Baked, not fried: English muffins without the griddle

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Ah, toasted English muffins.

Tender-crisp, brushed with melting butter, burned around the edges…

BURNED around the edges, you say?

Well, yeah. Have you ever managed to toast an English muffin without burning at least part of it?

I haven’t. And my apparent lack of English muffin toasting skills led to a serious discussion here at King Arthur about the photogenicity (is that a word?) of charred-edge English muffins.

I think an English muffin with a bit of a burn looks fine; in fact, authentic, given the way they regularly come out of my toaster at home.

Some of my Web teammates think they look just fine… and some don’t.

“But… it’s burned!” cried one of the Webbies, as we went over photos for upcoming emails.

“Yeah, and?” I countered. “Aren’t English muffins always just a little bit burned?”

“But, it looks bad. We can’t use that shot. Don’t you have something better?”

I appealed to my teammates for support.

“Hey, don’t you guys burn your English muffins? Don’t you think this is a good, real-life picture?”

Lukewarm assent from some. No response from others.

I guess the burning subject of burned English muffins just doesn’t carry the fascination for others that it does for me.

I ended up losing this particular battle. I suggested switching the email picture to this:

Unburned English muffins. In fact, untoasted English muffins.

And I have to admit, they look quite handsome.

But ultimately, this was the winning email shot. And if this is what it takes to share a shot of hot bread with melting butter, I’ll take that tradeoff any day.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Hi-maize Fiber
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Pizza Dough Flavor, optional
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast

Can you substitute all-purpose flour for the Hi-maize? Sure. But you’ll be losing just under 3g of dietary fiber from each muffin – which is a shame, given how few of us manage to consume enough fiber each day.

Add 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm milk.

Or substitute 1/4 cup Bakers’ Special Dry Milk, and 1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water; don’t mix them together, the dry milk doesn’t reconstitute.

Add 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 teaspoons vinegar, white or cider.

Beat for 1 minute at high speed of an electric mixer.

The dough will become somewhat smooth.

Scrape the dough into the center of the bowl…

…scraping the bottom as well as the sides, and turning it over, like this.

Cover the bowl, and allow it to rise for about 60 minutes…

…until it’s quite puffy.

Grease a large (18″ x 13″) baking sheet; or line with parchment. Grease twelve 3 ¾” English muffin rings, and place them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle semolina or cornmeal into each ring.

Turn the dough onto a lightly greased or floured work surface. Cut it into 12 equal pieces; each will weigh a scant 2 ounces, or about 54g.

Shape the dough into balls. Place each ball into a ring, pressing it down to flatten somewhat.

How come I’m only using six rings? Because I know lots of you don’t have English muffin rings; and I want to see what happens if you don’t use them.

Sprinkle with a bit more cornmeal or semolina.

Top with a greased baking sheet (or a sheet of parchment, then the baking sheet). The baking sheet should be resting atop the rings.

Let the muffins rise for about 60 to 90 minutes, until they’ve puffed up noticeably.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bake the risen muffins for 10 minutes, with the top pan still in place.

Flip the pans over, and bake for 5 minutes more.

Remove the top pan, and bake the muffins for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown, and the interior of one registers about 200°F on an instant-read thermometer.

Remove the muffins from the oven.

Remove their rings; you can let them cool right on the pan.

If you serve them warm, you won’t even need to risk burning in the toaster!

Here’s the difference between using muffin rings (left), and not (right). The rings force the muffins up, rather than letting them spread outwards as they rise.

So, the rings make a nicer looking muffin; but either way, they taste just fine.

Especially when toasted and charred, just a touch…

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Baked English Muffins.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Ashley W

    Do you think this method would work with your crumpet recipe?

    No, I don’t think so, Ashley. Crumpets really need that hot bottom heat to create the holes. That said, you could start crumpets on a griddle and finish in the oven, I’d think… PJH

    Reply
  2. btrofel4

    Mario Batali once said “There is a very fine line between perfection and burnt.” This has always been my philosophy as well. I always burn my toast, biscuits and english muffins slightly. Hello they taste so much better that way!!!

