Homemade English Muffins, an easy, freezer-friendly recipe, inspired by Jennifer Garner’s recreation of the English muffins from Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica. Soft, chewy, and complete with “nooks and crannies” -these homemade English muffins are way better than store-bought.
I tuned into an episode of Jennifer Garner’s Fake Cooking Show, and she was making homemade English muffins from the Huckleberry cookbook. I had that book sitting on my bookshelf yet somehow missed this awesome recipe. Ava had also mentioned she was craving an English muffin, so I knew I had to give this recipe a go.
A friend of mine brought me something similar to an English muffin from the UK. Do they call them English muffins in the UK or just muffins? I toasted it, slathered it in French butter and jam and it was the highlight of my week. Sometimes the simplest things bring the most joy.
This recipe works like a charm. It takes a little planning, but I promise it’s worth it. There is truly nothing better than freshly baked bread in the morning. Anything you can make ahead for breakfast is a plus in my book.
- Buttermilk – brings a bit of tang to the muffins and helps tenderize the dough.
- Active Dry Yeast – helps breads rise.
- Butter (room temperature) – helps achieve a lighter, crispier crust on the muffins.
- Honey – adds a subtle sweetness and golden color.
- Bread Flour – has a higher gluten content than all-purpose flour and helps the dough rise.
- Sugar – further activates the yeast and adds flavor.
- Salt – flavors and helps the dough hold its structure.
- Cornmeal – ensures the dough is manageable once it’s ready to be browned.
How to Make // The Steps
- Step 1. Prepare the buttermilk. In the microwave or on the stovetop, heat 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk to 105 degrees. In a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, add remaining cold buttermilk. In the standing mixer with the cold buttermilk, pour in the warm buttermilk followed by butter, honey, bread flour, sugar, and salt.
- Step 2. Mix dough. Mix ingredients on low for 1 minute, then increase speed and continue mixing for another 2 minutes until a sticky but smooth dough forms.
- Step 3. Let dough rise in the fridge. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for one hour.
- Step 4. Prepare baking sheets and work surfaces. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cornmeal, and set aside. Sprinkle half of the remaining cornmeal on a sanitized work surface.
- Step 5. Shape dough. After an hour, remove dough from the fridge and place it on a clean work surface. Turn the dough and sprinkle the top with remaining cornmeal. Press the dough out to about a 1-inch thickness. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out the rounds, cutting out as many as possible (dough can not be pressed back out).
- Step 6. Let dough rise again. Place the muffins on the sheet pan, 1″ apart, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for one hour.
- Step 7. Bake homemade English muffins. Preheat oven to 350°. Once preheated, heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Place the muffins in the hot pan. Cook muffins, one minute per side, until golden brown. Arrange the par-cooked muffins on the sheet pans and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to work through this step in batches.
Tips & Tricks //
- You can mix by hand if you need to. Just be careful not to overwork the dough or over-flour. The dough will be very sticky but able to form into a smooth bowl.
- If you don’t have a 3-inch cutter, you can fold a sheet of foil a couple of times and round it into a circle.
- The dough will fall flat if pressed out more than once. That said, you want to cut out the rounds as close as possible to make as many muffins as possible.
- To save yourself time in the morning, the dough can be mixed and cut the night before, stored in the fridge overnight, and then removed from the fridge to rise at room temperature an hour before going into the oven.
- I start these the night before, cut them out, and place them on semolina lined baking sheet, cover, refrigerate and griddle the next morning
- Whatever you do, do NOT cut these with a knife. It will ruin all of the “nooks and crannies”. Fork split only.
Ways to Use English Muffins //
- Using a fork (as not to disturb the “nooks and crannies”), split English muffins open, toast, and serve warm smeared with butter, jelly, jam, nut butter, etc.
- Use them in your favorite Eggs Benedict recipes.
- Load them up breakfast sandwich style with sausage or bacon, egg, cheese, etc (PS: breakfast sandwiches like this freeze and reheat in the microwave really well).
- Stuf English muffins with your favorite cold cuts and sliced cheeses.
- Use English muffins as the “crust” and make mini-pizzas!
Why are Homemade English Muffins So Good?
- Making English muffins from scratch is easier than you think and so much better than store-bought.
- Freezer-friendly. Make a batch and stash it in the freezer.
- Versatile breakfast bread. Great served toasted with butter or jam, as a breakfast sandwich or with eggs Benedict.
- Made with simple ingredients and basic pantry items.
The main difference is English muffins are yeast-activated while “quick breads” (cornbread, biscuits, muffins, etc.) are activated by baking soda and baking powder.
I had to look it up. They’re simply called muffins and they’re most similar to “crumpets.”
The long time in the fridge develops flavor. I think that you can shorten this step, but I’ve never done it shorter than overnight, I can’t promise an outcome.
How to Store //
This recipe makes about 12 English muffins (I made the cutest baby ones with extra dough). If you have leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container or freeze them.Store English muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Make-Ahead and Freezer Options //
I sometimes make a double batch and freeze them in a single layer before putting them into a resealable freezer bag to grab whenever.
They keep in the freezer for one month. From frozen, give them a couple of seconds in the microwave to thaw and then toast them.
More Brunch Recipes //
Homemade English Muffins – Huckleberry Cafe English Muffins
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
- 3 Tablespoons butter room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 6 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup cornmeal
- Warm 1 1/2 cups buttermilk until warm. (I use a thermometer and warm it until it gets to 105°.)
- Add the other 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk to the bowl of a mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add yeast and stir to combine.
- Add the warm buttermilk to the cold buttermilk. Add butter, honey, bread flour, sugar, and salt. Mix on low for a minute, then increase speed and mix for another two minutes. The dough will be very sticky, but smooth.
- Put the dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge for one hour.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper, sprinkle 1/4 cup cornmeal, and set aside.
- After an hour, sprinkle half of the cornmeal on a clean work surface. Turn the dough. Sprinkle the top with the last 1/4 cup cornmeal. Press the dough out to about a 1-inch thickness.
- Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out the rounds. This dough cannot be re-rolled, so cut as closely as possible to get as many muffins as you can.
- Place the muffins on the sheet pan, an inch apart, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for one hour. Or, keep in the fridge overnight and let rise for an hour in the morning.
- Preheat oven to 350°. When the oven is preheated, heat a griddle or cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.
- Place the muffins in the hot pan, cook for a minute or until golden brown, flip and cool the other side.
- Place the grilled muffins on the sheet pans and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. If you are working with a small pan or griddle, do this in batches.