Homemade English Muffins Complete with Nooks and Crannies



For so long I had searched for a good English muffin recipe. Well, this may baffle you as everyone knows tons of English muffin recipes are just a Google search away. But here’s the thing: I am very picky about my English muffins.

As one clichéd saying goes: if you don’t stand for something, you fall for everything. To apply this to a recipe search, unless you know exactly what you look for (taste, appearance, texture, etc.), any recipe that does not produce catastrophic results seems good to you. And that’s fine. In the end, an ideal recipe is one that gives you what you want.


When it comes to English muffins, boy, do I know what I want. I don’t ask for much; I only need two things. I need spongy texture, and heavens know, I need my nooks and crannies. This is the reason why my search for a perfect recipe had been such a long process. I could not find one recipe that yielded these two things. When I found a web or cookbook recipe for English muffins, first thing I looked for was the pictureof the finished product. Dense, fine, bready texture with no nooks and crannies? I packed up and moved on.


To me — and you may not agree — the spongy texture and the nooks and crannies are the sine qua non characteristics of English muffins. Without them, you have nothing but English muffin-shaped rolls. The same thing goes for bagels. Without the definitive bagel “chewiness,” you’re left with donut-shaped rolls. Good Ciabatta and Focaccia, in my bigoted opinion, need to have crusty exteriors and open texture on the inside; otherwise they’re just regular bread that happens to be flat.

With several disappointing recipes behind me, my sense of discernment had become sharper. In fact, lately, I could just scan an English muffin recipe and know right away whether it would be worth trying. For example, when I came across a recipe that told me to shape the dough into balls, flatten them with my hands, and dust them with cornmeal, I immediately moved on. I had gone through too many of those. None of such recipes had worked for me. They may produce the kind of English muffins that suit the taste of the recipe author, but not mine.

The only recipes that had come anywhere close to my ideal English muffins all involved a soft and wet dough and I mean, very wet and very soft. Yet even those few good ones fell short in one way or another.

When I came across Alton Brown’s English muffin recipe, right away I had a feeling this could be “it.”


When I read the recipe and saw that the dough would be so soft that you would have to scoop it into the muffin rings with an ice cream scooper, I almost jumped up on my kitchen counter and yodeled with joy.

But oh, the results … And here’s another thing which makes this recipe stands out above the rest: it works consistently.

If you’re into nooks and crannies, this recipe is it.

You can find the recipe for Alton Brown’s English muffins here. The procedure is simple enough and the only special equipment you need is the English muffin rings which aren’t that difficult to find these days and can easily be substituted with tuna cans with both ends removed.

For those who prefer measuring dry ingredients by weight and liquids by volume, here’s a converted version of AB’s recipe:

4.8 from 4 reviews
Homemade English Muffins Complete with Nooks and Crannies
 
Author:
Serves: 8-10 muffins
Ingredients
  • 36g nonfat milk powder
  • 14g sugar
  • 2g salt
  • 14g melted shortening or vegetable oil (Use flavorless oil.)
  • 8 fl. oz. (1 cup/236 cc) hot water
  • 7g dry yeast
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 2.7 fl. oz. (1/3 cup/78 cc) lukewarm water
  • 250g all-purpose flour
  • 2g salt
  • 2g (1 teaspoon) baking soda
Instructions
  1. Mix the first five ingredients together in one bowl; stir until the sugar is fully dissolved and let it cool down to lukewarm. (Mixture #1)
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the last two (2g salt and baking soda), in another bowl and let it rest until the yeast has dissolved. (Mixture #2)
  3. Add Mixture #2 to the bowl containing Mixture #1 and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  4. Set a nonstick pancake griddle over medium-low heat; coat it lightly with vegetable oil spray.
  5. Add the other 2 grams of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda (see notes below) to the batter and mix thoroughly.
  6. Place English muffin rings on the griddle and coat the insides with vegetable oil spray.
  7. Fill each muffin ring about ¾ full; cover with a cookie sheet (see notes below) and cook for 5-6 minutes
  8. Remove the cookie sheet and flip the muffins over with a pair of tongs. Cover with a cookie sheet and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Remove the muffins from the griddle, rings and all.
  10. Carefully remove the rings and let the muffins cool completely before splitting them.
Notes
I have made two batches (28 batches as of 8-17-10) using Brown’s recipe. For the first batch, I followed his procedure exactly and got very good results. However, for the second batch (shown here), I decided to experiment with adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to create the bubbling effect in the dough (per some other good recipes that I had tried) just before it went on the griddle. This method yields even more pronounced nooks and crannies. In fact, from now on, I think I will add baking soda to my dough every time. Brown suggests that you use an electric griddle and set the temperature at 300° F. But I used my pancake griddle and set it on medium-low heat — I would say a couple of notches above your lowest setting. Be sure to grease the bottom of the cookie sheet which is to be placed on top of the filled muffin rings. You want to keep the dough inside the muffin rings, not underneath the cookie sheet after it has been removed. Let the muffins cool completely before splitting them.

140 Responses to Homemade English Muffins Complete with Nooks and Crannies

  1. Rosanna March 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more — the holes are the best-tasting part! Can’t wait to give these a try.

  2. Anonymous March 5, 2009 at 4:30 am #

    How much baking soda?

    • Jay January 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

      I couldn’t find answer about the baking soda. How much and when in recipe

      • Thriftybob January 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

        Its in the notes section…

        ” I decided to experiment with adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to create the bubbling effect in the dough (per some other good recipes that I had tried) just before it went on the griddle. This method yields even more pronounced nooks and crannies. In fact, from now on, I think I will add baking soda to my dough every time.”

  3. Leela March 5, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Oops. Thanks, Anonymous. Will add info to the text posthaste.

  4. Brilynn March 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    I’m a big Alton Brown fan. I tried once before to making English muffins without success, I’ll have to give these a shot, they look great!

  5. Tangled Noodle March 5, 2009 at 9:51 pm #

    There is nothing better than an extra-large cranny that’s pooled over with melted butter! I have never eaten a fresh, homebaked english muffin. It’s about time.

  6. jan uk March 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    i dont understand why you call these muffins they are crumpets! muffins dont have holes in them and are baked. i see this all the time from the US can anyone explain it?

  7. Elle March 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm #

    Blessings on you! I, too, have tried English Muffin recipes to no avail. Usually it is the missing nooks and crannies, so the extra baking soda at the end is a great tip. Alton, like Dorie, usually has perfect recipes. THANK YOU!! Making these will be a pleasure.

  8. Leela March 6, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    Jan – What the American call muffin (A) is different from what the British call muffin (which is baked not cooked on a griddle) which is what you referred to (B). Neither A nor B is in view here, so I won’t address these two.

    The long-standing (and a bit tired) debate, however, revolves around the difference(s) between what is universally referred to as crumpet (C) and what is called English muffin in the US (D). This is due to the similarity between C and D.

    I’ve listed a few places where the differences between C and D are discussed below. Personally, here’s where the line is drawn for me: if you eat it whole, it’s C, if you split it, it’s D.

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-crumpets.htm

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060828064804AAnhcUR

    http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/368331

  9. Leela March 6, 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    Elle – You’re SO right about Alton and Dorie. :)

  10. Kevin March 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Those English muffins look perfect!

  11. Leela March 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Thanks, Kevin. Out of curiosity, do you guys call these English muffins in Canada?

  12. Linda March 13, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    I agree with you about Alton. Alton’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies is the best I’ve ever used.

    Thanks for the recommendation!