    I’m with you – it’s like caramelizing sugar or charring steak on a grill – adds so much depth of flavor. Thanks for the Mario quote! PJH

    Reply
  3. wingboy

    Those are really good-looking english muffins. Do you need the rings to act as spacers between the sheet pans? How will the hydration change if you use AP rather than HiMaize?

    Hydration doesn’t change a whole lot; no need to make adjustments, as this isn’t a dough that’s all that sensitive to hydration. If you want to be extra precise, though, you might add 2 to 3 teaspoons water if you use AP in place of Hi-maize. The rings help the muffins rise up, not out; you don’t need them, but they do make a prettier muffin… PJH

    Reply
  4. "sandra Alicante"

    Mmmmm, just the way I like them! I could have done with these a few days ago. I love muffins when the weather is horrible. Easter has been wet with a capital W! That’s right, down here in southern Spain, the Med, it has been wetter and cooler than the UK! Only consolation is I know the UK so well, it will soon be wet and cold again – probably in time for the Royal Wedding!
    The Hi-maize stuff looks like cornflour, could it be swapped out, or is it completely different?

    I’ve never had a problem with burning on a griddle, but mine is an electric one, however I usually bake them in the oven because it is less hassle! I don’t grease the griddle, but sprinkle it with cornmeal, perhaps it makes it less likely to burn?

    Sandra, Hi-maize is completely different than corn flour or cornstarch; same ingredients, processed differently. And as for burning – I’m talking burning baked/cooked muffins in the toaster, rather than burning them when you first make them. Maybe muffins aren’t toasted in Spain? That’s how they’re typically eaten over here, though… PJH

    sandrascookbook.com

    Reply
  5. "sandra Alicante"

    PJ
    I’ll have to stick with using normal flour then, but may try adding a few malted wheat flakes for the extra fibre!

    The spainish don’t do muffins, at least not English ones! My misunderstanding, I thought you meant they had a habit of burning on the griddle. BTW, yes, I love them split and toasted, never eat them any other way! (Oh and thunderstorms are predicted for the wedding!)

    A “thunderous” wedding, eh? Does that portend good things ahead (sunshine after the storm), I hope? :) PJH

    Reply
  6. cjhiser

    These look great, I thought the burned shot was the best shot! I would love it if you added a button to your blog that would automatically put the items from King Arthur that are needed for the recipe in my shopping cart. Then we could just remove the ones we don’t need if needed. I’ve seen it done on other blogs that are tied to a store and it really makes it easy!! Just a suggestion.
    That is a great suggestion. I will pass this on to our Web Team. We are in the process of beefing up our site and every bit of customer feedback helps tremendously. Thank you! Elisabeth

    Reply
  7. rew007

    That’s not burnt, it’s done!
    I like all of my bread charred, it’s crunchy.
    Tell my kids that. They are not convinced nor amused! Elisabeth

    Reply
  8. schweitzerdl

    I tried a test batch last night. I don’t have rings and they popped up in the oven to look more like muffins than English muffins. Any ideas? Thanks, Dave
    I hope you like tuna, Dave. Buy several tuna cans and cut the both the top and bottom out. It works! Elisabeth

    Dave, did you weigh them down with a baking sheet on top? If so – use a heavier baking sheet! Unfortunately, tuna cans these days come with rounded bottoms, impossible to cut the bottom off with a can opener… PJH

    Reply
  9. carolmccaslin

    P J I love the first picture. I am a toasted kind of girl, none of this pail stuff. Will this method of baking English Muffins work for some of your other recipes? I am waiting for my muffin rings and then right to work on these.

    Thanks! Carol

    Baking does yield a different muffin, Carol – not so many small holes, not quite so moist. You could certainly try it with the other recipes, though, see how they do… enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  10. jbuchkosky

    When speaking of taking a picture of muffins, adding icity to a photo description does not make a useable word. It looks like you are trying to come up with a password that will be approved by some webmaster. Also adding ality to a word, just makes more letters to a word, so you supposedly look smarter.

