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just-like-thomas english muffins

July 17th, 2011 · 42 Comments

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When my husband and I were on vacation a couple of weeks ago, every place we stayed at offered English muffins for breakfast. I think of English muffins as a treat because they are so darned expensive to buy at the store. After 10 days of filling those nooks and crannies with butter (but not great butter… should have packed that with us!) I was hooked. I decided to make my own and see how they compared.

Alton Brown is the source of this recipe, and the man is a genius! These English muffins are amazing! They have all the holes I was looking for! And if you can make pancakes, you can make English muffins, because English muffins are just a glorified pancake recipe! You just pour the batter into rings – or in my case, canning lids – and voila! English muffins!

just-like-thomas english muffins

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: about 10 muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon shortening
1 cup hot water
1 envelope dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
Non-stick vegetable spray and oil for brushing
Special equipment: electric griddle, 3-inch metal rings*

Instructions

  1. In a bowl combine the powdered milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, shortening, and hot water; stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let cool. In a separate bowl combine the yeast and 1/8 teaspoon of sugar in 1/3 cup of warm water and rest until yeast has dissolved. Add this to the dry milk mixture. Add the sifted flour and beat thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 45-60 minutes (longer = more holes!).
  2. Preheat the griddle to 300 degrees F and brush the bottom of skillet with a thin coat of oil. I don't have an electric griddle with a temperature gauge, so I just cooked my muffins on the stove-top with the heat set to low. If you are in the same situation, I recommend cooking one muffin as a tester muffin before filling your skillet with as many rings as you can. Because the muffins cook for 5 minutes per side, they are easy to burn. You want a temperature that will allow the outsides to brown nicely while the insides are just cooked.
  3. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to mixture and beat thoroughly. Coat the metal rings with vegetable spray and place them on the griddle. Using an ice cream scoop, place 1-2 scoops of batter into each ring and cover with a lid or cookie sheet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and flip rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack, remove rings and cool. Split with fork and serve. Note that these must be split open with a fork. If you cut them open with a knife, you can kiss all those beautiful holes goodbye!
  4. *If you don't have muffin rings, try wide-mouth canning lids or mini-tart rings. And if you don't have those, try using tuna cans with the top and bottom removed!
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Tags: 60 min or less · breads · easy · kitchen tips · vegetarian

42 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kocinera // Jul 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Wow, I never knew that English muffins were so easy to make! For some reason, I thought that they were some complicated bread mixture that would take way too long for a yummy breakfast food. I’m so glad to be proved wrong! These look delicious!

  • 2 Sasha @ The Procrastobaker // Jul 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    WONDERFUL! I completely adore english muffins and often have them with smoked salmon n’ cucumber for lunch, or a good ol’ fried egg :) They are just divine and to be able to make them at home would be so brilliant. I cant believe how professional yours look, very tempted to give this a shot thank you!

  • 3 Maureen // Jul 17, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    You beauty! I had seen Alton’s post but never tried it. Your post has given me the inspiration (and courage) to have a go.

  • 4 Pamela // Jul 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Canning lids – great idea! Once it drops below 100ยบ I’m going to make these. Thank you!

  • 5 Carissa @ Pretty/Hungry // Jul 17, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I always thought English muffins were baked in the oven… didn’t know these were made on a griddle. they look delicious!

  • 6 Sophie Delphis // Jul 17, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Beautiful. I always mean to try making my own English muffins because I love them so very much, but never have. I love the idea of using lids in lieu of rings.

  • 7 Sue/the view from great island // Jul 18, 2011 at 4:01 am

    I love English Muffins and buy them all the time. I never thought to try to make my own. I agree that Alton Brown is great, he comes up with the most inventive ideas. Thanks for a great post!

  • 8 LeAnn // Jul 18, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Oooh I can’t wait to try these. Thanks for the canning ring tip!

  • 9 Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 // Jul 18, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I never knew these were so easy to make, either. Plus, I’ve got some of those canning rings kicking around. I’m going to have to try this!

  • 10 Heather // Jul 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I’ve always wanted to make english muffins. I had no idea it was so similar to making pancakes. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • 11 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum // Jul 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Wow – I’m impressed! I would never have the ambition to make my own English Muffins. Although, I don’t eat them that often and it seems like I do eat them I remember how much I love them!

