October 10, 2021
These homemade English muffins are my new breakfast favorite! They have all the flavor plus the nooks and crannies of the store-bought English muffins you remember, but with none of the dairy (or preservatives). Serve them with vegan butter and jam, peanut butter and bananas, or make breakfast sandwiches with Just Egg and a slice of vegan cheese.
English muffins are, as the name suggests, English, although on that side of the pond, they're just called "muffins." In the late 19th century, British immigrant Samuel Bath Thomas introduced them to Americans, eventually creating our famous American version: Thomas' English Muffins.
The key to a flavorful English muffin is letting the dough proof very slowly (overnight) in the refrigerator. This is also nice because half the work is already done when you wake up in the morning to make breakfast! You also want to ensure that the muffins have risen completely before cooking them, as this contributes to the flavor and creates lots of nooks and crannies.
Although proofing overnight results in the best flavor, you can take a shortcut if you don't have that much time. Just leave the dough at room temperature for the first rise instead of refrigerating overnight. It should only need about 1-2 hours to rise at room temperature.
This recipe uses instant dry yeast, which does not need to be added to warm liquid. Please check your yeast before using it; some packages are labeled as "instant yeast" or "quick-acting" yeast, but they do need to be added to warm liquid.
I recommend using high-fat vegan butter sticks for this recipe, such as Earth Balance or Miyoko's. If vegan butter is unavailable in your area, or unreasonably priced, try my homemade vegan butter recipe.
The best way to cut English muffins in half is by using the prongs of a fork to cut into the sides, then pulling the muffins apart. This will really accentuate the nooks and crannies.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time12 hours
Add your flour, instant dry yeast, salt, and sugar to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix until just combined (in a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment on the lowest speed). Add vegan butter and almond milk to dry ingredients and continue to mix until you have a shaggy dough (I use speed setting #2 on the stand mixer). It’s okay if it’s a little sticky at this stage.
Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour.
After an hour, bring the dough out and either knead it by hand on the counter, or place it back in the stand mixer bowl and knead using the dough hook attachment on medium-low speed (I use the 3rd speed). Knead until the dough is smooth, about 4-6 minutes in a stand mixer.
Shape your dough into a ball, then return it to the oiled bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Then, place your dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out to about 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick. Use a biscuit cutter (or the top of a glass) that’s about a 3 1/2-inch (9-cm) diameter circle to cut your muffins. You can re-roll remaining scraps of dough, however they may not come together as well as the first roll-out.*
Prepare a small bowl with some cornmeal or semolina flour. Dip the top and bottom of each muffin in cornmeal to coat (avoid the sides), then place the muffins on the parchment-lined baking trays. Leave space between the muffins, as they may expand. Cover the muffins with a kitchen towel, then let the dough rise until the muffins are puffy, about 1-2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Then heat a cast-iron pan over medium-low heat (on my stove, that’s somewhere around the 3rd or 4th notch). You can use a regular stainless steel pan as well, if you don’t have a cast-iron pan. As you cook your muffins, you may need to adjust your heat. If your muffins are turning golden brown before 4-5 minutes, then your pan is too hot. If they’re not turning color at all within 5 minutes, then your pan is too cool.
Dust your muffins with some additional cornmeal or semolina, then use a spatula to place a few of them in your pre-heated pan, leaving space between them. Transfer them as carefully as possible to help maintain the shape, but don’t worry if they don’t look perfect when they hit the pan. They’ll still puff up and regain their shape while they’re cooking. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the bottoms of the muffins are just golden brown. Turn the muffins and press down a bit with the spatula to ensure the bottoms are flat, and cook on the other side for 5 minutes more. Return the muffins to the baking tray and repeat with the remaining dough.
When you have a full tray of cooked muffins, place them in your preheated oven for about 5 minutes to ensure they’re cooked all the way through.
Transfer the fully-baked muffins to a wire rack to cool, then split each muffin with the prongs of a fork, all the way around, and pull the muffin apart. Toast and serve with vegan butter and jelly (or any toppings you like)! Enjoy!
Double check that your yeast is instant dry yeast, which does not require mixing with warm water.
Instead of using a biscuit cutter to cut circles, you can just divide your dough and roll each piece into a ball, then flatten it. You won't have to re-roll any dough, but your muffins won't be perfect circles.
For best results, use a digital scale to weigh your flour and vegan butter.
Using another flour, like bread flour or whole wheat flour will also work in this recipe, but different flours will result in different textures.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze in a freezer bag for longer storage.
Note: This data should be used only as an estimate. Please see the nutrition section of my terms and conditions for more information on how this data is calculated.
Join the community and get my newest and best yummy vegan recipes sent right to your email!