  13. Jude March 14, 2009 at 4:07 am #

    I’ve never gone wrong with Alton Brown recipe. Will keep your tweaks in mind to get more crooks and nannies.

  14. Esther July 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    I have to say a big thank you for posting this information about muffins! I from the UK but having dual nationality with the US I have spent a lot of time over your way an got a serious English muffin habit, bringing back bags of the Thomas variety when from my visits. Contrary to what has been said here, we can buy this kind of muffin in the UK but as you say, they are no better then sandwich bread. There is nothing like the nooks and crannies for the butter and whatever topping. My current favourite is appple butter brought over from my aunt in Vermont. I’ll be sad when it’s gone! In the meantime I’m going to fill my freezer with your recommended recipe. I did have some here that were slightly redeemed by being flavoured with strong English cheddar and black pepper, so once I master the basics I might have a go at this variation.

  15. Corrin August 2, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    I have had luck using AB’s recipe in that the texture is chewy and the nooks and crannies sufficient, but the taste is horribly yeasty. I am a decent bread baker and am accustomed to using staters such as bigas and poolishes which develop a wonderful tasting product, so using this much yeast, to me, is just too much. Has anyone else found this recipe lacking the flavor of delicous slow fermented breads?

  16. JoeV September 22, 2009 at 3:00 am #

    I’ve made this variation of AB’s recipe (with baking soda) several times, all with great success and many kudos. I make mine in a cast iron skillet and they come out beautiful. I even mixed the dry ingredients and stored in a zippered bag, then added the wet when I got into fishing camp this Summer. I made them in my cast iron skillet on a flat top griddle on a camp stove, and we all had Eggs Benedict for breakfast in camp. hey were amazed, because everything was made in camp.

    [IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v664/flyfishohio/MIFI%202009/P1010843.jpg[/IMG]

    Thanks for sharing your discovery with us.

  17. lungworms November 12, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    This is exactly what I’m looking for – mega nooks and crannies! I’ll be whipping up a batch this weekend! And if you’re looking for English muffin rings, look no further than amazon.com – they’ve got several choices, some really inexpensive. (I just can’t eat enough tuna salad to get a sufficient number of cans, you see.)

  18. Anonymous January 1, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Thank you! I live in Brazil and sometimes I dream of english muffins, which we don’t have here. Your post describes exactly what I would like to find in an english muffin recipe, and I will try the suggested recipe immediately!
    Isabel.

  19. Anonymous January 17, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    I made a small change to Alton Brown’s recipe.
    Like you, I added one teaspoon of baking powder in the final mixing just before placing on the griddle…Here is the small change…pour the batter into the rings…wait ONE MINUTE and flip with a turner. The idea is to flip while the top is still runny. That way the runny batter will run down onto the top of the griddle and you wind up with two perfect surfaces. Note there is NO COOKIE SHEET for the first minute before flipping. Also I found that a #12 ice cream scoop (disher) which is 5-1/3 tablespoon or about 1/3 cup works best.

  20. Leela January 17, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Anonymous – Thank you so much. Comments like this always make my day! I would have t try flipping the filled muffin rings while the top of the batter is still runny like you’ve suggested. The cookie sheet is quite cumbersome and if I don’t have to use it, that would be great. Thanks for the tips!

    Also, just to clarify, you add baking soda to the batter, not baking powde, right?

  21. Anonymous January 20, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Okay, just made a batch using AB recipe, but added the baking soda. My batter was far more viscous than I think it should have been. It did not flow at all. I am wondering if during the resting time it may have been too warm? And, due to this, perhaps the baking soda was unable to enhance the nooks and crannies? Appreciate your thoughts!

  22. Leela January 20, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    Anonymous – Hmm … the only thing I can think of is that you may have:
    1. inadvertently packed in the flour a bit too much when measuring out 2 cups, or
    2. didn’t have the measuring cup at eye level when measuring the water resulting in too little liquid.

    Is any of those two things possible?

    The batter is supposed to be very thick, though — thicker than pancake batter for sure, and very gooey. I need to use my fingertips to wipe it off the ice cream scooper every time, in fact. So if your batter didn’t flow, it’s because it’s not supposed to.

    Other than what I’ve mentioned, the only thing that could mess things up would be the quality of the yeast. You didn’t use old, past-expiration date yeast, right? Sometimes, test-activating a teaspoon of the yeast to see if it’s still good and alive removes the doubt.

    Wish I could see the pictures of your muffins so I could better diagnose the problem. :-(

    • Sordino May 30, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      Leela, So, so happy I found your recipe for English Muffins. Two or three recipes now have said “work with hands until dough forms a ball”. Do these people actually TRY their recipes!?!?!? Then they have the guts to say “it will be slightly sticky”. Really? I added probably another whole cup of flour to get it to even start being a ball. Adding all that flour ruins the recipe. When I came across your recipe and saw the picture of your dough, I was elated!!! THANK YOU! I can’t believe I didn’t try Alton’s recipe…could be because he calls for powdered milk which I did not have on hand. I watch Food Network all the time! Thank you so much!

  23. amber February 3, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi, I know this is an old post, but I am obsessed with making English Muffins because I miss them so much. I live in Italy where they just don’t have them.

    I was wondering you have any suggestions for nonfat milk powder as that is just not available here……thank you!

  24. Leela February 3, 2010 at 9:21 pm #

    Hi Amber – When a bread recipe calls for nonfat milk powder in addition to water (as is the case with this one), that means that it wants you to use liquid that contains higher amounts of milk protein solids than regular milk does.

    A good substitute would be evaporated milk which is essentially whole milk that has been cooked down. The water has evaporated and what remains is a liquid with high concentration of milk solids. Nonfat milk powder is just nonfat milk that has been spray-dried. The water has been eliminated and what’s left is just milk solids. As you can see, although the two are not exactly the same, evaporated milk is made up of lot of milk solids and water.

    The recipe calls for water and milk powder when it could have just easily called for slightly over one cup of evaporated milk (milk powder+liquid).

    You might want to try using a cup of warm evaporated milk plus 5-6 tablespoons (to mimic 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup milk powder). It should work. (Half and half or cream would be adding too much fat into the mix.) Make sure you’re not using sweetened condensed milk, though.

    Good luck! Let me know how it goes.

  25. amber February 4, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    Thank you for the information!! Very helpful and infomrative. However, sadly, evaporated milk is also not available. :(

    I guess I will have to try it with regular milk…Actually I do have some powdered buttermilk I brought back from the US. Would that work?

    I also have Coffeemate someone brought me….(and is still sitting on my shelf unopened!) But I don’t think that it’s probably fake stuff and not actual milk.

    We do have sweetened condensed milk here! Except it comes in a tube….so no Dulce de leche for me!

  26. Leela February 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm #

    Amber – I wouldn’t use either regular milk (not concentrated enough) or buttermilk powder (the acidity might interfere with the recipe). I hope you want these muffins badly, because the only thing I can think of is for you to make your own evaporated milk.

    http://www.shesimmers.com/2008/11/organic-evaporated-milk.html

    Use the shallowest, wiiiiiiiidest pan with the thickest bottom and the best heat distribution you have in the kitchen. Shallow and wide mean lots of surface area which means faster moisture evaporation. Thick pan bottom means the milk won’t scorch so easily. Good heat distribution means no hot spots.

    Coffeemate is non-dairy creamer, so it doesn’t contain what we want which is milk protein solids.

    As for dulce de leche, you don’t have to start with sweetened condensed milk. My Colombian friend’s grandmother makes her dulce de leche/cajeta from scratch starting with regular milk. Time consuming, yes, but it can be done. I wanted to post that recipe, but thought people might throw their pots at me for making them spend half a day cooking down milk. But the result is delicious, very delicious. For me, it’s worth it.

