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Chewy homemade English Muffins with plenty of nooks and crannies!
Homemade English muffins are hard to beat!
They’re easy to make, have terrific flavor and are so delicious toasted. Even if you don’t consider yourself a baker, you can make these yeasted English muffins. They’re pretty fool-proof and are worth every minute you spend in the kitchen.
These English muffins are browned in a cast iron skillet, then finished in the oven.
Over the years my recipe for English muffins has evolved. When I first made English muffins I only cooked them on the stove-top. This method worked great, but only if the muffins were thin enough to cook through. For a more substantial muffin, that splits perfectly and has a little more heft, I started making the muffins twice as thick.
Unfortunately, thicker muffins don’t cook all the way through in a skillet. Now I brown the muffins in the skillet first, then finish by baking in the oven. This cooking method works perfectly for our recipe!
What are some ways to use English muffins?
- When I was a kid I loved making mini-pizzas with English muffins as the crust. Split the muffins and toast until lightly browned. Spread a little pizza sauce on each side then top with pepperoni, sausage, onions, mushrooms or any of your favorite pizza toppings. We used sliced hot dogs more times than I could count! Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese and broil in the oven until bubbly.
- BBQ Chicken pizzas made on English muffins are also a delicious kid-friendly treats. Use BBQ sauce in place of the marinara and top with shredded, cooked chicken. English muffin pizzas are the perfect size and great for parties too. Assemble and broil just before serving.
- Breakfast sandwiches – English muffins make great breakfast sandwiches with ham, sausage, eggs, Canadian bacon and/or cheese. Grab and go breakfast sandwiches are easy to make ahead and many are freezer friendly, too!
- Anytime sandwiches like tuna, turkey or roast beef with cheese are great stacked on an English muffin. Or, go full-on veggie with avocado, lettuce, tomato and cucumbers with a big smear of mustard, mayo or homemade Russian dressing.
- Don’t forget to try a few muffins simply toasted, then smeared with butter and jam. Butter, honey or apple butter are a few of my personal favorites.
- Try this creative recipe for PB&J Streusel Muffins for a terrific after school snack.
Our English muffins are lightly sweetened with honey and made with typical pantry ingredients.
For this recipe you’ll need:
- Milk – I use whole milk for this recipe. Low-fat or 2% milk will work well too. If you don’t have fresh milk you can use milk powder mixed with water.
- Butter – we use unsalted butter for this recipe. If you use salted butter, cut the salt to 1 teaspoon.
- Honey helps sweeten the dough and also gives the yeast a boost. Sugar can be substituted for honey if needed.
- Instant or rapid rise yeast (one .25-ounce package)
- Cornmeal – this is used for coating the muffins before browning in the skillet.
- Unbleached all-purpose flour – If you have bread flour on hand, feel free to use it in place of the AP flour. You can also substitute part of the flour with whole wheat. For the muffins pictured here, I used 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour.
Don’t use a knife to split your English muffins!
It may sound weird, but you don’t want to slice English muffins with a knife. English muffins are best split by inserting a fork into the side of the muffin, then repeat, moving all the way around until it comes apart. You’ll get plenty of nooks and crannies which are great for holding pools of butter, spoons of jam, and drizzles of honey!
When properly split, English muffins toast beautifully with little ridges of crunchy, golden brown deliciousness 🙂 So good!
TIPS for making the BEST English Muffins:
- Read through the recipe a few times before starting.
- After the muffins have been cut out, risen and are ready to brown, lift them into the skillet using a spatula. If you pick the muffins up with your fingers, you will leave indentations in the risen dough. Those notches won’t fill out when baked.
- If the muffins start to rise or puff up while browning in the skillet, gently press down on the muffin with a spatula.
- Don’t skip the cornmeal! It makes a big difference is how the muffins brown in the skillet.
Making English muffins is a breeze, especially when you have these simple kitchen tools:
- Instant-read thermometer – inexpensive and easy to use, an instant-read thermometer makes all the difference when making bread. In this recipe I use the thermometer to ensure the water and milk mixtures are not too hot. If your liquids are above 110 degrees F, it can kill the yeast and your bread won’t rise properly. I also use the thermometer to check for doneness by the internal temperature of the muffins. The interior should reach about 205 to 210 degrees F to be cooked through. No need to ever worry about gummy, under-done bread when you check the internal temperature.
- A cast iron skillet is the perfect tool to brown the exterior of homemade English muffins. For the best results, preheat the skillet before adding the muffins.
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PRINT THE RECIPE!
- Cast iron skillet
- instant read thermometer
- 1 ½ cups whole milk 12oz
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- ½ cup water 105° - 110°F (4oz)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 5 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or 4 ½ cups all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat flour (678g)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Combine milk, butter, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Warm until butter just starts to melt, then whisk briefly. Remove pan from heat and allow liquid to cool to lukewarm (105° to 110°F).
- Pour warm water into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with yeast. Stir gently with a fork. Set bowl aside for 10 minutes, or until yeast has dissolved.
- Pour the cooled milk mixture into yeast mixture and gently stir until well blended. Add half the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated. The mixture will be lumpy. Add the remaining flour and salt and stir until no pockets of dry flour remain. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Scrape the dough onto lightly floured work surface and knead to form smooth, round ball, about 1 minute. Place the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl, turn to coat the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm location, or at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
- Line a large baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with vegetable cooking spray and sprinkle with half of the cornmeal.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll the dough out to a 1-inch thick disk. Cut the dough into rounds using a 2 ½-inch biscuit cutter making sure you get as many as you can from the dough. Gather scraps and repeat.
- Transfer muffin rounds to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining cornmeal. Cover loosely with a greased piece of plastic wrap. Allow the rounds to rise in a warm location until puffy and almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two clean baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- When muffins have risen, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
- Using a spatula, gently place 4 muffins into the preheated skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, using the spatula to flip. Gently press down on the rounds to flatten if they start to dome or puff too much while cooking. Reduce the heat while cooking, if needed, to prevent burning. Wipe out the skillet between batches removing any browned corn meal.Transfer the browned muffins to the parchment lined baking sheet. Continue until all muffins are browned on both sides. Once you fill one baking sheet, go ahead and bake while browning the remaining dough rounds.
- Bake muffins for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size and thickness. The muffins should reach an internal temperature of 205° to 210°F. Insert the instant read thermometer into the side of the muffin, pushing all the way into the middle for best results.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool before splitting and toasting. Split the muffins with a fork for best results.
- To make ahead: Let the uncooked dough rounds rise in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours or until almost doubled in size. Continue by browning in the skillet and baking as desired.
- Freeze leftover English muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
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