Homemade English Muffins

Toasted English Muffin

Have you ever thought about making English Muffins from scratch?  If not, maybe you should!  They are surprisingly easy and lots of fun to make.  You might not know this, but English Muffins are baked on a griddle rather than in the oven.  Since I am somewhat obsessed with watching things bake and have a tendency to plant myself on the kitchen floor in front of the oven glass, I love that these get baked on a griddle where I can get up close and personal!

I’ve made english muffins several times over the years, but this is my first time using Peter Reinhart’s recipe.  Yes, this is another installment from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge and it’s another great one!  Although sourdough english muffins are my favorite, these plain white muffins were outstanding!  Like many of the bread formulas in the book, this one calls for buttermilk, and I think that’s what made them so great.

The dough is very basic: flour, salt, yeast, a bit of sugar and shortening, and buttermilk.  Just mix it up in a bowl and then knead it until soft and smooth, tacky but not sticky.  It’s very important that the dough is not too stiff.  This is my dough after kneading:

English Muffin Dough

And a little more than an hour later, it has risen nicely.

English Muffin Dough Risen

Next, I divided the dough into six equal pieces and shaped them like dinner rolls.  I was careful with dough, taking care not to completely deflate it as I was shaping the muffins.  I placed the balls of dough on sheet of parchment that had been sprinkled with cornmeal.  Then I sprinkled cornmeal over the top of the dough, too.

Balls of Dough for English Muffins

I covered them with plastic and let them double in size, which took about an hour.

English Muffins Risen

I’ve found that the easiest way to bake the muffins is on a big electric griddle.  The temperature is easily controlled and you can bake the whole batch at once.  If you don’t have an electric griddle, you can use a stove top griddle, or whatever frying pan you have handy.  Cast iron works really well.  I heated my electric griddle to 350 degrees and I also preheated the oven to 350 degrees in case the muffins needed to be finished in there for the last few minutes.

When I placed the muffins on the griddle, they spread out just a little bit.  This is what should happen if your dough is soft enough.

English Muffins on the Griddle

Next they started puffing up!  It really is a lot of fun to watch the transformation up close!

English Muffins Puffed Up

After about 7 minutes, the bottoms were nice and brown and it was time to flip them over.  This is when they really start to look like english muffins!

English Muffins Flipped

Close-Up on Griddle

After they had cooked for another 7 or 8 minutes, I quickly transferred them to a baking sheet and into the oven for about 5 minutes, just to ensure that the middle was completely baked through.

Don’t they look perfect?  The hardest part is allowing them to cool for 30 minutes!  But like all bread, this is a crucial stage in the process.  The bread just isn’t finished until it has cooled a bit.

English Muffins Cooling on Rack

But I didnt wait too long!  The muffin was still slightly warm when I split it with a fork, buttered it, and topped it with blackberry jam.  Delicious!

Untoasted English Muffin with Butter and Blackberry Jam

But my favorite way to eat an english muffin is toasted with nothing but a little bit of butter (ok, maybe a lot of butter).

English Muffin Bite

Important:  Put those knives down!  English muffins should always be split with a fork if you want the signature nooks and crannies.  Push the fork into the side of the muffin, working your way around until it has been punctured all the way around.  Then gently pull it apart.

The recipe for these english muffins can be found on page 157 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  If you don’t yet own the book, there are several wonderful English Muffin recipes floating around the internet.  I’ll link to some of  them at the bottom of this page.

But first, here are some English Muffins from other BBA Challenge Members:

Thank you Mr. Reinhart for yet another wonderful bread!  And thank you everyone who is participating in The BBA Challenge with me, it’s been so much fun so far and we have many wonderful breads still to come!

The next bread in the book is Focaccia and I’ll let you in on a little secret:  I made the Focaccia last week and it is my new favorite bread from the book!  Simply amazing.  I’ll be sharing it with you soon!

Want to Join The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge?

There are several ways for you to join in the fun!  First of all, you need a copy of Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  Read the first section of the book carefully, as this will prepare you for the bread recipes in the second section of the book.  Then just jump in and bake some Anadama Bread, which is the first recipe in the book.  But first, please visit The BBA Challenge Page for more details on how to participate in the group!

If you haven’t already, you might want to bookmark the BBA Challenge Page.  From there you can see which breads are coming up soon, find answers to Frequently Asked Questions, visit and/or add yourself to our World Map, see the BBA Challenge Blogroll, and check out the continually updated slideshow of BBA Bread photos from our ever-expanding group of bakers!