    Back to milk powder, short of making your own evaporated milk as described above, off the top of my crazy head — baby formula (dry) might work. It contains cow’s milk. You can customize the concentration as desired. And I’m dead certain it’s available in Italy. No babies around here, but I’m curious enough to experiment with it.

  27. amber February 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    Powdered baby formula is in my house as we speak!! Although, making my own evaporated milk is intriguing….I’ll let you know how it works out. I really do miss English muffins that much. But also because I miss so many delicious American bread products….bagels, rye bread….Yes, I make bagels, but I’m ready for something else. Especially since they never really come out that great….

  28. Rick February 4, 2010 at 7:06 pm #

    Lots of interest on this post…I can only add 1 thing on this subject and Leela touched on this on a twitter, use a scale to weigh and not measure. Too many times I have read about a recipe that failed due to a cup isn’t a cup.

    Is a cup of flour 8oz, or is it closer to 5oz…
    I can tell you 5oz is always going to be 5oz or 150 grams when it is weighed and not measured.

  29. Leela February 4, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Great point, Rick. Thank you so much. (For those who don’t know, Rick is quite an avid home baker.)

  30. Anonymous February 7, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    you add the baking soda to the batter just and then cook them right after? it doesn’t matter if the dough falls, or settles when you fold in the soda? I made these once and put the soda in before the final rising and they came out a little dense.
    thanks

  31. Leela February 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    Anonymous – I put the baking soda into the batter *after* the 30-minute rise along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Would you try that to see if that solves the problem and report back? Thanks a lot! :)

  32. Anonymous March 9, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    Waiting for the loaf recipe. Getting excited. Where is it. :)

  33. Leela March 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Coming real soon. Thanks. :)

  34. Anonymous March 13, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    I’m going to make this recipe this weekend but I’m wondering how I will get the cornmeal finish on them? Because I really like the cornmeal on my muffins.

    Also, I’m going to use bread flour instead of all-purpose.

  35. Leela March 13, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Anonymous – You can sprinkle the cornmeal on the surface of the griddle where you place the muffin rings instead of greasing it. Sprinkle some more cornmeal on the tops of the muffins before you flip them over as well. You still need to grease the insides of the muffin rings, though.

  36. Rik March 14, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Hi, I was the anonymous poster from march 13 and tried this recipe earlier today.

    Thanks for the tip with the cornmeal, that turned out perfect.

    My muffins turned out looking great, also after the splitting I was totally impressed. Untill I tasted them. They were too dense and just seemed not ready. I did put too much dough in the rings so they where pretty high so I think thats mainly my problem.

    I used INSTANT dry yeast instead of just dry yeast so I skipped the dissolving the yeast in water part. Just mixed one envelope (7gr) instant dry yeast through the flour.

    Instead of all-purpose flour I used bread flour expecting a more open bread structure.

    Questions:
    - How far should I mix the first ingreadients? It says stir until salt and sugar are dissolved but at that point the shortening is still largely undissolved.
    - How long should I beat the dough with the wooden spoon? I beat quite hard for about 2/3 minutes untill I think it looks okay. After the 30 minute rise I also beat pretty hard for 2 minutes while throwing in the salt and baking soda.
    - Will I have better results using normal dry yeast?

    PS. I’m a total newbie when it comes to baking.

  37. Leela March 14, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    Rik,

    *Make sure that one cup of water is hot enough to melt the shortening almost upon contact. Stir just until everything is dissolved, then let it cool down a bit.

    *Even with instant yeast, I still wouldn’t skip part. English muffins are different than bread which generally requires two risings. So feed your yeast. No need to switch to regular dry yeast. I use instant yeast too.

    *I stir the batter with a wooden spoon just until everything comes together, about a minute. Ditto with the second stir post-rise.

    *You might want to use all-purpose flour as it has lower protein content and results in lighter muffins. As far as I know, you achieve open texture through the level of moisture in the dough/batter, not the protein content of the flour. This is a very wet dough, so you should get (which you did, right?) the nooks and crannies with regular all-purpose flour.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions. :)

    Does anyone else have input to help Rik with his next experiment? If you do, please chime in.

  38. Rik March 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Thank you so much for your comments! This made things a lot more clear to me. :)

    I will try the recipe again sometime this week taking your comments in account. I will let you know my results.

    Leela, you rock!

  39. Rik March 17, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Ok, tried a new batch yesterday. I used normal all-purpose flour and did not not skip the yeast dissolving part this time.

    I have 2 little problems left:
    - I think the taste (although its great) is a little bit soapy. Not really disturbing but I think I taste it. Next time I will use half of the baking soda. Maybe my teaspoons are a bit big or something.
    - I’m having some problems portioning the dough in the rings. I almost always throw in too much or not enough.

    Besides that the muffins are absolutely awesome! They totally bring me back to Hawaii, where I ate these as if my life depended on them. The texture is beautiful. It’s like in your pictures, with a lot of holes :-)

    I think I’m going to sell these things as they don’t sell English muffins anywhere here in Holland but everybody who ate mine seems to love them a lot. They are totally unknown over here. That is why I wanted to make these. I am totally extatic now that I can make ‘em myself :)

  40. Leela March 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Rik – Yay, you got the hole-y English muffins! (The second to last paragraph is very cute, by the way.)

    I’ve never detected the soapy taste. Yeasty maybe, as one of the commenters pointed out, but not exactly what I’d call soapy. You may be particularly sensitive to such taste. Are you one of those people who can’t stand cilantro?

    Yes. Sell them. We’ll split the money. Don’t let Alton know. ;-)

    Since you’re thinking of making these on a regular basis, you may want to get a reliable digital kitchen scale, if you don’t have it already. One teaspoon of baking soda 5 grams. That’s the only way to be sure if you measure correctly. Experiment with adding a little less, perhaps. And if that solves the soapy taste problem, then you have your answer.

    Have fun and good luck!

  41. Anonymous May 15, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    How important is putting a baking sheet on top of the muffins as they bake? I did this but when I took off the baking sheet, gooey dough was sticking to the sheet.

  42. Leela May 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Anonymous – The cookie sheet forces the dough to fill the rings and form perfect rounds by expanding horizontally. Without the cookie sheet, you may end up with English muffins are flat on one side with odd flatted domes on the other. It’s only for aesthetics.

    Dough tends to stick to the cookie sheet; that’s why I included the instruction to grease the bottom of the cookie sheet in bullet point #3 in my notes.

  43. Kathy May 18, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    Thank you so much for all your work. Loved them! Even the hubby loved them,and that says alot.I used little spring formed pans and removed the bottoms, they were 2 inches high and 4 inches round and light and lots of holes for the butter. Thank you again Kathy from Ohio USA.

  44. Leela May 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Kathy – using springform pans is just brilliant! I would never have thought of it. Thanks for the report! :)

  45. Leela June 12, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    “Nable Rivers” left this comment: “Hello
    I am concerned about you conversions to grams.
    Tablespoons and teaspoons are volume and grams are weight. Dissimilar ingredients can fill the same volume but not weigh the same. A bucket of ping pong balls will not weigh the same as a bucket of water. A teaspoon of yeast will not weigh the same as a teaspoon of sugar. But if your getting the results you want who cares.”

    My reply: I have no clue why your comment which I’ve approved doesn’t show up. Anyway, thanks. I’m aware of the issue. The weight I’ve put here is based on actual weight of each ingredient as I measured them by volume, not according to a conversion chart. Is there anything in particular that seems a glaring mistake?

