The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

English Muffins

Floydm's picture
Floydm

English Muffins

Today I tried making English Muffins for the first time. They turned out pretty good:

I think I made the dough a little too dry, so I didn't get the big holes inside that you want, but they still tasted good.

I used the recipe from Beth Hensberger's Bread Bible. I may try another next time, but no complaints about this recipe.

Traditional English Muffins

1/4 cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon (1 package) active dry yeast (or a little less than a tablespoon of instant yeast)
Pinch of sugar
4 to 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 1/4 cup warm milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
Cornmeal (for dusting)

If using active dry yeast, combine the water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. If using instant yeast, as I did, you can just mix the yeast in with the flour and omit this first step and the sugar.

Combine 2 cups of the flour and the salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in egg, milk, butter, and yeast mixture. Mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring in each time, until you have a soft dough that just clears the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Return the dough to a clean, greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

Sprinkle a work surface with cornmeal. Pour the dough out of the bowl and onto the surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with cornmeal and then roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Use a large round cookie cutter or an upside down drinking glass to cut the muffins out of the dough.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the muffins onto the skillet and let the bake for 5 to 10 minutes until quite dark before flipping.

An optional step, if you are concerned about baking them all the way through (which I was), is to have your oven heated to 350. After baking the muffins on the griddle for 5 minutes on each side, place them on a cookie sheet and place them into the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. This assures that they are baked through.

Enjoy!

Altaf's picture
Altaf

They look delicious.. you are a master baker 8-)

qahtan's picture
qahtan

They look great great. I'm going to try them.
Have you ever tried to make Crumpets.

qahtan

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I haven't tried making crumpets. I should.

Bakenstein's picture
Bakenstein

While doing some looking around it seems that if you want the "Nook and Cranny Effect" a wet batter dough has to be used. Batter is placed in rings on griddle flipping once. No need to use oven. Here are two recipes.
Cooks Recipes Ala Ciabatta with overnight preferment.
and Food Network Quick Method.

maggie664's picture
maggie664

I made some English muffins to-day but used the recipe from The Bread Book by Linda Collistar & Anthony Blake. The result wasn't as attractive as those in photo but tasted great and if I slice them to-morrow and grill some cheese based toppings, I hope they will sell OK. Will try your recipe next time as I think the addition of an egg will improve the texture. The muffins were difficult to keep round as the recipe called for a fairly sticky dough. I got a bit tired of waiting to cook a double recipe in an electric frypan, so cut time by pan-grilling each side for about 3 minutes, then finished them off in the oven. I had to take the short cut as the cafe was filling up with lunch customers! 

Ruth Redburn's picture
Ruth Redburn

Shake, I made your muffins today  but substituted 2/3 cup of whole wheat flour for 2/3 cup of all-purpose.  They are fantastic and easier than my recipe which I bake in the oven.  The flavor is unbelievable.  Who gets the credit for this delicious recipe?  I was surprised that it uses baking soda for the English muffins.  I thought only the crumpets would use bs.  But I followed the recipe exactly as written.  Next time, I shall double this recipe.  And I must try the crumpets, also. Thanks a lot. (And I would love your peach jam recipe.)       Ruth Redburn

Lauria's picture
Lauria

Mine came out pretty good for a first try. We have no butter, but I think I ended up adding extra milk. Now I just need some butter or cream cheese for them!

English muffins1
English muffins1

English muffins1bEnglish muffins1b

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What did the in-laws think? Were there any left for them to try?

If you can get some yogurt, you can make cream cheese by letting it hang in cheese cloth (or a clean cloth hanky) and drip a day or two in a cool place. (tip: don't use drink yogurt)

Mini O

sheffield's picture
sheffield (not verified)

I'd like to try the recipe posted by shakeyourfoodie but I want to add some cranberries and orange zest for a flavored muffin.  Can anyone help me out on modifying this recipe (other than adding cranberries, orange zest, and more sugar) to do that?

 Thanks for any help!

peartree's picture
peartree

This is my first attempt at english muffins. They came out surprisinginly well, except for a minor detail.  They are MONSTER muffins.  Would it be safe to assume that the recipe is intended to make more than 12? Next time I'll try making 2 dozen. 