English Muffin Recipes from Around the Web:

  1. Susan/Wild Yeast

    Those do look perfect! And there’s nothing better on an English muffin than butter and blackberry jam.

    12:22 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  2. Cody

    Yum Nicole! I’ve never thought to make my own before. I love your pictures. Whenever i cook or bake my kitchen is a disaster – that’s why i only ever put up “finished product” pictures! – so I really love to see pictures of the process. Beautiful nooks and crannies! xo.

    12:27 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  3. KitchenMaus

    Yet another thing you never think about actually making at home–love it! Will have to give these a try!

    12:31 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  4. Hélène

    I’m drooling over these pictures. Very well done. I can’t wait to do this challenge 🙂

    12:38 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  5. Margaret

    Those look FANTASTIC. I can’t wait to get there with Slow and Steady BBA. Love English muffins and those are perfect.

    12:46 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  6. Ashley

    Those are incredibly perfect. So perfect that I am afraid to try any other recipe other than the one you used. Guess I need to go buy the book!!

    12:49 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  7. Katie @ goodLife {eats}

    I love english muffins and every time I pass them at the grocery store I think, I should really try making them. Great post, I never knew they were so easy. I will definitely be making a batch of these soon.

    1:00 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  8. Kelly

    OK, I have to make these this weekend. You’re killing me – they look SO freakin’ good. Gorgeous pics, too!

    1:00 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  9. amanda

    Oh, those look delicious! I’ve tried English muffins once and they were a complete disaster so I’m looking forward to trying this recipe once I catch up with the group.

    1:03 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  10. Genie

    Mouth. Is. Watering.


    1:10 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  11. Katie

    These look so fabulous. My husband doesn’t like English muffins (I know, what a weirdo!) so that just means more for me. I’ll definitely have to try these soon 🙂

    1:22 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  12. Coleen

    Are you kidding me!? That is the yummiest looking English Muffin I have ever seen! Will dream about it tonight. 🙂

    1:23 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  13. Devany

    Your Muffins were beautiful. I just love your photography Nicole.

    I have had some blog fans send me their own English Muffin recipes too. Fun. These were one of my favorite breads so far. Wes loved them and is asking for a repeat performance.

    1:33 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  14. Ruby

    I don’t know if it’s your pictures or it actually is easy! I’m gonna have to try this one, I love english muffins. Perhaps I love them because they have itty bitty storage units for the butter I so love.
    Looks like they are fun to make!

    1:42 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  15. Laura

    They look great! I have to start mine, maybe tomorrow.


    2:13 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  16. Wanda Lupo

    Very informative site. Will be using your site as a resource for my food’s class. My students will love it. The Teacher Cooks

    2:22 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  17. mags

    Perfect looking English muffins Nicole. Absolutely perfect. I can almost taste them just by looking at the photos. Thanks for linking to my English muffin post!

    2:43 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  18. Jamie

    English muffins are my favorite breakfast bread. I always thought they were something that I would never be able to make at home, that was until I saw a recipe on the king Arthur’s site. I baked some up and they were wonderful. Someday soon I want to tackle the challenge of making sourdough English muffins. I love my muffins double toasted with plenty of butter. Simply delicious! After following you through this challenge I have added this book to my Christmas list.

    2:50 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  19. Erin

    Nicole you’ve done it again! These are the sexiest homemade English Muffins I’ve ever seen. Forget about a hundred years of so-called tradition “Thomas” has nothing on you 😉

    3:19 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  20. ali @ gimmesomeoven

    Love that you’re all about the butter! 🙂 Friends have made fun of me for years, but I’ll take that any day over jam!

    3:24 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  21. Ashley

    Wow!! Those look amazing! I absolutely adore English Muffins and these homemade ones look a whole ton of a lot better than any store bought ones. I will definitely have to try these sometime this week! Can’t wait.

    4:31 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  22. Kary Gonyer

    Nicole….these look so beautiful. I too love the butter and blackberry jam. Perfect!
    I have a poolish in the fridge….and I can’t wait to try these english muffins this week.

    And I am LOVING the BBA book, but I have to tell you something funny, I snuck downstairs the other night to get a tiny ( yeah, right) bowl of ice cream..and caught my husband reading the book. Caught. Red Handed !

    Now we are both into it…thanks for the fun..looking forward to fall and holiday baking ….