    Great tips. Thanks again. :)

  46. Kārlis Streips July 17, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    I just came back from vacation in the States, where I had an English muffin every morning. I tried this recipe in a cast iron pan. After five minutes of cooking, the bottoms of the muffins were burned completely black. I think I didn’t put in enough oil. But once the char was cut away and the muffins were toasted, they were perfect. The soda really did make the muffins holey and wonderful, so thank you very much for the recipe!

  47. Leela July 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Kārlis – Oooh, I wouldn’t use a cast iron pan for English muffins at all. The qualities that make it great for other dishes, such as fried chicken, kind of work in the opposite way when it comes to English muffins. The heat is difficult to control and once the temperature of the pan reaches a point higher than you want, it takes a while before you can bring back down.

    This will not be solved by adding more oil either as that would only cause the outsides to crisp up and blister. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, crispy and oily exterior is not traditionally what one would expect good English muffins to be.

    I would use a different pan — a nonstick pancake griddle which doesn’t require much more surface greasing than a light spray of vegetable oil and is easier to control temperature-wise.

    Looks like you’re just a small adjustment away from mastering the recipe! :)

  48. Anonymous August 7, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    OK.. so I’m 3rd batch into this recipe and I’m still coming up with fairly dense round bread. Arrrgghhh!! After getting one of those point and shoot infrared thermometers it’s getting better as I’m using cast iron on gas. I need to perfect his method as camp cooking is my goal!

    I need some advice on batter/dough consistency. Should it flow into the rings by itself. I think my dough is a bit too stiff to let the N&C’s form. The next step is playing with the soda, for my 5220-9000′ elevation requirements..

    The other goal is whole wheat. Has anybody tried whole wheat and multigrains??

    Thanks all!!
    KW in Colorado

  49. Leela August 8, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    KW – There’s something about baking these English muffins in a cast iron pan that makes it a bit tricky. Hope the infrared thermometer helps take some of the guess work away.

    The dough is soft, wet, and sticky. When you pour it into the ring, most of it should flow into the ring while some clings to the scooper. I always have to wipe the batter off the scooper with my finger. Stiff dough is definitely the reason for the dense texture. Do you measure or weigh your flour? Weighing is always better.

    More baking soda may be needed at higher altitude.

    I have never tried whole wheat or multigrain. But if anyone has, please feel free to leave comments for KW. Thanks. :)

  50. Jeremy August 8, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    Leela, I’ve come here late thanks to a link on The Fresh Loaf, and I want to pick you up on the differences between an English Muffin and a Crumpet. There is far, far more to the difference than whether they are split or not. Trust me on this; it is important! :)

    Elizabeth David’s English Bread and Yeast Cookery devotes an entire chapter to the subject.

  51. Leela August 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Jeremy – Thanks. :) Would love to read up on that.

  52. Ssteppe August 8, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    Re: Taste

    Thomas stopped selling its Sourdough English muffins in my area a few years ago, so in addition to the nooks and crannies, a stronger flavor is important to me also. Have you tried experimenting with the time you let the initial dough set (maybe several hours instead of only 30 minutes)?

  53. Leela August 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Ssteppe – Funny you should bring this up. I’m actually planning on experimenting with two batches this week: one made with my sourdough starter and the other made the same way but with the dough rising overnight in the fridge. Will post results.

  54. Anonymous August 9, 2010 at 4:07 am #

    HI all
    Time for an update. Thankfully experimenting with bread is inexpensive and quite frankly even the failures are tasty, with real butter and your favorite topping! I’ve moved on to whole wheat in the form of half and half, AP and WW flours. Then I made a straight WW batch. The secret I’ve learned was consistency. I upped the soda some, and it helped. The big secret, that I haven’t ried yet, was finding that if you search on “Alton Brown english muffin” you can get a YouTube video. I can see now that my dough needed to be more viscous!! A video is worth a million words!!! I’m out of time for this weekend, but I think the nooks & crannies are in sight!!!!

    Thanks all, for the suggestions!!! btw, … round bread, toasted, with cinnamon sugar ain’t wrong!!!

    KW

  55. Leela August 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    That’s great, KW. Thanks. :)

  56. Anonymous September 9, 2010 at 10:02 pm #

    I made these English muffins last weekend and loved them so much that I had to let you know. Great tips and excellent description. I love your blog because you’re not all about big glossy pictures and stream of consciousness writing like a lot of the food blogs out there. Every time I come here, I learn something. Thanks.

    JB

  57. Anonymous November 27, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Great Recipe! Thanks so much. I am attempting to recreate the English muffins we love which you can see here: http://tastingtable.com/entry_detail/la/473/La_Grande_Oranges_homemade_English_muffins_are_addictive.htm

    Alton’s recipe is the closest to it but I’m going to try and use a sourdough starter along with honey so I’ll get a better reaction from the baking soda. The baking soda is a great idea but there needs to be honey, buttermilk or other ingredients for the soda to react with otherwise it’s best to use baking powder.

    Honey seems like the perfect addition. Just 1 TBL spoon should do. Try it next time and you’ll find even better results with the soda.

  58. Leela November 27, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    Ooooh, Anon, thank you SO much! I’ll remember that.

  59. Anonymous December 14, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    I came across this page by accident but would like to say that in the opinion of this true Englishman that the product of this recipe is very nearly a Crumpet and not a muffin. Crumpets though are normally cooked on one side only until just set and then toasted again on both sides before eating.

    For those of you who like the nubbly texture of a true (English)Muffin then you need to know that traditionally a muffin is not sliced with a knife but a fork is inserted into the side 3 or 4 times around the centre line and then it is gently pulled apart with two forks or the fingers. The two halves, when toasted have lots of crispy peaks. The best way to toast them is of course on an open fire with a long-handled toasting fork which you sometimes see in secondhand shops/thrift shops.

    George

  60. Anonymous December 14, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    I just tried Alton’s recipe last night. Although they looked good… and for the most part tasted that way too, but they had the distinctive flavor of pancakes. Not the flavor I am used to with EM’s. I have seen other recipes where you let the dough set over night to develop a more tart flavor and to achieve the nooks and crannies naturally.

  61. Maryann Leffingwell December 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    Do you think that these muffins could be mailed 2 day service as a Christmas gift or do they need to be refrigerated. Thanks, Maryann

  62. Leela December 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm #

    Maryann – The muffins’ freshness will have deteriorated somewhat, but two days should be okay. I’d wrap them very tightly with plastic wrap and put it in a ziploc bag just to be sure. They would need to be frozen or refrigerated immediately upon arrival, though.

  63. Rob D January 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    I have just started experimenting with this recipe, i used baking soda and a teaspoon of honey at the final mix. The only thing i did different was use small pieces of aluminum foil coated with nonstick cooking spray to cap each ring, and then didn’t cover them after the first flip. The foil caps made flipping easy as pie and the were lightly cooked, loaded with nooks and crannies and ready for toasting. Delicious recipe.