    Love english muffins and yes about 50% come out with a very crunchy edge.

    Reply
  11. kaf-sub-genogen3

    These english muffins look fabulous! When I toast mine, I always turn the toaster to the highest setting; and there is nothing wrong with that picture of the somewhat charred muffin.

    Reply
  12. wjcumming

    They look good and possible without the griddle.

    Why flip the pan? What happens if you don’t have a pan on there? Thanks.

    If you don’t have a pan on top, the muffins tend to rise too much and become domed on the top – tough to fit into the toaster slot. Flipping the pan helps them rise evenly, yielding a more consistent texture top to bottom; but you can certainly skip this step, if you like. PJH

    Reply
  13. havok

    Firstly, the picture of the well-cooked (not burned!) english muffin made my mouth water more than any of the other pictures. Secondly, this method sounds like it might resolve my wife’s issue of not completely cooking the english muffins all the way through when using the griddle. I’ll try these to see. Thirdly, how about using some combination of white whole wheat or oat flour or sprinkling some oats on the top/bottom before baking?

    Thirdly: go for it, absolutely. The muffins won’t rise as tall, but will be very tasty (and healthier with the addition of the fiber…) PJH

    Reply
  14. dstrickland

    “Pastry Queen” Rebecca Rather once said that people go through the effort of making things from scratch, and then they drive themselves crazy trying to make it look absolutely perfect. The point is – it’s homemade – it’s not SUPPOSED to look like something in a magazine. Embrace the imperfection of burnt edges – that’s just how English Muffins are! –dawne

    Reply
  15. dstrickland

    How do you recommend altering the recipe if you don’t have the hi-maize natural fiber? Did I read correctly, above, that you can use 1/2 cup AP Flour instead of 1/2 cup Hi-maize, and just add a few extra teaspoons of water to compensate?

    Yes, you may substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour if you don’t have the hi-maize. No need to alter the liquid amounts. Frank @ KAF.

    Yes, I’d add a few teaspoons of water; Hi-maize doesn’t include gluten, and absorbs less water than AP flour. It’s not absolutely critical, but you might get a slightly higher rise if you increase the liquid just a bit, IMHO. PJH

    Reply
  16. dsenie

    I’ve been looking for an english muffin recipe, but this one won’t meet my needs. Specifically, I’m looking for a vegan recipe. I could substitute in soy milk, but wonder if there’s a better way. As for the fiber side of things, my choice is fresh-ground whole wheat flour, such as hard white spring wheat.

    I’m sorry, we have several English muffin recipes incorporating some whole wheat, but not 100% and not vegan, on the site. Have you tried a general web search? Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  17. Megan_O

    I agree with others that the “burned”-looking photo is by far the most appetizing of them all. When I don’t achieve that level of browning when toasting store-bought muffins, they don’t seem hot enough in the middle or crispy on the edges, and often have a raw flour aftertaste, too (I’m guessing from the bench flour?) Not saying I want charcoal edges :) but I think you captured the desired effect perfectly. Yum!

    I am one of those who lacks muffin rings. Would it serve any purpose to let them rise in a plastic ring molds cut from a bottle (or some such) and then remove before baking?

    Megan, I wouldn’t bother containing them within a ring prior to rising; it’s really during that strong oven spring that they benefit by being within the confines of a ring. BUT – you can totally make these without rings, really; they’ll just be a tad flatter. Go for it! :) PJH

    Reply
  18. sallybr

    THere you go, tempting me with yet another fantastic recipe! I don’t have any rings at the moment, and my oven is tiny, I might have to wait until mid June to try these English muffins

    and by the way, I love the photo with the “very tanned” region – mouthwatering!

    Reply
  19. davidssa

    How would you keep these? And for how long? I’d like to double the batch and keep some in the freezer. Do you think that will work? I generally don’t freeze bread, but I’m thinking since I’m going to put them in the toaster anyway…? Oh, and did you fork-split or do it with a knife? I suppose I’d better split before I freeze, huh?

