English Muffin Recipe

History of English Muffins

English muffins were originally called "toaster crumpets" and hail from New York City. A British immigrant named Samuel Thomas began baking these treats by altering his mother's tea cake recipe. He moved from England to New York in 1874, and found a job in a local bakery. He purchased his own bakery at 163 Ninth Avenue in 1880, and called his bakery the Muffin House.

To get the uneven "nooks and crannies," English muffins should be split with a fork. Using a knife to cut the muffin will cause a flattish texture - the desired rough texture provides a place for butter to pool and creates crispness when the muffin is toasted.

English muffins serve as the base for eggs Benedict, and are also used in various breakfast sandwiches. Most are approximately 3" in diameter and about an inch in height. These delights are generally cooked on a griddle - the muffins do well when finished in an oven to ensure the center is cooked through.

Recipe Ratings

3.3 stars from 3 ratings of English Muffins

Cook Time

Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 3 hours 15 min
Yields: Makes 6 English muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • cornmeal, for sprinkling

English Muffin Recipe Pictures

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Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Next, add the milk and butter.Knead the dough for 10 minutes.Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 60-90 minutes.Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle cornmeal on the sheet.Cut the risen dough into six equal pieces.Form the dough into boules, place on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with more cornmeal. After the boules have risen for another hour, cook the dough on a griddle for 5-8 minutes on each side.The English muffins will turn brown on the cooked side.Finish the muffins by baking them in an oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes.Cool the finished English muffins on a wire rack for 30 minutes.Split the muffins with a fork, toast them, and enjoy a delicious treat!
Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Next, add the milk and butter.
Place the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Next, add the milk and butter. | Source
Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes. | Source
Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 60-90 minutes.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover, and allow it to rise for 60-90 minutes. | Source
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle cornmeal on the sheet.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle cornmeal on the sheet. | Source
Cut the risen dough into six equal pieces.
Cut the risen dough into six equal pieces. | Source
Form the dough into boules, place on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with more cornmeal.
Form the dough into boules, place on the baking sheet, and sprinkle with more cornmeal. | Source
After the boules have risen for another hour, cook the dough on a griddle for 5-8 minutes on each side.
After the boules have risen for another hour, cook the dough on a griddle for 5-8 minutes on each side. | Source
The English muffins will turn brown on the cooked side.
The English muffins will turn brown on the cooked side. | Source
Finish the muffins by baking them in an oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes.
Finish the muffins by baking them in an oven at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes. | Source
Cool the finished English muffins on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Cool the finished English muffins on a wire rack for 30 minutes. | Source
Split the muffins with a fork, toast them, and enjoy a delicious treat!
Split the muffins with a fork, toast them, and enjoy a delicious treat! | Source

Instructions

  1. Add the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Mix the dry ingredients.
  2. Bring the milk and butter to room temperature. Add the milk and butter to the dry ingredients. Mix with an electric mixer on low speed until a dough ball forms.
  3. If the dough is too sticky, add flour to the dough in 1/4 cup increments and knead to combine.
  4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Kneading will help break down the gluten and will also warm the dough to approximately 80 degrees F. This will activate the yeast.
  5. Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and turn the greased side up. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow the dough to rise for 60-90 minutes.
  6. Cut the dough into six equal pieces and form the dough into boules the size of dinner rolls.
  7. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle cornmeal on the tray. Place the boules on the baking sheet and spray the dough with more cooking spray. Sprinkle cornmeal on the top of the boules.
  8. Allow the boules to rise for another hour. Cover the dough with a towel and place the baking sheet in a warm, dark location.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Use a griddle pan on the stove top, or set an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Place the risen dough boules on the griddle. Cover the boules with a towel to prevent a "skin" from forming on the uncooked side of the English muffin. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Do not turn the muffin too early, or it will collapse. Watch closely and do not allow the muffin to burn.
  12. Flip the muffins and cook the other side for 5-8 minutes on the griddle.
  13. Place the English muffins on a baking tray and place in the oven. Cook at 350 degrees for another 5-8 minutes.
  14. Place the muffins on a wire rack and allow the muffins to cool for 30 minutes.
  15. Split the English muffins with a fork, toast them, and enjoy!

Fun Facts About English Muffins

While the term "muffin" in America typically refers to a sweet quick-bread, the English muffin is closer to a crumpet. English muffins were extremely popular in England in the Victorian era, and the bread was sold by men who wore trays of them around their necks. These vendors would stand on the side of the street and sell them to local families. The children's song, "Do You Know the Muffin Man?" is about these men.

The English muffin became extremely popular during the early part of the 20th century, and is a common pantry item in today's kitchen.

The First Thomas's English Muffin Factory

show route and directions
A marker163 Ninth Avenue, New York City -
163 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA
[get directions]

The site of Samuel Thomas's first bakery.

B marker377 West 20th Street, New York City -
377 W 20th St, New York, NY 10011, USA
[get directions]

Samuel Thomas later expanded his bakery to 377 West 20th St. in New York City.

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Comments 10 comments

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I've always wanted to try making English muffins at home. Thanks for the great recipe and history!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Thanks, randomcreative - I love English muffins! I usually buy them from the store, but NOTHING beats the taste of homemade bread. These are really delicious!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

These English muffins look great! I've never made my own English muffins before; I always thought it was a little too time-consuming. Due to the awesomeness of your video and photos, however, I think I'd love to give this recipe a try! I bet they taste and smell even better than they look.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

Definitely give them a try, Om. I placed the leftover ones into a package of store-bought ones, and my husband was frustrated because they weren't pre-split like the commercial variety. It took him a minute to realize they were homemade! They are excellent and taste delicious right out of the toaster with a generous amount of butter!


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

This is one of my favorite breakfast treats. I love the way the butter gets into the nooks and crannies. Great sharing of a tasty recipe. Your video opens up with such a mouth watering view -- how can I resist?


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

I love English muffins, teaches. My husband likes them as part of Eggs Benedict, but I just like them toasted with butter (and a nice big cup of coffee). I love making bread! It makes the house smell so good.


lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

I know people that made English muffins when we lived in South America (because you couldn't get them). But I bet they weren't as yummy as yours! What a great video and recipe Hub! Voted up, useful and awesome!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York Author

I remember making pancakes when we lived in Ireland, lindacee, because we simply couldn't get them at the store! I would definitely make my English muffins if I couldn't get them in a store. They are so good in the morning - a real comfort food!


Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 16 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Leah, I love English muffins. Maybe someday I'll make my own. Voted up for useful!


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 13 months ago from Western New York Author

They are fun to make, Kristen! I don't make them often, but there is nothing better than the smell of homemade bread!

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