  64. Leela January 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Rob D – Thanks for the tip and the feedback!

  65. Anonymous February 5, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Hello Leela, Thank you for the recipe and detailed description – I have made a successful batch this morning, using a golf ball size of old dough instead of instant yeast, and they came out great -and the result muffins are flavourful, without yeasty undertone, tender crumb, with lots of those vertical holes through out. i also lightly sprinkled the bottom of the rings with some corn meals, as well as a sprinkling on top of each muffin – so I had no problems turning them at all. Thank you again for sharing the AB recipe! Jade

  66. Anonymous February 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Leela I want to respond to a question you asked “Kevin” back in March 2009. These ARE called English Muffins in Canada. Crumpets are cooked only on one side in a skillet with lots of holes on top very similar to the Ethiopian bread known as Injeera. Whether or not the “English” in Britain refer to these as Muffins or Crumpets…a rose by any other name still smells as sweet:)

    Carrie in Calgary

  67. Leela February 21, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Carrie – Thank you! :)

  68. Laurie/Mom/Grandma February 28, 2011 at 3:30 am #

    This post and comments have been fun to read. I designed and have been using a sourdough variation of AB’s recipe for about a year now. My version uses half as much yeast and replaces a half cup of water and a half cup of the flour with a cup of sourdough starter. Instead of tasting yeasty, they have a distinctive sourdough flavor. Oh, so good.

  69. Leela February 28, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    Laurie/Mom/Grandma (all three of you?) – Thank you! Love feedback like this because I learn a lot from it. Will definitely give your version a try. :)

  70. Holly Knott July 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting this! I just stumbled across your page while searching for english muffin recipes and have it bookmarked to definitely come back to and test out soon. It truly is a science, isn’t it? And given the price of Thomas’s, I’d much rather try to make my own. :-)

  71. Lori July 24, 2011 at 2:43 am #

    I just stumbled across your recipe and read all the comments. Great information. I tried the alton Brown recipe tonight and they taste good but didn’t have all the nooks & crannies we love so. I left my batter for almost an hour and by the time I went to cook it the dough was really sticky and not at all batter-y. I think I left it too long which probably contributed to the lack of nooks etc.

    I’ll be making these again soon and will be using your version. Thanks for all the useful information in the recipe and in the comments.

  72. ArtoriusRex August 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Made these this morning for breakfast and was pleased with the result. The only thing I found missing from the recipe/instructions was a more specific description of how thick the batter should be.

    The air pockets on my finished ones were a bit small, so I’m thinking that my batter was a bit too wet. The water measurements in cups didn’t work well for me, and I don’t have a cc measure. I’ve love to see the liquid measurements by weight (g); I think this would give better results. We’ll see how attempt #2 comes out.

    Great place to start though! Thanks!

  73. Admin August 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    ArtoriusRex – I know professional bakers weigh everything, and this makes perfect sense when it comes to dry ingredients, butter, honey, and such. But I’m wondering, when it comes to plain water, how measurements in cups (8 fluid ounces per cup) can be imprecise to the point where a recipe is ruined. Could you explain? Thanks.

  74. Anonymous August 17, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Those look more like ‘crumpets’ than English Muffins. Perhaps that is why you had so much trouble finding the recipe. You were using American terminology for an English product.

  75. Admin August 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Anon – This whole crumpet versus English muffin issue has been discussed in the comments.

  76. Anonymous September 12, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Very interesting debate on muffins. I do have to say however that this recipe is not a traditional ‘English’ muffin.
    The type that you don’t like are muffins, the type you like are what appears to be a crumpet but of more bread like form. Not quite half muffing and half crumpet, more crumpet i would say, but importantly, and as you have found, cook what you like the best, but there really not a traditional muffin.

    I love both crumpets and muffins, but both are quite different. I use bread flour (10 oz), salt (1tsp), yeast (1/4 oz of dried active) (mixed with the sugar (half oz) and warm water 7.5 fl oz), olive oil 1tbsp (added to the yeast water at end). the dough must be very moist when mixed so that it only just holds it shape. It will firm up when kneaded. left to rise for an hour then divided into balls (10) and placed onto a heavly floured surface and left to rise for 40mins then cooked in rings on a griddle (i use a cast iron pan) about 5 mins on each side. then whilts warm torn/spilt in half by hand not a knive (one is not supposed to cut a muffin in half, i dont know why). then heavly buttered. left over muffins can be split and toasted. I use a recipe from a ‘farmhouse cookery’ book by Readers Digest, full of traditional British recipes of Old.

    I do love crumpet too!

  77. Anonymous September 16, 2011 at 1:51 am #

    Is this recipe taken from this page below?

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/english-muffins-recipe/index.html

    I’m just a little confused concerning the measurements of the flour and milk powder used in your recipe because Brown’s uses twice the amount for flour and about three times the milk powder, but everything else remains the same in weight.

    Also, may I ask if you can bake these in the oven instead of on the griddle? I have actually never made an English muffin before so this griddle thing is new to me.

  78. Admin September 16, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    Anon – I’m not sure what you meant. Alton’s recipe calls for 2 cups of flour which weighs about 250g and 1/2 cup of milk powder which weighs about 35-36g.

    I’ve never made these in the oven. I doubt it would yield the same result.

  79. Anonymous October 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    for those not using a griddle i found out the hard way that when cooking these on a pan over the stove, the dial should bet set at just above MIN, i had mine set at 1. because any higher burns them.

    also i don’t think my dough turned out the way it should have, i had to add water to the dough after the rising to get it to a more “poury” consistency. they also didn’t really have any nooks and crannies, I will have to try it again but with some of the suggestions.

  80. Rachel November 15, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    I made these tonight. the first time I had rings that were far too high and they turned out terrible. today i had english muffin rings. they turned out quite nice but i filled the rings too full..which i think made them too dense. didnt get enough nooks and crannies but enough to give me hope, I’ll try again.

  81. Dawn December 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    I did a first run yesterday, second run today. I just wanted to share that I don’t use powdered milk – I used warmed up raw milk cream, a little more than 1 Cup – and I used coconut oil instead of shortening (it’s solid at room temp, melts easily). I also use white spelt flour.

    They were INCREDIBLE. Nooks and crannies just like you said, the taste was delish. I have rings and I used corn meal on a well warmed cast iron griddle, as well as the cookie sheet. The trick to cast iron is letting it slowly warm up to the temp. you need and not messing with it after that. I had it warming for at least 4 minutes.

    I let the muffins sit in an oven I had warmed and turned off while I was griddling the second round. They “dried out” well and we used forks to open them. I had made blackberry jam the night before and it was great on top!

    Amazing recipe, amazing conversions, amazing comments. I really appreciate being able to make nourishing foods taste like heaven. Thank you so much!

  82. Admin December 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Dawn – Thank you so much. Comments like yours are very helpful to everyone who follows this post. I appreciate you taking the time to share the result of your experiment with us.

  83. Elise December 10, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    I just made these for the first time and they were lovely! I only used 1/2 tsp of baking soda as I’m very sensitive to the taste. My muffins turned out with a true English Muffin texture (not like crumpets.) I did something a bit different to save a bit of time and effort. I lined a baking dish with baking paper, sprinkled corn meal and spread the batter evenly in the tray, I then topped with a light sprinkling of corn meal and baked at 180C fan forced until golden brown. I then cut it (with a bread knife) in to 8 portions and then halved those length ways. They turned out exactly like English muffins, only square shaped! They didn’t dry out or get crispy at all. They were very tender and light.

  84. Admin December 10, 2011 at 12:38 am #

    Elise – Very, very helpful. Thank you so much.

  85. Wineguy February 21, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    As a chef at 9000 feet for 30 years, I have better advice for those making this at high altitude (forgive me if someone already said it, I only got as far as the first mention which said increase the baking soda, which is wrong). 

    Always reduce active ingredients and increase the water at altitude. It is dry and the lower air pressure makes things rise too quickly. The proportions depend on the altitude (and even the barometric pressure of the day).

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I will soon. I now live in Argentina and really miss English muffins. 