  • 12 Jenn N // Jul 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I want some now! Yum!

  • 13 Heidi @ Food Doodles // Jul 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    I love the canning lid ring idea! I cannot wait to try that :D Awesome, thank you so much for sharing. I’m going to save this to try because they look delicious :)

  • 14 dulcie @ two tarts // Jul 20, 2011 at 11:52 am

    These look great. I need to put this recipe on my to-do list.

  • 15 Felecia - Tampa Florida // Jul 21, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    I LOVE this!! I cant wait to try it- i would’ve never thought that English Muffins were something i could make at home- so excited, this seems completely do-able :)

  • 16 Emily // Jul 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Can’t wait to try these!

    About the lid: does it need to cover each ring individually or can you get one that covers the whole griddle? I.e., should each ring be enclosed, or can you use a domed lid that encloses them all together?

  • 17 Paula // Jul 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    @Emily – a domed lid is just fine :) That’s what I used and it worked perfectly! :)

  • 18 Jackie // Jul 22, 2011 at 5:13 am

    I.LOVE.IT!!! I am so trying this the weekend.. I have been stalking English muffin cutter things on amazon.. (they really are not that expensive) but this is way better! thanks for sharing!

  • 19 Anita // Jul 22, 2011 at 6:21 am

    When you flip them over are you flipping them into an empty lid or just onto the surface of the pan? It’s hot here in NY and my brain might be a little fried. :-)

  • 20 Paula // Jul 22, 2011 at 9:11 am

    @Anita – just flip the muffins onto the pan. Sometimes the outer ring will fall off when flipping, which is fine. Sometimes the ring will adhere to the muffin and you’ll just pop it off after it cools.

  • 21 VIE // Jul 24, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I love English muffins. I get them at Sam’s club cheap. I pouch an egg, toast the muffin add butter and a slice of cheese.. yuummm.
    Going to try this just to see if I can do it lol

  • 22 Julia // Jul 25, 2011 at 6:26 am

    What a great idea!!!! My husband LOVES english muffins, but like you said, they are just too darn expensive to buy all the time!

  • 23 Karen Smith // Jul 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I love English muffins but I also feel that they are way expensive. Am looking forward to trying this recipe. And I love how you make do instead of running out and buying more utensils. Alton Brown will be proud of you.

  • 24 deb burow // Aug 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

    These are wonderful. I have made them twice. First time they were good. Second time I must have added something wrong, but ended up with “dough” not “batter”, so just kept adding warm water to the dough after it had rested for an hour plus. Didn’t know if it would work or not. Hmmm. Actually probably added an extra 3/4 cup warm water, stirred it in till consistency of pancake batter. Added the final salt, stirred, cooked 3 minutes on each side, not the 5 minutes, and actually forgot to cover them. (really, can you tell I am NOT a cook, just sort of a muddler). Anyway, they turned out way GOOD! Oh, forgot to mention I sprinkled the batter once it was in the lids with chocolate chips, maybe 6-8 on each muffin. Push them down so they are not on the surface or else they will goo up the skillet when you flip them. So delicious. And it made twice as many with the extra water, so yield was 15 muffins. About 80 calories each (I didn’t factor in the chocolate chips in the calorie count.) So by the time I was done, it was looking like a different recipe, but it was all good. Thanks for getting me started on this Paula!

  • 25 Irene // Aug 7, 2011 at 7:19 am

    These look great! I’ve been trying to find a recipe for enlish muffins for so long. Has anyone tried adding other ingredients to flavor them…like rasians, nuts, brown sugar, etc.? I’m just wondeing how they turned out or if it was too much of a change on the recipe.

  • 26 Amanda // Aug 25, 2011 at 4:17 am

    We liked this so much over at Copycat Crafts that we have decided to feature it today! You can view it here
    http://www.copycatcrafts.com/make-your-own-thomas-english-muffins/

    We’d love it if you’d like to display a featured button! You can grab your button on the right hand side of your post. Thanks!

  • 27 Jen // Jan 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Deb, I had the same issue, and cooked them from the dough, which turned out ok. I only had to cook them for 2 minutes per side…odd, I wonder if it is elevation or different ingredients that make the difference.