    Thanks so much!

    Fresh baked goods keep less than store bought as we generally don’t use additive or preservative ingredients to extend the shelf life. Blog pictures look like these were split with a knife. The most important question for you to answer to solve the split-before-or-after-freeze question is efficiency. Do you want to head to the toaster and just pop in the muffin slices (if so, then pre-slice before freezing) or take out knife, cutting board and split the muffin at the time you’ll be toasting (then freeze whole without the pre-slice). Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  20. KAF_MaryJane

    My mother always said that burnt toast was good for your throat. I do have to say I’m on the opposite side of the fence on this one though. I don’t like char or crisp or burnt on anything, it’s just too bitter for me. Good thing the hubby and the puppies do though. ;) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  21. carolmccaslin

    I have another question. I just ordered some of the Vermont cheddar cheese powder. Could I add some to this recipe and make them cheese English Muffins like a well known gourmet brand (W) of English Muffin. If so how much would you suggest I use?

    Thanks,

    Carol
    Hi Carol. I would use 1/4 cup of the cheese powder for this recipe. I hope you enjoy it. ~Amy

    Reply
  22. cartvl219

    This just might work for me. A good many years ago I occasionally picked up lunch at a little place near where I worked and they made a cheeseburger with caramelized onions under cheddar cheese served on a toasted english muffin. At some point after that Thomas’ made and marketed ‘sandwich size’ english muffins. I made a point to keep some in the freezer at all times. Then they disappeared from the store shelf and they’re just a memory. So maybe if I made a couple fewer of these (and consequently bigger) and didn’t use the rings (which I do have) I could satisfy a long-standing craving. Worth a try.
    – Carolyn

    Should work just fine, Carolyn – go for it! PJH

    Reply
  23. Brenda

    Sorry, if it’s not toasted, it’s not an English muffin! Untoasted and buttered just looks SOOOO wrong. If it’s a little too dark around the edges, scrape a bit with a table knife.

    Brenda, how did you know? I’ve been scraping (even cutting off with a scissors) the overly burned edges of EMs forever… :) PJH

    Reply
  24. kfreshwater

    I haven’t made these yet but how can you tell if they raised enough if there is a pan sitting on top of them?

    Pick up the pan and take a look – they should be very close to the edges of the rings. If not, give them a bit more time. PJH

    Reply
  25. Donald Gardiner

    To make my own English Muffin Rings I cut the tops and bottoms off Water Chestnut cans. They did not have rounded bottoms like Tuna Fish cans.

    Donald, I didn’t think of that – thanks so much for the helpful hint. PJH

    Reply
  26. gemini

    These look so yummy! I have issues with the griddle english muffins. I think because I am a compulsive flipper (my hashbrowns need work too!) This method looks right up my alley!
    Question though, I am a little confused: I don’t have rings, so I will still put a parchment-ed baking sheet on top of the muffins and bake that way? Do I let them rise a bit first before topping with the baking sheet? Or should I wait until they go into the oven to top with the baking sheet…
    (help!)
    Since the baking sheet would normally be resting on top of the rings, you would just need to be sure that there is enough room for the dough to rise and that the pan won’t stick to the dough. You could invert another baking sheet on top to keep them covered safely and just keep checking on them to make sure they don’t rise too much. ~Amy

    Hi – I’d suggest letting them rise without the sheet on top; then, just before baking, putting a piece of parchment over the risen muffins, then a baking sheet, so they stay flat on top instead of doming as they bake. I think this should work pretty well… PJH

    Reply
  27. wingboy

    I made a batch yesterday. I admit I didn’t follow directions (seldom do).

    I used my Zo to mix up the dough. Ended up with a sticky mess. I bet the aeration provided by the mixer would have helped. I just have 4 muffin rings, so I used those at the corners of the sheet pan.

    With breakfast I had a muffin, toasted, with ginger marmalade.

    Acceptable, very acceptable.

