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. Once you have enjoyed the fruit of your baking, read about How Long Do English Muffins Last in the Fridge so you don't miss out on a single bite!
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Looking for more breakfast recipes? Give these a try:
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- 4 cups Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour
- 3 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 ¾ cup lukewarm water 85°F / 29°C - 90°F / 32°C
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil such as vegetable or canola oil
- Bob’s Red Mill Semolina Flour for dusting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together bread flour, salt, yeast, and sugar. Add 1 ¾ cups (420 grams) water plus the oil. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on medium-low speed until ingredients come together, scraping down sides of bowl as needed, 1 to 2 minutes (the dough will be shaggy but no dry flour bits should remain). Resist the urge to add more flour. The high hydration is what makes those nooks and crannies so adding more flour will make the final product too dense. Increase speed to medium and let knead for 13 to 15 minutes. Dough will be shiny, smooth, elastic (does not tear when pulled) and dough will pull from sides completely and form a ball around the dough hook.
- Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl. Cover, and let rise in the refrigerator overnight.
- Line 2 rimless sheet pans with parchment paper. Dust with semolina flour. If using English muffin rings, spray with cooking spray. Place semolina flour on a plate, and coat the rings with semolina flour by rotating rings in a quick circular motion on plate.
- On a lightly floured surface, turn out dough, lightly pressing with just fingertips until even so as to not press out all the bubbles that were created from the overnight rise. Divide dough into 12 equal portions (about 78 to 79 grams each). To shape each portion, place on a lightly floured surface and flour hands as needed (do not flour the top of dough), and press, using your fingertips, to an even thickness. Starting at one point on the outside edge, pull (or fold) edge towards center and lightly press to seal. Continue clockwise around the edge, until you reach the point where you started. Flip over to seam side down, and pull, using your hands, on the lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth, round and holds its shape. Place on prepared pans at least 3 inches apart, and place prepared English muffin rings around the dough. Sprinkle tops of dough with semolina flour. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed and dough jiggles slightly when pan is moved, about 1 hour. If not using rings it is important to grease the plastic wrap with cooking spray before covering.
- Preheat electric griddle to 350°F (180°C) or place a cast-iron griddle on the stovetop and preheat over medium heat. A cast-iron skillet can be used but the sides make it harder to flip the muffins over. A 12-inch skillet is recommended and only 2 muffins cooked at a time. Lightly spray the griddle with cooking spray. Using 2 greased spatulas, gently move dough (and rings) to the preheated surface, placing at least 1 ½ inches apart. Cook, until muffins are golden brown on bottom, tops are puffed and look dry/matte, 8 minutes for electric griddle, or 5 minutes for stovetop pan/griddle. Turn muffins, and remove rings, if using; cook until golden brown on both sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F (96°C) to 210°F (99°C), 8 minutes for electric griddle, or 5 minutes on stovetop pan/griddle. If muffins register below 205°F (96°C) flip back over, and let continue to cook 1 to 3 more minutes until done. Place on a wire rack. Wipe surface clean and spray again before cooking next batch. It is best to let cool completely before splitting with a fork. Serve toasted and warm.
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Thank you to Bob’s Red Mill and Bake From Scratch Magazine for sponsoring this post!
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