English Muffins

In my family, we didn’t grow up eating English muffins for breakfast. Perhaps it’s because we were immigrants and weren’t aware of all the possible foods available. However, the few times that I had them, I wasn’t very impressed. In fact, I didn’t know why people would spend money on them. Bland, boring and tasteless, the scariest part is how long they would last hidden in a pantry corner, later to be discovered in exactly the same condition, a month or two after being opened. The texture and taste didn’t change a bit,with absolutely no sign of mold. What do they put in them?

I was first introduced to homemade English muffins by a co-worker who brought some for all of us to share. As I sat in the nurses’ lounge on our Pediatric unit, nonchalantly during my morning break, I was not expecting anything extraordinary. I didn’t even know that people made English muffins at home. When I took that first bite of my toasted treat, I was astounded. Is this what I had been missing all these years?

Soft and tender on the inside with a crunchy golden exterior, they are also full of nooks and crannies that all English muffins should have. They are quite larger than store-bought English muffins, although you can certainly make them smaller. The texture and the taste just can’t compare to store-bought. This is a recipe from Alton Brown. It takes about an hour total to make them, prepping and rising time included. The recipe is so simple a child can’t mess it up. Try it and your breakfast will go to a whole other level.

 Yields: 8-10 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk

1 Tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon shortening

1 cup hot water

2 1/4 teaspoons yeast

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/3 cup warm water

2 cups flour

Combine the powdered milk, 1 Tablespoon sugar, shortening,  salt and 1 cup hot water (I usually boil it) in a bowl. Stir until milk, sugar and shortening are dissolved. Cool to at least 115 degrees. (If the water is too hot and you add the yeast - it’ll kill the bacteria in the yeast that makes it bubble and rise. The water should feel as warm as a hot bath.) IMG_7644Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast and 1/4 teaspoon sugar in the 1/3 cup warm water (110-115 degrees). Allow it to stand for about five minutes. IMG_7648When it foams, pour into the milk mixture. Sift the flour over the  bowl. IMG_7651Mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.

IMG_7657

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. IMG_7690Preheat the griddle to 300 degrees. Grease the griddle and some metal rings.

I took some canned pineapples, ate the fruit :) and made myself some homemade muffin rings. You can use tuna cans also, although I had a hard time finding tuna cans where you can cut off both the top and bottom. You can easily buy english muffin rings, which are very affordable. 

IMG_7712Place 1-1 1/2 scoops of dough into the ring. IMG_7715Cover with a baking sheet, which will create steam and make the muffins rise and cook faster and more evenly. 
IMG_7721 (550x361)Set the timer and cook for 5 minutes on each side. IMG_7697When you flip them over, sometimes they will easily slide out of the metal ring. If not, flip the rings over using tongs and gently nudge the muffins so they slide to the bottom of the ring, and the other side cooks through and forms a golden crust.

Cool for a few minutes. Split with a fork for the best texture and to enjoy those beautiful “nooks and crannies”, for which English muffins are famous for.IMG_7736English muffins freeze perfectly too! Since they are relatively simple to make, it’s not hard to make an extra batch and store it in the freezer to take out and enjoy on busier days, a great addition to my other Freezer-Friendly meals.

Store them in a sealed container or a ziptop bag. I like to defrost my baked goods at room temperature, taking them out of the bag or container that they were stored in. You don’t want the condensation to seep into the muffins and make them soggy.  Toast and enjoy.

English Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 8-10 muffins
Ingredients
  • ½ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon shortening
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2¼ teaspoons yeast
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ⅓ cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour
Instructions
  1. Combine the powdered milk, 1 Tablespoon sugar, shortening, salt and 1 cup hot water (I usually boil it) in a bowl. Stir until milk, sugar and shortening are dissolved.
  2. Cool to at least 115 degrees. (If the water is too hot and you add the yeast - it'll kill the bacteria in the yeast that makes it bubble and rise. The water should feel as warm as a hot bath.)
  3. Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast and ¼ teaspoon sugar in the ⅓ cup warm water (110-115 degrees). Allow it to stand for about five minutes.
  4. When it foams, pour into the milk mixture. Sift the flour over the bowl.
  5. Mix with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the griddle to 300 degrees. Grease the griddle and some metal rings. I took some canned pineapples, ate the fruit :) and made myself some homemade muffin rings. You can use tuna cans also, although I had a hard time finding tuna cans where you can cut off both the top and bottom. You can easily buy english muffin rings, which are very affordable.
  8. Place 1-1½ scoops of dough into the ring.
  9. Cover with a baking sheet, which will create steam and make the muffins rise and cook faster and more evenly.
  10. Set the timer and cook for 5 minutes on each side.
  11. When you flip them over, sometimes they will easily slide out of the metal rings. If not, flip the rings over using tongs and gently nudge the muffins so they slide to the bottom of the ring, and the other side cooks through and forms a golden crust. Cool for a few minutes. Split with a fork for the best texture and to enjoy those beautiful "nooks and crannies", for which English muffins are famous for.
  12. When you flip them over, sometimes they will easily slide out like this. If not, flip the rings over using tongs and gently nudge the muffins so they slide to the bottom of the ring, and the other side cooks through and forms a golden crust.

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Comments

    • says

      Rocio,
      For best results, I would only substitute part of the flour for whole wheat, since it will make the muffins denser and not as light and fluffy. However, I’m pretty sure you can use whole wheat flour to make English Muffins and they should taste great too. Good luck. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it turns out, since I’d like to us whole wheat sometime in the future when I’m making these again.

  1. Kathryn says

    They look wonderful! I love toasted English muffins and these look delicious. I ziplisted your recipe. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Mel,
      The amount of powdered milk used with water in this recipe has more protein than regular milk, which gives great flavor and better browning to the muffins. I think regular milk will work too, though.

      • Mel says

        Thanks! Hopefully I can try it soon and let you know how it goes. These look just like the muffins I used to get at my little hometown bakery. Light and fluffy and crispy.

  2. Annie says

    I’m DYING to know how you made the rings from pineapple cans!!! What did you use to cut them? What about sharp edges? I’m not too handy, but it doesn’t seem too difficult. :D

    • says

      Hi Annie,
      I used a can opener and just took off both the top and the bottom of the cans:). My can opener doesn’t leave sharp edges, so it worked out great.

  3. Oksana says

    My husband loves english muffins. So ever since I found your recipe, I bought a griddle ($20 at walmart with great reviews). Made them tonight. So quick and easy.
    Amazing! My kids ate some right away with butter, I had to stop myself from eating more than 2. I mean I needed to leave some for breakfast right? And to actually let my husband try some when he comes home from work. We may never have to buy english muffins again. I may make a few batches and store them in the freezer as you suggest.
    One thing though, my shape didn’t turn out perfect like yours. The dough was sticking to the scoop and didn’t want to “settle” at the bottom of the skillet, how do yours turn out so uniform? Just curious.

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