    Reply
  28. Margy

    The burned piece was always the one mommy ate! We were teenagers before we figured out that mom did NOT prefer black toast! ;D

    Reply
  29. em

    I think you can still buy water chestnuts in the kind of cans that you can use a can opener on the top and the bottom thus you will be left with a ring. Use the water chestnuts in a hot chicken salad recipe.

    Thanks for this tip – very useful to know there are still cans you can cut the top AND bottom out of! PJH

    Reply
  30. misoranomegami

    Ohhh I’m with Megan_0. A proper english muffin should be craigy enough that to acheive 90% perfection you should have about 5% each slightly over done and complete untoasted. Then you apply butter to the hills and let it run into the valleys…. I may have to be making some of these soon.

    Reply
  31. bampam1

    I made my first batch on Tuesday, (they were all gone by Thursday), and we LOVED them. The ones shaped without the rings were OK, but we liked the thicker ones, baked in the rings…………so I sent away for more rings.
    I think I’d like to see more whole wheat flour in the recipe though. Less calories, more fiber and better for you than all purpose flour. Just a personal preference though. Especially good with homemade blackberry or peach preserves. Thanks to the King Arthur bakers, you’ve created another winning recipe!!!!!

    PS – I think you should package the rings to accommodate the recipe, if the recipe makes 12, the rings should be sold in a 12 pack instead of 8, and then having to reorder more…..and pay more postage. It’s a little thing, but with everything else going up in price, and trying to save money at the same time by baking our own bread it would be a nice gesture.
    Thank you for your suggestions and I am really glad you enjoyed the recipe.
    ~Amy

    Reply
  32. Sandy

    This recipe calls for instant yeast, but my grocery store doesn’t have anything with that label. Is it possible it’s the same as active dry yeast? If not, what other name could it have?

    Thanks!

    Sandy, it could be called SAF yeast, or bread machine yeast. But if you don’t see it, just go ahead and use the active dry. Dissolve it in about 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water (water from the recipe, not additional water) before adding to the rest of your ingredients. Rising times will probably be longer, but patience is a virtue, right? Cheers- PJH

    Reply
  33. monhardtk

    I just took my English muffins out of the oven. I only had four English muffin rings, so I used eight wide-mouth canning jar rings for the rest of the muffins. The “official” muffin rings created very sharp edges around the muffins. The canning jar rings created rounded edges, like what you normally see. Some of the dough kind of squeezed out the bottoms of the rings because they were slightly smaller than the recommended size. I think I would use the canning jar rings again and make smaller muffins and get more muffins from the recipe. They look delicious!

    Good improvisation – thanks for sharing with your fellow bakers. Glad they turned out well for you! PJH

    Reply
  34. Mary

    My english muffins always toast with a slightly burnt edge, and they are all the tastier for it. It puts me in mind of making toast over a campfire, and the toast was even tastier that way.

    Reply
  35. livesimply

    Hi,
    Can I substitute your Gluten Free Multi Purpose Flour for the All Purpose Flour? These look absolutely scrumptious!

    We haven’t tested this, so regretfully, I can’t say “sure, go ahead”; my sense is you’d need to add some xanthan gum for structure. Alternatively, you might try our recipe for GF Sandwich Bread, shaping the batter into English Muffins instead of bread. Worth a try, anyway- good luck! PJH

    Reply
  36. davidssa

    I made these again today, and they are awesome. One small tip I’ve discovered for the home cook. My oven’s low, and it’s a pain in the neck to get the pans out to flip them when they’re hot. So I put them in upside-down the first time. It makes flipping them a little easier.

    Reply
  37. Great Grandpa Charlie

    Lets start with, Burnt or Over Toasted YES!
    BamPam1: You must have made them LATE Tuesday Night or they would have been history on Wednesday. Yes 12 package sounds good to me, just like 10 pack of hotdog buns instead of ATE, sorry, eight.