English muffins, first attemptEnglish muffins, first attempt

 Oh, and I I didn't cut them out - I divided the dough into 12 pieces. The crumb was pretty good, though. Has anyone done the batter/rings method? I have a feeling this way is easier.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

These are lovely looking muffins.  I like the nooks and crannies...Is this Floyd's recipe?

Sylvia

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Those really came out nice. I've made a few variations, but never with rings. The rings are necessary with high hydration recipes, which produce a holier crumb. I don't think either method would be hard. Making a high hydration recipe with out the rings is a definite challenge!

Betty

peartree's picture
peartree

They were holier than I expected given that it wasn't a super-wet dough, but I did make it rather sticky. Actually that's why I didn't cut them out - the dough was much too blobby to handle in that way.

 Deb

countrygirl84's picture
countrygirl84

I made these today and they taste great but I had some problems :P

When I cut into them with an upside down drinking glass they shrank back up smaller. I left the dough to rest a while again, I'd say about ten minutes but they still shrank once i cut them into circles. When I cooked them they rose up really thick. So then on the second round i stretched the circles back out before I put them into the pan. They really don't look much like the pictures people posted here. Its very warm and humid here right now, could this be contributing?

I seem to be having no problem baking loaves of bread but my attempts at pita bread, tortillas and now these english muffins don't seem to be turning out too hot... Isn't that kind of funny? I always thought loaves would be much harder and here my flat breads are giving me trouble lol.

newgirlbaker's picture
newgirlbaker

and they were horrible.  I used a recipe from the "wild yeast" forum, the dough was really firm and hard to work with, they shrunk when I cooked them and the taste was not good.  I threw them away, I will try again with the recipe listed above.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I have made the muffins baked in the rings on my griddle and the batter was poured into the rings.  The rings came off very easily..they were pre- greased.  They removed easily with tongs as soon as the muffins firmed up...these muffins had a denser texture...'not what I wanted'.   The muffin photo I have posted are wild yeast 'sourdough' muffins...they were pre-cut, grilled and then baked in the oven for about 10 mins...they had very nice nooks and crannies and a lovely flavor similar to those famous store bought ones.

I have been baking several recipes from this site lately http://www.northwestsourdough.com So I thought I would post the photo.

There are recipes/photos posted similar to this one on the Blog referrel section at the bottom of the home page.

Sylvia

Bixmeister's picture
Bixmeister

Floyd, those are nice looking english muffins.  I haven't made those for a long time and I like them a lot.

Bix

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Just made English muffins for the Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge and wanted to share the results... photos and comments here

 

http://bewitchingkitchen.wordpress.com

 

my crumb was a little tight, I intend to use the batter method mentioned in this thread, I love the monster muffins in Sylvia's post.

as I mention in my blog, I want to try variations with whole wheat and sourdough starter, so I'll be searching for tips on those here.

 

 

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

 The crumb turned out a little tighter than I like it, but maybe I was not gentle enough handling them. Make sure to sprinkle some cornmeal on the parchment paper or Silpat before resting the dough balls on top,  so that you retain the airy quality of the dough

Judging from the lovely shape and height you got, I don't think that rough handling was the reason for the tight crumb. I think that's just the way this recipe turns out. I had the same result, even if I used parchment to transfer each muffin to the griddle (nothing could be gentler). I think we need higher hydration and a longer proofing, probably in muffin rings, to get bigger holes. Beautiful job, btw!

So what did you think of the flavor? I made that recipe with milk (I had no buttermilk at the time) and found it a bit boring. I'll try again with the buttermilk now that I've made some.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I have been following the other bakers from the challenge, and it turns out most people are complaining about the same problem, so I guess for once the problem was not ME  :-)

both my husband and I thought that the muffins were ok, but not real muffins in terms of texture or flavor. I did use buttermilk.

 

I will be trying another recipe soon, will keep you guys posted

 

thanks!

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I have been studying mandarin Chinese for three years - I visit only one food blog writtten in Chinese (of course, I can understand next to nothing, but I don't give up!)

are you American or Taiwanese?