    BTW, if you haven’t tried this, you must. Broil the split EM with butter and parm. Broiling (high heat from the top) is the secret. It browns just the top, leaving the bread wonderfully soft, and the parm gives it great flavor, no matter what you are planning to use them for. One of my best kept secrets.

  86. Admin February 22, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    Wineguy – Comments like this are the best! Thank you so much.

  87. David Franks March 5, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    I made a batch of these this weekend, with the following change: instead of using dry milk powder and 1 C. hot water to dissolve the sugar and salt, I used 1/2 C. of hot water to melt the shortening and dissolve the salt and sugar, then stirred in 1/2 C. plain yogurt, which cooled the mixture somewhat. This gave a bit of a sour flavor, and the pH seems to have been little affected.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your recipes. The English Muffin Bread is next, and I will try a similar substitution in that recipe. (This might address your caveat regarding that recipe.)

    Thank you.

  88. Wineguy March 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Thanks to your advice and a great recipe I was able to adapt to the high-ish altitude (4000 feet) by reducing the yeast a little, and adding a little more water (to the milk mixture).

    The result was a wonderful Eggs Benedict served for my birthday dinner. The guests were thrilled with the classic breakfast being served at night, and with a nice crisp Argentine Viognier.

    I will continue to play with the recipe, next up, whole wheat, but thanks to you I have English Muffins back in my life.

    Wait until you see what I do with curry dishes next week! Great site, thank you for sharing so much with us.

  89. mgourley March 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm #

    This may have been said before, but let me post some info with some experience working on a commercial EM production line. English Muffin dough MUST be wet and cold (roughly 62F). The dough is divided and then proofed at high humidity and at roughly 100F for about an hour. This forms a skin on the top of the dough piece. The dough pieces are then flipped over on to a hot griddle and lidded for their journey half way through the “oven”.
    This deflates the dough ball a bit and is why most commercial EM’s are more evenly browned and cylindrical on one side.
    Half way through the cooking process, the EM’s are flipped over, so the top is now on the bottom and that side is in contact with the burners and the griddle plates.
    After cooling for roughly an hour, the EM’s are passed through a conveyor with extremely sharp pointed tines that turn the muffin and “fork” it.
    All that being said, I made these today and they turned out pretty well. I think the texture was a little too spongy after cooling, but perhaps some time in a low oven after removing from the griddle might have firmed them up a bit.
    Thanks for putting in the time to give us this information. I will certainly try it again and play around with the cooking method. I think you have the recipe down.

  90. Mooneybeams March 30, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    As an English person, this doesn’t really look anything like a muffin to me. Muffins, in England, are not holey, and are fine textured light bread with a slightly sharp taste to it.

    What these do look like is the lovechild of a muffin and a crumpet, which could be rather magnificent.

  91. Anonymous May 18, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I am English married to a Canadian and for years I have been telling my in-laws that English Muffins are not English. English Muffins are awesome wheras muffins in England are merely bread rolls! I’m off to the recyling to find some tuna tins!

  92. Paul, on the road to Damascus July 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Please clarify, Baking POWDER or Baking SODA? Baking soda doesn’t levin.

  93. Admin July 8, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    Paul – Baking soda.

  94. Icenorum July 19, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    To mgourley – if your ‘muffins’ came out a bit spongey, then they were probably more like the real UK thing – crumpets! Crumpets are flat, slightly spongey, full of holes (for the butter to melt in to) and only fully browned on one side. They are usually well toasted when cold, whereby they crisp up somewhat, and spread with butter. Lots of butter. Never, ever heard of splitting them, as they are actually quite thin, and the method of dealing with them mentioned here I’ve only ever heard applied to, um, shall we say ‘British’ muffins? This recipe does sound like the lovechild of a muffin and a crumpet, as mooneybeams says – I shall have to give it a go, cos it sounds interesting; try anything once, eh?

  95. Anonymous July 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    I tried this recipe for the second time today, once as the original and today with 1/3 cup very active sour dough starter in place of the yeast mixture. I let the sour dough mixture proof for 12 hours prior to cooking. I had excellent results both times, this is definetly a keeper. Just a hint for beginners, I use a cast iron griddle over gas, and only heat one end. When the non-heated end reaches 300F, I put the batter down. I also turn the muffins 180 degrees(spin them around gently)prior to flipping. This ensures an even browning. Wet your fingers slightly to prevent the raw batter from sticking. To tell if your muffins are done, squeeze them gently around the middle, and if your finger/thumbprint bounces back, they are done. If the imprint stays indented,cook a bit longer. Thanks for sharing this great recipe! Dave from Maine

  96. Admin July 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    Dave – This is very helpful, Dave. Thank you so very much.

  97. Suzy August 22, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    I made these over the weekend and they were AWESOME. Just what I was looking for in a homemade English Muffin. So good I blogged about them myself (linking back to you of course) and now that they are all gone I want some more. This may become a regular Saturday thing…thanks!

  98. Kellie August 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Hello, great recipe & I am looking forward to making these. I live in a small mountain town in CO & can’t find English muffin rings. Could I use the molds you pour pancakes into and cook? I can get them on line, but I wanted to try this recipe today.ha

    • Leela August 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      As suggested in the post, you can use tuna cans with both ends removed instead of English muffin ring. Pancake rings aren’t tall enough for these muffins.

  99. Mary September 4, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    I wan to try these but I don’t have a pancake griddle.
    Can these be done on the stove top with a flat pan?
    Thanks

    • Leela September 4, 2012 at 10:20 am #

      I think so. Nonstick’s best.

  100. Mary September 4, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Also can you use butter or olive oil for the shortening?

    • Leela September 4, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      I’ve never tried. Does anyone have experience using butter or oil in place of shortening in this recipe?

  101. Alan Thwaite September 7, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Muffins? – The breads described on this website are NOT English muffins. English muffins are a relatively dense form of bread, made by baking in an oven. When eaten They are always split in half and usually toasted.
    The breads described in this article are crumpets, as already mentioned. Crumpets do have holes. They should be brown and hole-less on the bottom, with holes on the top, which is very briefly cooked. Cooking is done either on the base of a frying pan or, better, a flat iron plate, to make it firm.
    There are also pikelets, not very often send or heard about nowadays. Essentially they are the same as crumpets, but rather larger in diameter and usually thinner as they are usually cooked without the use of rings to contain the mixture.
    Both crumpets and pikelets are toasted and usually buttered and / or covered with the likes of honey or a savoury like Marmite. (UK English contributor)

    • Leela September 9, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      This issue has been debated ad nauseam, Alan. In the end, it’s just a matter of accepting the fact that cross-cultural misnomers happen and that these things, however they’re called elsewhere, are generally referred to as English muffins in the US. And the main difference between these and crumpets or pikelets is that they’re split.

  102. Lisa September 8, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    Can I use liquid low fat milk? How many ml is needed?
    Thanks

    • Leela September 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

      I’m not sure. If you went that route, basically, the low-fat milk would serve as the replacement of the combination of the nonfat milk powder and the one cup warm water in the original recipe. The protein content of your low-fat milk and that of the nonfat milk powder may be different, so I can’t say for sure they’re interchangeable. But it’s worth a try. You’re going to have to omit the warm water and use lukewarm low-fat milk instead. Please let us know how it goes as I have no idea what the outcome will be.

  103. Thriftybob December 28, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    I tried Alton’s recipe without powdered milk and they turned out tasting great. I used the same amount of liquid in total, with 1/4 cup of it being warm water that I added some of the sugar to activate the yeast, and the balance being 2% milk. Yes, I know it probably had less protein, but powdered or evaporated milk is expensive and not something I keep around the house, so I’d prefer to find a way to make good ones with normal ingredients.

