Making homemade English Muffins from scratch will take breakfast to the next level.
Packed with the traditional nooks and crannies we all expect in this breakfast staple, these English Muffins will be your new favorite to bake on the weekend and eat all week long.
Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill and Bake From Scratch Magazine for sponsoring this post! I was compensated for providing this recipe and blog post, however all opinions are my own.
The Secret to Perfect Nooks and Crannies
When searching for the ideal English Muffin, we are all looking for those nooks and crannies, aren’t we? The secret to achieving those little divots are the following:
- Overnight fermentation: Allowing the dough to rest overnight in the fridge creates gases that form bubbles that then help create those nooks and crannies when baked
- Using english muffin rings or egg rings: this step helps the english muffins keep their round shape and forces the muffins to gain height rather than spread while baking. This process helps create the shape and texture as well
- How you open the English Muffins: Use a fork to pry open the english muffins rather than cutting straight through with a knife. To make it easier, you can score (aka, cut gently just enough to see a line) around the outside of the english muffin, then pry open with a fork. This will preserve the nooks and crannies you worked so hard to integrate into the muffins! Slather on some butter while they’re warm from the toaster and watch those little divots fill with melted butter - delish!
How to make English Muffins using a stand mixer
And, since this dough has a high hydration level (high ratio of water to flour) it is soft and a bit sticky, making the mixer even more important as a tool to mix and knead without creating a giant mess.
Once the dough is kneaded and smooth, it needs to rest in the fridge overnight. This fermentation period is essential to hydrating the flour, developing the gluten and producing the gases that help form the nooks and crannies.
Another reason the overnight rest is so important: flavor! When the dough is given the essential ingredient of time, the yeast slowly consumes the sugar and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol.
The carbon dioxide helps the dough to rise while the alcohol produces a tang that gives English Muffins their flavor. None of this would be possible without an overnight stay in the refrigerator.
Essential Tools for Shaping English Muffins
There are a few tools that are very helpful when it comes to baking English Muffins from scratch at home.
These include the aforementioned stand mixer for kneading. English muffin rings (or egg rings) to shape your muffins are a great to have, although not totally necessary.
I used egg rings that I found at my local home store. They are inexpensive and help keep the shape and height of the English Muffins while proofing and while baking.
You can also use large round cookie cutters, however, these may be more difficult to remove from the English Muffins once the first side is cooked through. The little handles on the egg rings and the height of English Muffin rings are internationally there to help remove the ring.
The final recommended tool for making English Muffins is an electric griddle or stovetop griddle on which to cook the muffins. Using a griddle without a lip makes it much easier to flip over the muffins while cooking.
None of these are required, however, they make the job much easier and will help you achieve results that look like those pictured.
How to Shape and Bake English Muffins
Using Bob’s Red Mill Products, we achieve wonderful flavor and quality in these English Muffins. High quality products in, high quality baked goods out.
Bob's Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour is used in this recipe. The high protein level of bread flour makes it ideal for these muffins. The higher protein contract absorbs more liquid which allows the muffins to hold their shape and rise upwards.
The high level of gluten in bread flour also creates a more elastic dough, producing a lighter and chewier bread.
Semolina flour helps prevent the dough from sticking and creates the exterior of these English Muffins that we know and love. Coat the rings with nonstick spray then semolina flour. This will prevent the dough from sticking while maintaining the shape and height of the muffins.
Once the dough has had its overnight stay in the fridge, cut it into 12 equal portions. Using a kitchen scale here will help you achieve evenly sized english muffins. I like to weigh the entire amount of dough then divide by 12 to obtain the weight of each piece.
While working with the dough, be careful not to deflate it. Those bubbles are important to the nooks and crannies! Press each piece lightly to form an even thickness. Starting at the top, lift up and bring the center. Repeat this all the way around.
Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you to create some tension on the top of the dough. This helps create a smooth, taut top.
Once the dough has risen, carefully transfer each muffin to a preheated griddle, ring included. Bake for 8 minutes, remove the ring and flip over to bake on the other side.
To gauge doneness visually, check the sides of each English Muffin. If the dough looks shiny and a bit wet, it’s not done yet. If the dough is matte and feels set when you touch it lightly, it's done.
You can also use a thermometer inserted horizontally from the side into the middle. 205ºF and they are done!
Allow to cool, pry open with a fork, toast and serve with butter and jam.
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Looking for more breakfast recipes? Give these a try:
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Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill and Bake From Scratch Magazine for sponsoring this post!
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