I’ve seen all kinds of recipes for Homemade English Muffins. The problem is, most recipes call for special rings and mold – I’m just not into that. I’m just weird like that. Then one day I thought, “What if I let my electric bread maker do the work for me?” I was totally into this idea. In my mind, it’s the best of both worlds with the machine doing the bulk of the mixing, kneading, and rising of the dough for me. What’s not to like, really?
My recipe for English Muffins utilizes the machine’s dough only cycle and uses enough ingredients for the 1-1/2 pound loaf setting. For me, this is option 9 on my bread machine. I let it run through the entire cycle and the entire first rise in the machine. Then I turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and shape it into a log about 12 inches long. I then cut it into 1-inch pieces (12 total). Shape each piece into a ball (or a circle) and then lightly press flat between my palms to form the muffin shape and size. No special ring molds needed!
I place these on a cookie sheet lightly coated with cornmeal (optional) to keep them from sticking during the second rise. Allow them to rise for about 1 hour or until they double in size. This is as short as 40 minutes, but the full 60 minutes results in a much taller muffin with more nooks and crannies. I do not use a tea towel to cover them for the second rise unless the house is chilly. You can if you wish. Other places I set my pan to rise that’s warm and free of drafts is inside the oven with just the oven light on inside which makes it warm and in my microwave which is built-in above the stove. Putting the light on (illuminating the stove top) also warms the microwave interior creating the perfect dough rising box. I’ve had readers say they rise dough on the top of the refrigerator which is warmer from the coils behind it. I have never tried that, though.
Using an electric griddle set to 300 degrees F or a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the muffins for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Other useful tips you should know:
Since these do not contain any preservatives, I store them in the refrigerator or freeze half the batch until we are ready for them.
The yeast should be at room temperature for the bread machine as this yields the best results because of the quick knead and rise times used. I load my machine starting with the liquid, yeast and sugar (in this case honey) first so the yeast can proof while I’m measuring the other dry ingredients. If the yeast is not bubbling and foaming during this step, the yeast is bad and the dough will not rise. This is the easiest way to test the yeast before baking to know that you will get a proper rise.
Don’t press the muffins down as they cook, this will remove the air we created during the second rise yielding a dense muffin with fewer nooks and crannies.
Do you have a favorite bread machine recipe? Share it with me!
Bread Machine English Muffins
Yield 12 English Muffins
- 1-1/4 cups warm water
- 3 Tbsp Honey
- 3 tsp active dry yeast OR 2 tsp fast rise yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups bread flour
- 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp butter, softened or room temperature
- Load the bread machine starting with the warm water, yeast and honey. Check that the yeast is bubbling and foaming. If not, the yeast has gone bad and the bread will not rise. This is a common bread mishap.
- Next, add the dry ingredients and butter and set the machine to the 1.5lb loaf and use the dough or manual cycle depending on your manufacturer.
- Once the cycle is fully completed, turn the dough out from the machine onto a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too sticky to work with, knead in a bit of extra bread flour.
- Shape the dough into a log about 12 inches long. Then cut it into uniform 1-inch pieces (12 total). Shape each piece into a ball (or a circle) and then lightly press flat between palms or hands to form the muffin shape and size.
- Place the muffins on a cookie sheet lightly coated with cornmeal (optional) or lightly sprayed with non-stick oil to keep them from sticking during the second rise. Allow them to rise for about 1 hour or until they double in size. This can be as short as 40 minutes, but the full 60 minutes results in a much taller muffin with more nooks and crannies. Both rise times taste great but the latter yields a better look and texture.
- Using an electric griddle set to 300 degrees F or a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the muffins for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
- Split them open with a fork to keep in tradition or opt for a serrated knife. This helps the muffins to hold shape as you slice.