    I didn’t have tuna cans or muffin rings, and tried wide mouth mason jar lids which I found suggested in the comments on Alton’s recipe, but to be honest, they are too small, not tall enough, and having the threads and rim at the top made them susceptible to overflowing and were tricky to get off, so today I broke down and ordered a set of 12 rings from King Arthur Flour for about $14 + 8 shipping, and will try making them again when the rings arrive.

    Initially I followed his recipe in terms of amount of liquid vs flour, but got a sort of sticky, gloppy, glob like dough, rather than what I would call a very thick batter, and that made it difficult to get into the rings 2 scoops at a time, because it wouldn’t come out of the scoop, and I didn’t know that 2 scoops translated to 1/3 cup. I tried thinning it a bit by adding more milk, but found that if it got too much like a batter, the results were closer to thick pancakes than English muffins. I also think his 300f setting is a little too hot, and will try 275 or so for longer (so they have less tendency to burn) and then keep warm for another 15 min in a 225f oven next time. Of course the amount of batter/dough and the resulting thickness of the cake is likely affecting the amount of time needed to cook them through.

    I am hoping to make ones as good or better than the Bay’s or Thomas’s English Muffins that a friend is willing to pay 60 cents a piece for. LOL, there is NO WAY I would pay that, myself, but they are very tasty. When I fork split mine, and toasted them, with salted butter and my homemade apple butter (4 large apples per pint), the taste was excellent, as good or better than the best store bought ones, but I need to get the shape and texture right before I settle on a way to make them regularly. I may try your baking soda idea to get bigger nooks and crannies, but have high blood pressure, so might try adding 1/4 tsp instead of 1/2 to try to keep the sodium level down.

    • Leela December 28, 2012 at 3:49 am #

      Thank you, Bob.

  104. Thriftybob December 28, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Well, all that thinking about English muffins made me hungry for some, again, so i made a 2nd batch, this time doing them at 275f instead of 300f, and making some in the mason jar rings, and taking some of the dough, and rolling it out about 3/4″ thick, and cutting biscuits from it and griddling them like I found in some recipes.

    The ones that were cut like biscuits ARE more like griddled biscuits, LOL. Oh, and I found out AFTERWARDS that I was putting my jar rings on the griddle upside down. I found a recipe for cinnamon raisin English muffins BAKED at 350f for 15-25 min using the rings with pictures that showed me what I’d done wrong there. I will try some cinnamon raisin ones next time I make them, but I think the pictures show that even if I get it right with the jar rings, they won’t be thick enough for the resulting muffins to be “right”.

    http://www.bloggingoverthyme.com/home/2011/9/26/recipe-cinnamon-raisin-english-muffins.html

    I also came to the conclusion that this batch didn’t quite taste as good, and I think it might be because I used shortening as Alton called for this time, and last time I used melted butter. Next time I will go back to the butter. I did try the leavening, but used 1/4 tsp of baking powder and cut the salt to 3/4 tsp, so the reduced salt might also be the cause, but I did get bigger nooks and crannies with the baking powder. I decided to use the powder instead of the soda because the soda is supposed to have something acidic in the recipe for it to react to, vs the powder which doesn’t need that, from what I recall. Of course, I am no expert on that, but I got my bigger nooks and crannies from 1/4 tsp.

    Anyway, I ate one of the gloppy dough ones made with the rings and one of the biscuit like ones, and I think the wetter dough made a better muffin texture wise.

  105. kk January 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    I’m excited to find your site! I googled “spelt english muffin” and this recipe came up — but I see no mention of using spelt. Do you know if it works well?

  106. Jim January 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    I tried this recipe for the first time today, and must have made an error somewhere. The dough was very sticky and stiff, not as batter-y/liquid-y as I was expecting. Any thoughts on what I may have done wrong? I mixed everything with my wife’s stand mixer — is it possible that I over-mixed it?

    Also didn’t get any nooks & crannies, but I’m attributing that to the consistency of the dough not allowing the baking soda to work its magic.

    Thanks!

    • Leela January 6, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

      Jim, possible, though I’m not sure. You don’t need a stand mixer for this. Just mix the batter with a wooden spoon as the recipe says.

    • Thriftybob January 6, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Jim,

      Leela has 2 pictures of the batter, one in the bowl and one in the rings. It sounded like yours came out more like a dough, and next time you try it, I’d suggest adding a tablespoon more liquid at a time till you get a consistency similar to what she has in the picture. Did you notice in the picture how its thick enough that it didn’t roll off the spatula, but thin enough that it doesn’t look like a “dough”. It has to be more like a thick batter or you won’t be able to stir the baking soda in very well. BTW, I just used a fork to stir it. I think you might be overcomplicating things with the mixer, but admit there are times I wish I had such a nice toy, LOL.

      • Jim January 8, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

        Thanks Leela and Thriftybob! My wife was the one who suggested I use the stand mixer — next time I’ll just do it by hand. :) I’ll also add some water if needed, as you described. Planning to try again this weekend, so I’ll let you know how it goes!

  107. Thriftybob January 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    OMG, I made perfect English Muffins. They are SOOO much better than the Bay’s my friend buys. Thanks, Leela for having this site, as I got the clues I needed to make them here. It took a couple more tries, and the rings, but I got it down pat, and they are very cheap and easy to make, as well. Here was what I ended up using….
    1/4 cup warm water
    1 1/2 tsp yeast
    1 tbsp sugar
    1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1/2 cup + 2 tbsp bread flour
    3/4 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups warm lowfat milk
    1 tbsp melted butter
    I forgot to add the baking powder or soda, and still got great nooks and crannies. BTW, I used an electric griddle set at 275f and went about 6 min on each side, and then put them in the toaster oven for 15 min at 225f. Split with fork and toasted they were absolutely awesome.

  108. Thriftybob January 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    The only problem is that the last batch disappeared too quickly, so I had to make more, again.

    But being the experimenting type, this batch I tried a bit higher ratio of bread flour, but that resulted in needing a little more milk to get the consistency right, and I went with a tad less suga,, trying to get the flavor a little less sweet. I left out the baking powder again, and as long as I get good nooks and crannies, will try to leave it out.

    1/4 cup warm water
    1 1/2 tsp yeast
    2 tsp sugar
    1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
    3/4 cup + 2 tbsp bread flour
    3/4 tsp salt
    1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp warm lowfat milk
    1 tbsp melted butter

    I took pics of them, but not sure how to include them in my post. I do like the texture better, I think, with some bread flour in the mixture. Next time I’ll try leaving out those 2 extra tbsp of flour in hopes I’ll be able to get by with 1 1/2 cups of milk and get the right batter consistency.

    • Janet January 21, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      I do not use baking powder or soda
      but I do use bread flour

  109. Janet January 20, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    I was researching the history of t his muffin when I cam across this site. immediately, I went..hmmm… these look just like the ones I make ! hahahahaha.. kept reading, and we use the SAME recipe from Alton Brown.
    These ARE the definitive muffins, and the recipe is so easy, and so quick ! I will NEVER buy store bought muffins again.
    small world.

  110. Thriftybob January 29, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    Need help or suggestions…

    The last 2 times I made them some seemed to be “gummy” in the center. They are definitely cooked on the outside, but I’m guessing are undercooked in the middle. If I set the electric skillet for 300, the first side cooked literally gets burnt if I let them go 6 minutes, but then the 2nd side doesn’t seem to get completely cooked. I don’t know if the cause is the wetness of the batter/dough or the temp of the skillet, or maybe that they aren’t rising enough?

