Perfect Homemade English Muffin, soft, thick and with the most beautiful “nooks and crannies” that is a trademark of a good English Muffin. Look no further, this is the BEST Homemade English Muffin recipe you could ever have.
What is an English Muffin?
English Muffin is a type of yeast bread. It is round and about 3-4-inches in diameter, slightly flat and not as puffy like burger buns. It has more compact texture and commonly toasted and served with butter or jam, or used as a sandwich bread just like the English Muffin in McDonald’s. It is a kind of bread that is cook in a stove-top rather than oven but now a days a lot of recipe combine stove-top + oven to finish of the cooking of the inside.
Have you heard about “nooks and crannies” or “crevices” when describing a bread? Well, I’ve that word over and over again when I was researching about English Muffin. It seems that these are characteristics of a good English Muffin. In more simple description, it is basically those small pockets in the bread, like an air bubble that burst, like a crater of the moon. It may not sound pleasant and appetizing, but that is how a proper English Muffin should be for it to passed as a good English Muffin. Don’t worry, I got you covered because this recipe will definitely make you a goddess of English Muffin. All those nooks and crannies are present in this bread. Just look at this photo? See those pockets of holes, that my dear is you ticket to the BEST homemade English Muffin and it is within your reach.
I never thought a simple homemade bread like this could make me so happy, I’m absolutely thrilled about this bread and I cannot helped admiring it. I never thought of making an English Muffin before, but after seeing the English Muffin video in one of the sites that I subscribed, I was inspired to try it myself. I did my research, scanned Pinterest and watch YouTube video. It looked simple and easy as compared to my other bread recipes. So I gave it a try and made my first attempt to make this bread. Well, my first attempt did not turned out the way I want it to be, but it was still edible but not something I would be proud of sharing. Luckily, I only made small batch so I only had to finish 3 medium size English Muffins. Here are the issues I encountered in my first attempt and these are the issues I tried to solve in my second attempt. Let us examine them and learn from them.
Common Trouble in Making English Muffin and How to Fix It
- Tough, dense and gummy bread – These are the last thing that you would want to use to describe your English Muffin. You will start avoiding English Muffin if this is what you expect from it.
- My Solution: I added a little bit more milk to make the dough consistency more sticky and runny. I believe that this simple adjustment made the bread lighter and airy.
- Flat bread – Unless I was making a flat bread, then I should be happy with it. But English Muffin is not supposed to be flat at all. I mean it is not as fluffy and puff-up like dinner rolls but it should still be thick enough to be to use as a sandwich bread. After all, aside from butter and jam, English Muffin is great for making a sandwich, just like the English Muffin breakfast sandwich in Mc Donalds. A flat English Muffin is a good indication of a dense bread.
- My Solution: For the first rest period, I made it 1 ½ hours instead of just 1 hour. This gave the dough enough time to rise, develop flavor and to create more air in the dough. This makes the bread lighter, and builds nice “nooks and crannies” when cooked. Second, I added a little bit of baking powder to give it more lift and rise. This gave the bread a nice rise, it puff-up after 30 minutes of second rest period. Remember, a puff-up bread when it doubles in size is a good indication that the bread will be lighter because of all the air build up inside.
How to Properly Slice an English Muffin
One would think that slicing a bread is something that do not require an instructions. It is pretty straight forward to me, get a knife and slice the bread. That simple, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case for English Muffin as there is a proper way of slicing it and it is not by using a knife. Use a fork, yap you heard me right. Apparently, the proper way is to use a fork to “slice” the bread into half. Use the fork to punch the center of the bread, just like when using a knife. Run through it until you complete 360, then use your hands to pull the 2 pieces apart, like here in the photo. The reason behind is that using a fork to slice the bread will give a nice uneven surface highlighting the”nooks and crannies”. This is more aesthetic, but it wouldn’t affect the taste of the bread. But I have to agree that it looks better when serve that way. Besides, you worked hard to get those “nooks and crannies”, you waited almost 3 hours to make this bread so just slice it right and show of those “nooks and crannies”. You deserve thumbs up for that.
- 1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/4 cup warm Water (110F, microwave tap water for 30 seconds)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Milk (110F, microwave tap water for 30 seconds)
- Activate the Yeast: Pour warm water in mixing bowl. Add sugar ad yeast and stir. Leave for 5 minutes until the mixture gets foamy.
- Dry Ingredients: Add flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Dry Ingredients + Wet Ingredients: Gradually add warm milk and mix until combined. If you are using a stand mixer, mix for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough is going to be soft and saggy (runny), this is normal. You want the dough to be sticky to the point that it sticks in your hands and in the bowl and is difficult to shape.
- If doing this manually, manually knead until you reach the smooth and elastic stage described above.
- First Rest Period: Spray a large bowl with oil and transfer the dough. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 1 hour. The dough should double in size and a will have plenty of air bubbles inside.
- Pre-heat the Oven: At this point, start pre-heating the oven to 350F. If you have a cast iron pan, put the cast iron pan inside the oven heat it up, or you can also just heat it up on stove top.
- Second Rest Period: Spray your hands with oil or dust with flour. Take the dough out from the bowl and divide the bread dough into 4 pieces (3 – 4-inch diameter). Sprinkle parchment lined baking sheet with cornmeal and arrange the portioned dough spaced at least 3-inches apart to allow room when it expands. Sprinkle top with more cornmeal. Let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Cook the Bread on Stove-Top: In a heated non-stick skillet pan, griddle or cast iron pan, cook each piece 6 minutes each side. If using cast iron pan, lightly spray the top with oil, do NOT put a lot but just enough to make it shiny to avoid sticking. Do not over crowd the pan, cook the bread one at a time. Spray top of the bread with water, this will create steam and will it from getting dry. Do this only on one side of the bread, once you flip it you do not have to spray the other side with water. Transfer cooked English Muffin in a baking pan and cover with towel while you cook the remaining bread.
- Bake: Once 4 pieces are done, transfer in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, This will assure that the inside of the bread is cook through.
- Cool: Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Do NOT attempt to eat immediately as the bread needs time to dry inside. The texture will still be gummy if you serve it immediately.
- To Serve: Instead of using a knife to slice in half, use a fork to punch around the middles side of the bread. Pull to separate the half of the bread. Toast and serve with butter or jam or some scrambled egg and cooked cold cuts like ham or bacon.
*Note* Nutrition Information calculation do not include butter or jam spread
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