  • 28 Monica // Jan 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I Am from Brazil, but 30 years ago I went to Alameda-CA to live with my American uncle for six months. At that time I was presented to the famous english muffins, and I must say I ve never forgotten that. Every time I go to USA on vacation I bring lots of bags of them with me. And when they finish it is very sad. Well now I have the
    recipe and I will try to make them. Thank you so much.

  • 29 Mezabella // Mar 7, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Now help me out. I dont have an electric griddle but I do have one of those “griddle” pans meant for pancakes that goes on the stove( they are round and fat and huge). Will these work with this as long as I keep an eye out?

  • 30 Paula // Mar 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Mezabella – YUP! I use a cast iron skillet for the same reason. You’ll be fine. :)

  • 31 The Blissful Baker // May 29, 2012 at 7:06 am

    These look great! Can’t wait to give them a go! Great idea with the canning rings :)

  • 32 Laura // Jun 5, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Hi Paula! I cheaped out and refused to buy the huge box of dry milk. Can you help with the conversion? I’m a bit worried because of the yeast. Do I just heat 1/3 cup of whole milk and omit the water and dried milk? Will the yeast still react the same in the milk?

  • 33 Paula // Jun 5, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Laura –

    No idea! I’ve only ever made it with dried milk. My dry milk conversion on the back of the bag says to mix 1/4 cup dried milk powder with 1 cup of water, which would give you the equivalent of roughly 1 1/4 cups of liquids. The English muffin recipe calls for 1/2 cup of dried milk powder and 1 1/3 total cups of water, giving you a total of approx 1 3/4 cups of liquids. So…… not sure how to balance that. Maybe you could try 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/4 cup water (or as needed to get a super thick pancake batter consistency?).

    If you do try this, let me know how it works! Now I’m super curious!

    -Paula

  • 34 Rebecca // Jun 20, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    THANK YOU for sucha great post and encouragement to make these. I ran across a recipe to make Egg McMuffin sandwhiches to freeze, but of course i dont’ have english muffins b/c i don’t want to pay out the nose for them.
    Went searching on pinterest and found you’re post pinned. And i’m so glad I did!
    I’ll be trying these this weekend and then freezing some too. Again, Thank you!

  • 35 Rachel // Jan 24, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    The recipe looks fairly simple. Can’t wait to try it. Especially since I will not have to invest in another “pan” as my husband would be very frustrated with me for all the baking items that I DO have. Question though – everyone has a different interpretation of “shortening”. Are you using “Crisco” or “butter” or “margarine”?

    Thanks for the info!

  • 36 Paula // Jan 24, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Rachel,

    I use crisco. :)

    -Paula

  • 37 Valerie // Mar 4, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Curious about the batter consistency. Though my muffins turned out ok, my batter was a somewhat loose/sticky/stretchy dough instead of a pourable batter. Thoughts? I’m game to try again, but I was curious if others had similar results?

  • 38 Brooke34MERRILL // Jun 20, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Some time before, I did need to buy a car for my business but I did not earn enough cash and couldn’t order anything. Thank heaven my mother proposed to take the business loans at reliable bank. Hence, I did that and was satisfied with my car loan.

  • 39 Kate // Oct 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I tried these today with a couple of changes I noted in the comments, like whole wheat flour and honey instead of sugar. I haven’t tasted them yet but they look great! I agree with Valerie though, my batter was definitely not pourable. It was just like her description. Also, just curious, why do you save that last bit of salt to the end, after the rising, to mix in?

  • 40 Paula // Oct 16, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    RE: salt, no idea. :) And the batter was indeed a bit more scoop-able, now that you mention it. :)

  • 41 Debra // Dec 31, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    These are fantastic! Your comment about the griddle heat and doing a test muffin is important for good success. An ice cream scoop is handy.

  • 42 Brianna // Feb 18, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Salt inhibits yeast activity, so I’m assuming holding some back is to allow the yeast to make maximum gas bubbles in the short time frame, then adding the salt last to make sure there is enough for flavor. Stirring when you add the salt must distribute small bubbles evenly instead of having fewer bigger ones. Best guess, anyway. Going to try this as soon as I can find something to use as rings… Love Alton Brown, I know I can rely on his recipes.

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