    Any ideas what might cause them to be doughy or gummy in the center sometimes?.

    • Janet January 30, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

      Thriftybob
      I have NEVER had a problem with mine, but my recipe is much different ! Here’s mine

      1/2 c. dried powder milk
      1 Tbl. shortening (not melted)
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1 Tbl. sugar
      1 c. very warm water
      mix these ingredients well, set aside to cool, uner 100 degrees F
      Next:
      2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
      1/8 tsp. sugar
      1/3 c. warm water (about 100-105 degrees F)
      add the water and let sit about 10-15 mn or until foamy

      add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture, BEAT WELL
      add:
      2 c. SIFTED flour, all purpose or bread. ok to mix your flours, even a little wheat to equal 2 c.
      BEAT WELL

      cover with plastic wrap or damp tea towel and let rest in warm place 30-40 mn
      ADD
      another 1/2 tsp salt, and BEAT WELL

      now you’re ready for the 300 degree grilling platform. good luck !

      • Thriftybob January 31, 2013 at 12:10 am #

        I think my problem is that I had too wet of a dough. I think by mistake I put in too little flour by 1/4 cup. My skillet temp gauge might be off, too.

        I will pay more attention to detail next time.

        • Janet February 2, 2013 at 11:49 am #

          Thiftybob; my griddle temps vary. one side will be around 304, and the other side around 325! I start pouring the batter on the lowest side, and they cook up just fine.

        • Thriftybob February 18, 2013 at 9:24 am #

          The problem was all because I’m unwilling to go buy powdered milk for $7.00, and don’t have a scoop like Alton had, LOL, so can’t use his recipe or Leela’s recalculated version of it, and never saw the show.

          Anyway, as I reduced the liquid to solid ratio, the gumminess has gone away. The problem that remained is that my scoop isn’t good enough to scoop out the same correct amount for each ring when the batter is very thick, but at least the muffins are no longer gummy. I am cooking them around 250-275 deg for about 10-12 min per side, and then turning down the skillet to 225 for another 15 min, all covered, then cooling on a rack.

          Tweaked recipe to get “close” to Bay’s ingredient and nutrition as follows:
          1/2 cup warm water
          2 tsp yeast
          2 tsp sugar
          2 1/2 cups flour
          3/4 tsp salt
          1 cup warm 2% milk
          2 tsp melted butter
          1/2 tsp baking powder (added per Leela’s instructions)
          2 tsp cornmeal

          They are now as good or better than Bay’s or Thomas’s!

  111. Mike (the other Mike in Brazil) January 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

    Thrifty Bob,
    They probably aren’t raising enough, and when you flip them there just isn’t enough wet surface area to conduct the heat inwards. Forget the clock. If they start to burn, flip them.

  112. Mike (the other Mike in Brazil) January 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    This is for Do it Yourself and ones that don’t buy powdered milk, transfat (shortening), and have a little patience.

    Okay, I have made 4 batches so far, and think I have it near perfect now.

    Use whole milk instead of ‘non-fat milk powder and water’.
    Use 1.5 the amount of butter that is used above for shortening (butter has less fat)
    No salt (the butter has it already).
    Use about half the amount of flour, and substitute your proofed sourdough starter for the rest.

    Wild yeast is too slow to get the interior texture we are looking for, so you will either have to add activated dry yeast (little warm water and sugar) or baking soda before you pour.

    I don’t have an electric skillet, but do just fine with gas on medium low.

    I hope this hopes some find the flavor they were looking for, but not holding my breath with folks accepting Crisco in place of butter.

  113. KT August 29, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    Hi

    I want to make these muffins using spelt flour. Should I adjust the recipe in any way?

    Thanks!

    • Blaze November 18, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      You will probably need to add xantham or guar gum since spelt flour lacks the amount of protein necessary to properly bond the dough. I believe the recommended amount is 1/4-1/2 tsp per cup of flour, but I’m not positive on that off the top of my head. You may need to experiment a few times, as too much gum will give you a tough, stiff dough, similar to using a high-gluten bread flour in exchange for the all-purpose flour, as some people have mentioned in the comments.

  114. Blaze November 18, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    I have been making english muffins with this recipe for quite some time now, and have always had great luck with them. I have a wild yeast starter that I use for waffles at my restaurant, and have recently started using the starter in place of the yeast. Since my starter is in a 1:1 water/flour ratio, it’s very easy to sub into this recipe. I use about 15% starter, leave out the yeast, and mix everything as the recipe calls for. I have let the dough ferment for 12-15 hours at this point, and you get a nice hint of sourdough, but I could personally stand for a more sour flavor. I am planning on making these again and cold fermenting the dough for 2-3 days before cooking. As Mike said above, the baking soda is integral to the process when using wild yeast, as the rise is too slow to provide the nooks and crannies on their own.

  115. Bo Stenberg November 27, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    For those of you who are unemployed but require Eggs Benedict anyway, there are directions for making aluminum foil muffin rings at http://thirstyfortea.com/502-2/. You’ll have to adjust for height but no big deal. Water budget, Courvoisier life. Damn the torpedoes.

  116. M M December 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    I make these once a week. I use a cast iron skillet over flame set a few notches below highest and pineapple tins filled 1/2 to 2/3 full. 1 and 1/2 times the recipe makes 8 muffins. I have discovered that cooking the muffins 4 min per side, turning twice is better than turning once. I use a thermometer 190f+ is done. A wetter dough, just slowly pourable yields the lightest muffin. Finally, I substituted whole milk for the water/milk powder and lard for shortening. The lard was the final touch and the result are predictable and delicious. Every week for months we have had English muffins, eggs benedict, egg mcmuffin, ham/cheese melt muffins and just plain toasted buttered muffins This is excellent recipe!

  117. Jeff Anthony February 13, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    I have had something similar to this when growing up in a loaf form. Any ideas on how to make this into a loaf that you slice like regular bread? The brand was Cholmondley’s (pronounced Chumleys) and was addictive. Thoughts?

  118. Elva February 16, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Hi there, I’ve been Searching an English muffin recipe for a long time. Dont really trust most of the recipes I’ve come across cause the batters sounded to dry. As all bread enthusiasts know it’s the wet batter that gives the nice big air pockets we love. So I’m very excited when I found this recipe. I’m definitely giving this a try. Two questions though. First of all I’m a bit concerned with the ratio of the flour and the baking soda. 1tsp of baking soda seems to be a lot for 2 cups of flour. Will that leave a soapy taste in the end product? Could I half it or use baking powder instead? Secondly I don’t have a pancake griddle. Can I use my regular nonstick frying pan instead? Oh and also can dry baking soda and salt be mixed in risen batter completely without being dissolved in liquid? Thank you very much.

  119. Myriam Phillips July 21, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Hello, I live in Chile so I don’t have the possibility of buying Thomas English Muffins which I love with orange marmalade in the morning or as Eggs Benedict at brunch. I tried the original recipe many times with no success but then I realized I was not reading the recipe carefully… I came out with my own adapted recipe and the results are amazing…. 1 cup non-fat milk (easy to measure), 1 teaspoon non-fat powdered milk and 252 grams of all purpose flour. The rest is the same…. I use 4-inch metal rings for eggs benedict, a bread making machine and a Cuisinart Griddler. 10 minutes per side and 10 extra minutes turning them over…. no need to finish them in the oven. I wish I could send you a picture :) Myriam

    PD hope this helps someone…..

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