Saturday, June 25, 2011

Making English muffins

Older Daughter has been after me to make English muffins, which she far prefers to the store-bought variety. I roped her into the procedure so she could learn how to make them.

The recipe comes from my classic Better Homes and Gardens cookbook:

Heating the milk, shortening, sugar, and salt to between 120 and 130F.

Mixing the rest of the ingredients.


Ready for the first rising.

Punching down.

Rolling and cutting the muffins.

While I cut the muffins using an old tuna can...

...Older Daughter brushes each muffin on both sides with water, then dips the sides in cornmeal.

I doubled the recipe, which yielded 36 muffins.

Into the oven for the second rising (sorry for the blurry photo). The oven has a pilot light and stays warmish as a result, a good place to let dough rise.

English muffins are "baked" on the stove, not in the oven. Cook them in a dry (ungreased) pan or griddle for about thirty minutes, flipping them every five minutes.

First batch done. (This is the stage when the kids steal hot muffins and spread them with butter so it melts.)

These freeze very well, so it's worth making at least a double batch.

Here's the recipe:


5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups flour
2 pkgs active dry yeast
2 cups milk
1/2 cup shortening, margarine, or butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. In a saucepan, heat and stir milk, shortening, sugar, and salt until warm (120-130F)(I heat this up gently in the microwave) until the shortening almost melts. Add to flour mixture. Beat with a mixer on low speed for three minutes. Using a spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about one hour).

Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest ten minutes. Roll dough to slightly less than 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a 4-inch round cutter, rerolling scraps. Lightly brush muffins with water and dip both sides into cornmeal. Cover, let rise in a warm place until very light (about 30 minutes).

Cook muffins in an ungreased pan on low temp for 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Yield: about 18 muffins.


  1. Gosh, they look good. Guess that's what I'll be doing next now that the house is all clean.

  2. I've been meaning to try these out and somehow never thought of just using an old tuna can instead of pricey english muffin rings. I love your kitchen table, by the way!

  3. I have some fresh apricot jam, ladies. Who wants some with their hot buttered muffin?

    Spruce tip tea, anyone?

    A. McSp

  4. LOVE the tuna can idea! I do a lot of baking but have always been intimidated by the English Muffin. Thanks for taking the scary out of it.
    Jessica in Kenmore, WA

  5. I love English muffins. They beat the stuffings out of toast! Thanks for the recipe. I will have to try these. I doubt mine will come out as uniform as yours, but I will eat the evidence!

  6. Have you tried them using some whole wheat flour? If so, I would like to know how they came out.

  7. Hi Patrice,

    My wife wanted me to print out this recipe for her. That's when I noticed that your blog doesn't have a handy "printer friendly" feature.

    Would it be possible for you to add one?

    I understand if you can't, since you are at the mercy of the blog software. But, I was just thinking it would be easier to print out the occasional post that way.



  8. Dave,
    I just select the text, right click, click on "copy" and then open MS Office doc and right click and "paste" the text to my new doc. I can then save and/or print it. Actually, I usually also copy the photos because Patrice's and Enola's photos add so much to the recipe. Sometimes I make two copies, one with pix and one without. :-) Whichever I feel like at the time.

  9. Oh Patrice. How I could make your life soooo much easier! :-) You need a big Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™!! No clean-up, no sticking, no mess. I make my English Muffins on it. I am so glad to hear that I'm not the only person that uses tuna cans! I finally started carrying muffin rings at my website, but I still have the tuna cans that I use when I run out of muffin rings!

  10. Patrice,

    You just made my day. I am so very grateful to know that I am not the only person who repurposes an old tuna can for baking. Thank you for that! (Just read the post from OPCCook...I guess there are alot of us out there who figured out the tuna can thing LOL.)

  11. What page is this recipe on? I have the same cookbook and can't find the recipe in it.

    1. Pg 48 under the "Bread" section. However I have an older version (not sure what year, the title page is missing) so I don't know how that corresponds to newer versions.

      - Patrice

    2. Mine must be a different year. My bread section starts in the 50's. Mine isn't new either. I bought it when I moved out on my own after college in 1985. Guess I'll just have to not be so lazy and copy it from your blog :-) thank you

  12. Patrice,
    I wanted to thank you for posting this recipe. I have made it many times since you originally shared. I make it with whole wheat instead of ap flour.
    I have a question for you. Do you store wheat? I've never seen you post any whole wheat recipes. I can share some if you wish.
    Thanks for sharing!