    4:59 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  23. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    Oh they look beautiful! Not sure I’ll be following in your footsteps, but I can admire your work nonetheless 😉

    5:18 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  24. Exena

    Those look SO delicious!

    6:47 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  25. Vanessa

    These look delicious! I have a list of recipes from the sites I visit that I want to try this week and these are DEFINATELY one of them! Yum!

    6:48 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  26. Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker}

    These are TOTALLY the most perfect English muffins I have ever seen! They are gorgeous! Great job with the recipe and the photos!

    7:13 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  27. Rebecca

    Yum!!! These look amazing! I can’t wait to make them.

    7:42 pm  Aug 25th, 2009
  28. Tamara

    I just have breakfast, but you’ve made my mouth water again 😀

    I tried making English muffins once, but the recipe didn’t call for rising (it was more of a biscuit base) and they came out very tough. I’m going to search for your method and try again!

    5:07 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  29. Ben

    I’ve thought about making English muffins many times, but I have never made them… yet. They look so easy to make that I really don’t have an excuse to procrastinate any longer 😀

    5:11 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  30. Annie

    Wow… I love this recipe, Thanks for the wonderful recipe and photos!!!

    5:23 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  31. Jodi

    Once again your pictures make me crave to make the them right away!!! They look so good, especially the butter and jelly one.

    5:30 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  32. Cindy

    Nicole, your nooks and crannies are the envy of all the BBA bloggers! After reading your post I realized where I went wrong. Too much flour and not careful enough with the handling. Oh well, mistakes are how we learn. After seeing your electric griddle I am tempted to get one. This is an expensive challenge!

    6:44 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  33. Wendy

    Wow! It looks so easy! I thought I could wait for Christmas to ask for the book from Santa, but I may just have to go out and purchase it myself. Thanks for the inspiration!

    7:26 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  34. Cate O'Malley

    Mmm, all those glorious nooks and crannies … the muffins look stunning!

    8:41 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  35. Valérie

    I’d heard of the “fork-splitting” rule once on a TV sitcom (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), but I assumed they’d made it up. I learnt something today!

    English muffins have such a distinctive taste and texture, I love them with poached eggs! I’ve never made them myself, buuuut… I got the BBA for my birthday today! The world is mine to conquer! Well, the world of bread, at any rate.

    9:55 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  36. Eric Green

    OMG! These look sooo good! I follow you on Twitter via @LoveMyPhilly and have seen your tasty recipes but these are phenomenal! I may even try these (with some Cream Cheese of course lol) These pics are phenomenal!

    10:51 am  Aug 26th, 2009
  37. nicole

    I cannot WAIT to try these! They look amazing. Thank you!

    12:56 pm  Aug 26th, 2009
  38. Gail

    what a mouth watering picture! You’re going to get me to order that book soon.

    1:41 pm  Aug 26th, 2009
  39. cheffresco

    What a great idea! These look soo good! I always get so angry paying $4 for a pack of them at the store. Might have to start making my own!

    2:30 pm  Aug 26th, 2009
  40. pam

    Toasted bread with melted butter gets me every time!

    3:04 pm  Aug 26th, 2009
  41. Frieda

    I WILL be making these again…and doubling or tripling the batch. You are right, they are perfect!

    5:01 pm  Aug 26th, 2009
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  43. Andy

    I haven’t had muffins in ages – they look great!

    2:06 pm  Aug 28th, 2009
  44. Di

    Your English muffins look really cool. I love my electric griddle, so I’m looking forward to using it to make these.

    7:30 pm  Aug 29th, 2009
  45. Laura

    Yes! Homemade English muffins are the *best* – my husband said he didn’t like English muffins…until I made some homemade ones. Now he’s a fan!

    1:12 pm  Sep 2nd, 2009
  46. Francis Reyes

    Absolutely lovely! I’m trying them this morning! +1!

    7:42 am  Sep 7th, 2009
  47. Rahul

    I tried making the muffins and it was really a nice experience.. made a separate
    sweet and sour cherry tomato sauce by sauting the cherry tomato with some crushed
    garlic and cooked in chinese wine, brown sugar, vinegar and soya sauce…split half
    the muffins and pour over the soup with the cute little tomatoes brazed with all the
    spices and flavors and top it with a sprig of mint leaves…It was awesome

    3:41 am  Sep 8th, 2009
  48. Robyn

    Thank you SOOO much for showing me just how easy these can be to make! I LOVE Eggs Benedict – so now I have no excuse but to enjoy in true fashion. Thanks

    11:35 am  Sep 17th, 2009
  49. Favorite Breakfast «

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    12:20 pm  Sep 17th, 2009
  50. Angela

    Those look perfect! Mine were ugly, but still tasted good. 🙂 Thanks for sharing

    6:32 pm  Sep 18th, 2009
  51. Denise

    Glad to know I’m not the only one making homemade english muffins. I had never throught of it or heard of it until I saw the recipe in a cookbook I bought with my grain mill. I would have never thought of them being finished on the stovetop until I read it!! Like you, I use my new electric skillet (received as a Christmas gift last year).

