{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


English Muffins

On a recent trip to my favorite kitchen supply store, I stumbled upon a baking tool that seemed too fun--and too cheap--to pass up. They were four little rings, retailing for only 5 bucks, used to make homemade English muffins. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I decided it was a swell idea to make life more complicated and bake something from scratch that was perfectly delectable when store-bought.

This was the end result. Looks pretty good, right? I know I'm ruining the story by telling the ending up front, but I'm going to go ahead and kill the suspense here. They were kinda just a little bit terrible. 

I was promised 'scrumptious', so you can imagine my disappointment.

For lack of creativity and because I'd never attempted English muffins before, I just used the recipe listed on the back of the box. I'm sharing it here not because I encourage you to run out and make this awesome recipe, but because I'm hoping some of my baking buddies can perhaps point out where I might have gone astray. Or if you're really bold, I challenge you to bake these yourself and give me some pointers!

English Muffins
-1 package active dry yeast
-1 cup and 2 tbsp warm water
-1/2 cup scalded milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 tbsp softened butter

1. Dissolve 1 package of yeast in 2 tbsp of warm water for 3-5 minutes.
2. Add 1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup scalded milk, 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt.
3. Gradually beat 2 cups sifted flour into mixture.
4. Cover the bowl with a cloth and place the dough in a place that is about 85 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
5. Beat in 3 tbsp softened butter.
6. Knead in the remaining 2 cups of sifted flour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease the inside of the muffin rings and fill each ring halfway. Leave rings standing on lightly greased cookie sheet until the dough has risen to fill the rings. Cook for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. Place on cooling rack until slightly cool, then remove muffins rings.

* Note--the box only contains 4 muffin rings, and the recipe makes 8 muffins. So if you only have 4 rings, chill or freeze half the dough before it rises and bake in two batches. 

I've yet to rise to the occasion when it comes to baking with yeast. I've only tried about three different recipes requiring it, and have had pretty miserable results every time. Unless, of course, a braided challah is supposed to weigh as much as a baseball bat. In that case, I am the yeast queen!

Not only am I a skilled multi-tasker, I am also extremely dexterous. Check me out patting the dough in two tins at once!

Here's me, sticky with batter goo and pretty much losing all hope.

And here are my hockey pucks English muffins, fresh out of the oven and ready for a waltz across a goalie's teeth. 

Anyone else ever tried making homemade English muffins? Did you fare better? What's the secret?


  1. No secrets as I always buy mine, and I think i will continue to do so! Your face! hahah Plus the last time I tried to bake with yeast, my pizza dough rose about 1 foot...no joke. Disaster.

  2. I am surprised that it says to dissolve the yeast in just 2 tbsp of water. Anything I have ever made with yeast requires about 1 or 2 cups. Also, you generally need to feed the yeats, I use sugar or flour, just a sprinkle, depending on what I am making. Also, you want to make sure the yeast is alive. It should get anywhere from some little bubbles to pretty foamy depending on how old the yeast is.

    Also, when I let bread dough rise, I cover it with plastic wrap not a cloth. I do this cause that's what my momma do and she's a master. I don't know where you put it to rise, but if it is chilly in your apt, then the oven is a good place. the pilot light helps bring it up to the right temperature. Off the bat, those are my observations.

  3. I have a good recipe for EM's that I tore out of a magazine, I think it was Simple something or other. If I find it I'll send your way.

  4. Bridget--this is one of the reasons I love you so much. You are so knowledgeable. You're my yeast guru. I should have just conferred with you before beginning this project. I definitely think finding a warm place (that was 85 degrees) was a likely culprit. Embarrassingly enough, I kept it under an exposed light bulb in a closet. Me thinks an oven sounds like a much better idea!


  5. Damn muffins! Don't they know they can't flop when in the presence of a Horns tshirt?

  6. i love a good ole English muffin, complete with Eggs benedict, hollandaise sauce...dreamy!

    These look so scrumptious Jenn! will have to bookmark this recipe. Thanks.