English Muffins

Joined Jan 9, 2002
Last night I tried a recipe for English Muffins. My experience with purchased Thomas English Muffins are great! They are a little chewy with large bubbles in the middle and I love them toasted.

So I was hoping that this recipe would be the same. They taste really good but more "bready" and fine textured. Did I do something wrong, or is this recipe not quite what I need to get the result I want? Here is the Recipe:

sift together:
4 cups flour
1tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

soften two packets active dry yeast in 1 cup warm water
add to 1/2 cup scalded milk
two tablespoons oil

combine the liquid with 2 cups flour and mix well. let rise 1+ hour
(at this point it was very soft and bubbly)
This is then put onto the remaining two cups flour and kneaded until smooth. Roll out 1 inch thick, cut in rounds place on a greased cookie sheet and let rise one hour-- bake 425F to brown.

Like I said they looked great and taste good, but not the texture I was looking for. Would it have helped to put in less flour at the end and leave it a bit more soft and sticky? Thanks folks!
Joined Aug 14, 2000
IMHO, wetter is always better, when searching for an open, holey crumb structure. THe more flour you add, the more likely you are to end up with a very dense muffin. The "bready" tase may be coming from the yeast. 2 packages seems like an awyful lot.
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice (p.157,8) suggests cooking the dough on the stove top to capture the characteristic color. Also...
Joined Jan 9, 2002
There wasn't really any problem with the 'taste' the texture was the 'bready' part. They tasted good. I just wanted them to look a bit more like the ones I buy.

I will try again, reducing the last part of the flour.
When I cut them in rounds and let them rise, will I be able to pick them up to 'grill' with out making them fall?

I bought a flat cast iron skillet at a flea market with rounds pressed into it. It looks pretty well seasoned already-though I will test it first. Do you think that would work or I can use my regular griddle.

Thanks for the input!:lips:
Joined Dec 12, 2003
:confused: I will look for my recipe, but it was not rolled out. It was cooked more like a pancake. Like a thick batter & cooked in butter in a skillet, then cooled. The holes formed as it was cooking.
Joined Jan 13, 2004

I've always thought that a well-toasted Thomas's English Muffin is a pretty good thing, and it seems that you do too. So, why bother to make english muffins? Why not put the energy into making something that is almost impossible to buy ... like a great bagel, pizza, or Chinese dumpling? Just a thought.
Joined Jan 9, 2002
Mostly I like to try things because I want to see if I can make them. I want to know HOW it is made. I am just interested. That is an honest question--this is why!

I have had crumpets, I like those too. Well, I am going to try the above suggestion to reduce the amount of flour and place them in a round form on a griddle, but with minimal oil, and see what happens. I am glad to see so much help with this question.

Joined Mar 4, 2000
what Americans refer to as "English muffins" are actually pretty close to what the English refer to as crumpets, but with a drier, toasted exterior. So they are neither English nor muffins, in fact.
Joined May 2, 2003
I'm getting confused now... to clarify, I'll describe the English versions of both breads.

What the English traditionally call muffins certainly seems to be what Peter Reinhart gives a recipe for in Bread Baker's Apprentice. A muffin in England (and Australia) is a disc of bread with flat top and bottom, about an inch thick, usually with a mild sourness. Cooked on both sides in a frypan. Cut open for eating. Other US descriptions of 'English muffins' do seem to be describing this bread.

And crumpets are made of a fairly thick batter, poured into rings in a frypan, and cooked for a while on one side (the bottom goes a medium brown). They are flipped after the top has become punctuated with hundreds of little holes (due to the addition of some bicarbonate), and cooked quite briefly on that side. Crumpets are not cut for eating. Butter/honey/whatever is just spread on top of a hot crumpet and permitted to melt into the wholes (and usually oozes out the bottom too).
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Your description of an English muffin is exactly what we have here in the US, but an ex of mine (from the UK) told me that it's a purely American thing. I think we need a Brit to help us on this. Maybe I'm mistaken.
Joined Jul 12, 2015
Lamington has the right of it.

English muffins are bready-discs of goodness that I usually slice in half and drop into a toaster, before smearing with marmite or peanut butter.  Wonderful creations.

The description of crumpets is also accurate and they also are gorgeous when smothered with butter and marmite.

US muffins, those sweet things that come in flavours such as blueberry and chocolate chip and which resemble a volcano bubbling over, are a purely American thing that has been adopted by numerous coffee shops and other bakeries in the UK.  Vile creations ;)

<- Brit.
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