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

Hi Sally, I'm Mexican-American, but moved to Taiwan (to study Mandarin in earnest), let's see, fifteen years ago as of tomorrow August 11th. TFL does have several lovely ladies from Taiwan, though. And my wife is Taiwanese; we'll celebrate our 2nd anniversary in October. She gave me my oven as a birthday gift. Good luck with your Mandarin studies! Definitely don't give up -- it's a tough language, and it takes more time and effort than most, but it's very rewarding.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I am not giving up, and my dream is to go to China sometime - maybe 2011?

 

Congratulations on 15 years living abroad! Amazing, last month I celebrated my 14th year in the USA! Moved here from France -

 

time flies indeed!

 

if you know of websites in Chinese that could be user-friendly for a 3rd year student, send it my way, ok?... (sallyparis2002 at yahoo.com)

Edthebread's picture
Edthebread

I wanted to mention I have tried the sourdough English muffins from the wildyeastblog.com, and they are great.  The dough is rather sticky, but you do not need muffin rings and you get great holes in the muffins. 

Back home in England these would be called crumpets rather than muffins, but whatever you call them, they taste teriffic!

gardenchef's picture
gardenchef

Hi All

I'm new to this wonderful site!

I am awaiting delivery of my first Viking Stand Maker and several bread baking books! VERY EXCITING! I've been making bread for years from scratch but the  kneading process and multiple risings became more of a luxury as my family grew and life got busier. With my youngest now a teen and my oldest new to college I am hoping to slow down a bit and move back into what I sconsider the simpler (quality) ways of life. Appreciation of home baked breads for one!

The favorite two breads in my family:
Country White Bread (hubby & kids 's fav) and English Muffin Bread (grandpa's fav, he passed on in 1994). Now, I still have these recipes and am more than happy to post if anyone is interesed. As I said, I made them from scratch and now I'll be moving into the present and using a mixer. I'd love to become so proficient at breads... that I can step back and learn about grinding my own flours! I'd love to 'honor' (to steal a word from TOP CHEF) the grains and retain as much of the nutrients in everything I bake or cook.

There are really cool items on Pleasanthillgrain.com. I also found some great speciality items on kingarthursflour.com (along with great blogs there).

Regarding the English Muffin bread, it is a loaf and is baked in a loaf pan. My father-in-law ADORED IT! I always toasted it before serving (even though it is cooked thru in oven), freezes well too and is great for gifts. Bake, slice, wrap and GIVE AS A GIFT with instructions to heat, perhaps give a jam too?

Let me know if anyone is interested in either of these recipes. I'll be happy to post.

Happy Baking to ALL

cathy aka ~gardenchef 

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

i was on your blog, hoping to see pictures of your English Muffins.. alas, after scrolling through the entire blog, there weren't any.  Do you have an image or two you can share with us?

Question on your blog.. you have beautiful pictures, but your background needs to be adjusted.  No offense, but it takes an otherwise beautiful shot and squeezes it together, making the readers' eyes more focused on your background than on the shot.. Just a suggestion.

mimi7107's picture
mimi7107

I've made English muffins several times and my favorite recipe right now is the one from "Sarabeth's Bakery, from My Hands to Yours."  They're rather unconventional in appearance since they're higher rather than flatter, but the flavor is wonderful and they look spectacular!  I also love to bake English muffin bread and would be happy to post the recipe if anyone's interested.

Cheers from South Florida!

 

isand66's picture
isand66

Those sound great.  Please share the recipe if you can.

Thanks
Ian

mimi7107's picture
mimi7107

Here's the recipe:

ENGLISH MUFFIN BREAD

3 1/3 cups AP flour (I use only KAF)

1/4 cup dry skim milk powder

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 T. farina (same thing as "Cream of Wheat" and "Quick" Cream of Wheat works fine)

1 envelope yeast, not instant

1 T. barley malt

1 cup warm water, 105 to 115 degrees

2 T. vegetable oil

1 large egg, slightly beaten

cornmeal

Whisk the flour, milk powder, sugar, salt, baking soda and farina together in a large bowl and set aside.  In a 2-cup measure, dissolve the yeast with the barley malt in the warm water.  Let sit for about five minutes, or until a foam forms on top.  Stir in the 2 tablespoons oil and the egg.

Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture in the bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon.  Then place dough onto floured kneading board and knead for about seven minutes or until nice and smooth.

Put the dough into a floured 1-gallon plastic storage bag.  Squeeze out all the air and close the very top of the bag with a twist tie.  Let it rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough is doubled in bulk.  Oil a glass or metal loaf pan and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees for glass; 350 for metal. 

Place the dough back on the kneading surface and form it into a loaf.  Place in the pan and cover with oiled plastic wrap.  Let it rise about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.  Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until nicely browned and it sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove from the pan to a wire rack to cool.     

 

This bread makes unbelievable toast, so enjoy!

isand66's picture
isand66

Thanks.  That is an interesting recipe.

I made an English Muffin bread many years ago but I know the recipe was much different from this one.

Regards.

Ian

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

Is the recipe for English Muffin Bread....the same as the SaraBeth recipe?

mimi7107's picture
mimi7107

No, they are two very different recipes, both excellent but different. 

fotomat1's picture
fotomat1

Of getting the Sarabeth recipe since you seem thrilled with that one? Thanks

mimi7107's picture
mimi7107

I can't wait to try this recipe!  Happy holidays and happy baking!

taurus430's picture
taurus430

I made my first batch of English Muffins using this same recipe only adding in some baking soda. The recipe I have is same ingredients only using less, 3 1/2cups flour. I've been checking recipes out online and it comes down to 2 methods, batter type using rings or roll out dough, using a cookie cutter. Also some bake them, but most pan fry them. The other ingredient I see being used or not is adding an egg to the dough, some do, some don't. For the first time mine came out pretty good, using the egg, rolling out and cutting, then pan frying and sticking them in the oven for 5 minutes. I did my dough in ABM since it was easier for me but I will try to make a wetter dough and handle it less to get more "nooks & crannies".

GYG's picture
GYG

Just a little taste of the last batch we made...

We followed the recipe, they came out just perfect!! 

Regards.. 

GyG   

kat56's picture
kat56

are a total blast to make. The first time I made them and my husband saw me put them on an iron frying pan he said "WHAT! Really?!" we were so pleased with how they turned out. Made them a couple of months ago and made egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches out of them.

orang3's picture
orang3

Here' my shot at English muffins using the recipe from King Arthur.  http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/english-muffins-recipe  I did not have semolina or farina so I used some cornmeal.English muffin
The shape and color came out really nice, but the crumb wasn't quite what I wanted.  Flavor wise they taste great.  I will try this http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/18191/perfect-english-muffins-light-lofty-and-full-holes next.  The holes looks nice and big.

orang3's picture
orang3

taurus430's picture
taurus430

They look really nice. I made them a few weeks back and ready to make another batch. I added some whole wheat flour which I think made them a little dense, but still good. After baking so many breads and rolls, I just started making English Muffins last Spring, and love them homemade!

dosco's picture
dosco

I tried Floydm's recipe ... mixed results IMO (although I gave several to a neighbor who loved them).

i deviated a bit by making a sponge with some of the flour, water, and packaged yeast.

Crumb was very tight...after looking around the internet, I think they have to rise after being cut In order to get the airy "nooks and crannies." I also like the idea of putting the cut pieces on a cold griddle, and letting them slowly warm then cook as the griddle warms.

-Dave

taurus430's picture
taurus430

I always let mine rise for 30- 45mins just like rolls, cook in a cast iron pan, then into the oven for 8-10 mins.

Tom214's picture
Tom214

In looking at the muffins it appears as though you cut them with a knife which would eliminate the nook and cranny effect...try spitting them with a fork next time..gives you that effect of the store bought ones...

philby's picture
philby

I use old 140 gm. tuna or salmon cans with the bottoms cut out.  They are just the right size and it's a sort of recycling.  My wife thinks I'm crazy - she could be right but...