all along the circumference of the muffin. Then pull it apart, gently. This is the best way to get the most nooks and crannies! If you eat a lot of these English Muffin splitters do exist.
English Muffin Serving Ideas
What can you do with these English Muffins? More than you’d probably think! Here are some ideas off the top of my own noggin:
- Turkey Sausage Muffin Sandwich: split your muffins – always with a fork – and top with fried egg, a slice of melty American cheese, and a slathering of butter, or strawberry jam if you’re like my husband. See the above photo for an example!
- BEC English Muffin: split your muffins, slather a bit of margarine over them and broil them in your oven. Smear with whipped cream cheese, then add crispy black peppered beef bacon and an egg fried hard and heavily peppered.
- The Classic: split ’em; throw them in the toaster ’til toasty and warmed through, then slather with good quality butter and jam. Omnomnom.
- Cinnamon Sugar: lightly butter them, then sprinkle on a heavy amount of cinnamon sugar. Place them in a 375°F preheated oven for about 7 minutes.
Obligatory Pinterest graphic:Print
Very slightly adapted from King Arthur Baking.
- 4 1/2 cups (539g) bread flour
- 1 3/4 C lukewarm milk
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- farina, for sprinkling the griddle or pan
- Add the warm milk, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir together and then let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast begins to foam.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients – except the farina – to the stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to beat the dough at medium-high speed for about 6 minutes. The dough will be very soft and stretchy.
- Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl and cover. Let rise for 2 hours, until the dough is puffy.
- After 2 hours deflate it and turn it out onto the counter. If the dough is terribly sticky sprinkle a bit of flour over it and knead that in. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle it with farina.
- Once the dough ready, divide it into equal sizes. You should be able to get at least 14, easily. Shape the portions into balls, rolling them between your palms. Flatten the balls slightly until they are shaped like your average English muffin. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and let them rise for about 15 minutes.
- Prepare your cast-iron skillet or griddle while the muffins rise: sprinkle the surface heavily with farina, and keep more close by to sprinkle before you flip.
- Add the muffins in a single layer to your skillet or griddle, then turn the heat on to low. Let the muffins cook, undisturbed for 10 minutes, then sprinkle the tops with more farina and flip them, gently. Use a spatula to press on them very gently if they are puffing up too much. Let cook for another 10-15 minutes on that side, until cooked through and browned on both sides.
- Keep the muffins in a 250°F oven while you make the rest. If the inside of the muffins doesn’t read 200°F, increase the heat to 350°F, and cook the muffins until they do.
- Let cool completely before splitting to preserve the nooks and crannies.
- ICYMI: Important recipe notes are always above the recipe here on DFH.