    Reply
  38. wccrawford

    I am going to try this recipe when my current supply of store-bought muffins is gone, probably next weekend. Can I use my hamburger bun pan and get similar results to the muffin rings? Thanks.
    We haven’t tried the burger bun pan, but it sounds to me like it would work. Let us know how it goes if you try it. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  39. helenfl

    I’m getting ready to try these, ordered the English muffin rings and the ingredients I didn’t have. But I’ve realized that an “order” of rings is for 8, and all of your recipes call for 12 muffins! I’m adjusting by 75% (easier to calculate than 2/3) and seeing what happens. This falls in the same category as trying to use the weight measurements that call for 3/8 or 7/8 of an ounce. Granted, now that I’ve been baking awhile, I just make a choice and see what happens, but these types of complications make obsessive people like me a little crazy!

    Sorry, Helen – I understand about the muffin rings, and I think our product team is working at selling them in sets of 4. As for the 1/8, 3/8 – the scale we use in the kitchen measures in 1/8s. Since yours doesn’t, estimating is just fine; 1/8 ounce is never going to make a critical difference (unless you’re talking small amounts of ingredients, and we don’t give weights for anything under 1 tablespoon). Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  40. helenfl

    PJ, after that little whine-fest–LOL–these muffins turned out beautifully! My 75% estimate worked out great, each dough ball weighed 2 oz and the baking was easy. I just tried a half toasted and it was yummy. Once more, I learn not to worry so much about precisions. I’m thinking egg muffin for lunch! Thanks.

    Thanks for reporting back, Helen – and as a result of your input, our product team is probably going to switch to selling the muffin rings in sets of 12. So, thank you- and glad the muffins turned out well in the end! PJH

    Reply
  41. tuna cans still work

    I made my muffin rings from tuna cans, cutting off the bottoms with tin snips. Some care is needed, but it works just fine.

    Bill

    Thanks, Bill – it’s definitely more of a challenge, isn’t it, now that they’ve made tuna cans with rounded bottoms… PJH

    Reply
  42. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis, RJ, BRAZIL

    These Muffins are absolutely fantastic. I’ve always tried those grilled ones, but the baked are better and healthier. So, I prefer healthier always. They’re perfectly for amazing combinations with jam, butter, sandwiches, filled with caponata, olive oil, many ways!!
    I baked with rings and without them. No problem, they both puffed nicely!!!!
    AMAZING

    Reply
  43. AnneInWA

    I am going to be baking up batches of these to stick in the freezer for fast breakfasts, lunches, and dinners (because who doesn’t like a quick english muffin pizza?). One question though, for the milk, can I use skim?

    Thanks, and I cannot wait to smell these out of the oven toasted with butter and homemade strawberry jam….

    Absolutely, skim milk is just fine, Anne. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  44. SheriBear

    These are absolutely wonderful! Can you tell me what I would need to do, apart from omitting the pizza flavoring, to make a cinnamon raisin version and also a blueberry version? Would frozen blueberries make the muffins too soggy? If so, what could I do to counter that? For the raisin version, I normally soak my raisins for breads/cakes/muffins…should I skip that?
    Sure, you could knead raisins and cinnamon or DRIED blueberries into your dough. Frozen or fresh blueberries would not be suitable for this recipe. ~Amy

    Reply
  45. Ashley

    I was wondering is there another substitute for Hi maze flour? Something that would be close to the same fiber and health value. Thank you.

    Sorry, Ashley, Hi-maize is pretty much one of a kind, so I don’t know of a substitute that would provide the same benefits. You could try adding whole wheat flour, which would give you more fiber and minerals than all-purpose flour, though it would also change the muffins’ texture and taste. PJH

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Marion, in yeast recipes, using dried milk sometimes gives a faster rise, as fresh milk can sometimes slow yeast down a bit. But aside from perhaps having to add a bit of extra liquid milk, compared to the amount of water, there should be no difference. PJH

  46. Laura

    Hi, could I make these sourdough muffins using the kaf starter? If so what do I change in the recipe? Thanks as always for the amazing recipes!

    Reply

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