    Yours look beautiful, and seeing them makes me want to make some tomorrow morning!! Would be tasty to take on our road trip this week.

    7:09 pm  Sep 27th, 2009
  52. Katie

    Wow. Yours look so much better than mine. Mine never really flattened out, but your photos are inspiration to try again. My post is here:

    5:17 pm  Sep 28th, 2009
  53. Zozi

    Thank you so much Nicole, you really are teaching a masterclass on these pages! I read your post, then made them, and then read your post again to see where I went wrong. My kids loved the ones I made, and they tasted good, but it wasn’t untill I read your instructions again that I realised my dough was too stiff and that was why they didn’t look right or puff up when heated.
    I think you should set up classes in teaching your way through the BBA book when you’ve finished the challenge – if I lived in the States I’d come to them!
    Many thanks for your inspiring work.

    3:54 am  Oct 4th, 2009
  54. Denay

    Sport Chef just sent this Facebook message:
    “Go to “Pinch my Salt” for a scone recipe. A wonderful site that has a pumpkin scone. Happened upon the site, by accident, but a wonderful chance encounter. Now a favorite site. Enjoy…..

    Here I am and I am so glad I am visiting. This is a wonderful site…loving the photography. I just purchased the Bread Baker’s Apprentice and have not even taken it out of the Barnes and Noble sack yet, planned on reviewing next month, but now I’m going to jump right in and get started. I am a home-based baking instructor and I must tell everyone about the book and the “Pinch my Salt.”

    5:46 am  Oct 19th, 2009
  55. Abby

    Will definitely make these again! Mine didn’t spread like yours did (yours are beautiful, as always) and I’m wondering if it’s because the dough got too stiff…I used the KA to knead, so I didn’t really get a sense of the dough…think I’ll try it by hand next time. Here’s my post: http://mixitbakeit.blogspot.com/2009/10/bba-challenge-11-english-muffins.html

    7:49 pm  Oct 19th, 2009
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  57. Jojo

    Why, oh why, would you include so many USELESS PICTURES with your recipe? Do you think we are stupid? Do you think they enlighten us in how to make this oh-so-complicated recipe?

    STOP. THINK. Just because digital photography is easy does NOT mean that you have to shoot pointless pictures… it really is still a matter of common sense when to include a picture.

    1:25 pm  Nov 11th, 2009
  58. Denay

    These English muffins look amazing and I will definitely try the recipe. I have not made these in years and will pass this recipe and link on to my daughter who is a bread love, the perfect recipe for a novice. Thanks for sharing!

    2:48 pm  Nov 11th, 2009
  59. AP269

    your English muffins look amazing! I made mine about 3 months ago but are really late in posting my results. Here’s the link: http://ap269.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/bba-challenge-12-english-muffins/

    12:43 pm  Dec 12th, 2009
  60. A-Man

    The one and only for a great breakfast. Thank you for publishing the recipe.

    3:49 pm  Jan 22nd, 2010
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    2:19 am  Mar 6th, 2010
  62. pita bread

    How awesome. Never even thought of making english muffins from scratch, and I love them, especially with some peanut butter and blueberry jam. Heaven.

    2:48 pm  Mar 30th, 2010
  63. Kelly @ A Full Table

    These look divine! I could eat them all up right now. Thanks so much for sharing; I’ll be trying them soon.

    11:51 am  Sep 3rd, 2010
  64. Elise

    I used this dough tonight but I baked them in the oven. They turned out more like dinner rolls. I am definitely going to try them again soon and use a griddle as the recipe indicates.

    Also I’m finding now that it’s cooling down, my dough is rising so much more slowly. I think it’s time to fashion some kind of proofing box.

    8:28 pm  Oct 21st, 2010
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  71. Leah

    This may sound silly, but how do you move your unbaked muffins from the parchment paper to the heated griddle without deflating them, or distorting their shape?

    7:00 pm  May 15th, 2013
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