Homemade English muffins are so good and I think they’re quite a bit less expensive than buying good muffins in the store. The dough is pretty “patient” in that I make a starter and it can sit out overnight or even into the next morning. Then once the dough is ready, I put it in the fridge for another overnight rest and it can stay in the fridge several days. There’s no hand kneading so I think they’re easy to make.
Mine are cooked on top of the stove but some recipes call for baking in the oven. I’ve never made them in the oven.
The rings aren’t really necessary if the dough is the right consistency. If the dough isn’t quite stiff enough, the rings are nice. These are the rings I use. You can remove the rings before cooking or you can leave them on. If I were to bake my muffins (which I don’t), I’d leave the rings on for sure.
Day 1: Make the Starter:
1 cup flour
2 T. sugar
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) instant yeast
3/4 cup warm water
Mix flour sugar and yeast in a medium bowl. Stir in warm water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on the counter overnight.
Day 2: Finish the Dough:
1 cup milk (I use whole)
3 T. butter
1-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3-1/2 cups flour
Cornmeal for dusting the pan and muffin tops
Place the starter in a mixer bowl. Attach the dough hook.
In a medium bowl, mix 3 cups flour, salt and instant yeast.
Scald the milk and add the butter. Let milk mixture cool to about 100°. Add to the starter. Add flour mixture. Mix on low til all ingredients are well mix,ed then knead on a medium speed for about 5 minutes. Dough should be silky smooth but a bit sticky. Add more flour in small increments if needed but this does not need to be a dry dough.
Once the dough is the right consistency, remove from the mixer bowl and place in a well greased bowl, turn to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 – 36 hours.
Day 3: Make the Muffins!
Remove the dough from the fridge, let it come to room temp and then weigh it. Divide that number by 12 and then divide the dough into 12 balls that should weigh close to equal amounts.
If using the rings, grease the inside of them. Shape the dough into smooth little balls and kinda flatten them out to fit inside the ring.
A baking sheet that’s ok to be used on top of the stove can be used or cast iron . . which is what I use. Grease the baking sheets or cast iron pots and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the rings on the pans and place a flattened dough ball in each ring. Remember .. you don’t have to use the rings if your dough is stiff enough.
Sprinkle with a little more cornmeal on top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the rings are pretty full and just above the tops of the rings. If your kitchen is a comfortable temp, it should take about an hour.
Place griddle/pans with dough over medium heat for a few minutes and then turn to low. My gas stove has a lot of BTUs so I’ll sometimes turn my fire completely off for a couple of minutes. Watch the cooking side of the muffins til you know how your stove will cook them. Of course, if I were cooking them on a cookie sheet, they’d probably cook even faster than with the cast iron. You definitely don’t want to scorch the bottoms.
After they’ve cooked enough on the bottom . . start with about 4 minutes after you turn the heat down to low, check the bottom to see if it’s looking done. If so, remove them from the pan, put just a tad of butter in the pan, place the muffins back in the pan with the uncooked side (top) down and let the tops cook.
Cool on a wire rack and then store in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Now . . they’re done! These are so versatile! Start by cutting them in half and then trying some of these ideas.
- Butter and toast in a skillet. Add bacon or ham and a fried egg.
- Use for a sandwich.
- Brush with olive oil and stick under the broiler til toasty. Add pizza sauce, toppings and cheese. Stick back under the broiler til the cheese melts.
- For French Toast use just like you would regular bread.
- Butter the cut sides, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Stuck under the broiler for a minute or two for cinnamon toast.
- If they start to go stale (they won’t because you’ll eat them before that happens), cut them into squares, toss with olive oil and herbs, place on a cookie sheet. Stick in the oven at 375° til they’re crunchy and you’ll have English Muffin Croutons for soup or salads.
You can also use whole wheat or rye flour (use less flour at first because whole wheat will absorb more of your liquid) to make English Muffins. You could even add raisins if you really wanted to ruin them. (I don’t like raisins!)