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These honey wheat English muffins are completely homemade from a simple 8 ingredient dough. The sticky dough does not require kneading and you can skip the rolling pin entirely. Some homemade English muffin recipes call for a round biscuit/cookie cutter, but you don’t need it for these– your hands sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina flour are your best tool.

Though the dough rises and is ready in about 2 hours, I strongly recommend refrigerating it for at least 6 hours so your English muffins have better flavor.

homemade honey wheat english muffins

This post is lengthy because I want you prepped for the best success possible. If you’ve never made homemade English muffins before, I encourage you to review the entire post as well as the video and step-by-step photos below the recipe. Are you a yeast beginner? This Baking with Yeast Guide is helpful.

English muffins are a breakfast staple in the US, inspired by the traditional English crumpet. You can enjoy them plain, but they taste divine toasted with butter, honey butter, or jam. English muffins are essential for eggs Benedict and as the bread for breakfast sandwiches. If you’ve never heard of English muffins before, imagine a homemade yeasted bread patty with plenty of airy pockets inside– much denser and flatter than dinner rolls. The craggy, airy goodness inside is branded as “nooks and crannies” by the company Thomas’.

Today’s recipe is a variation of English muffins, which are traditionally made with all white flour and very little sugar. I like to use a combination of all purpose and whole wheat flours here and sweeten them with honey. They’re NOT sweet like regular quick bread-style muffins– just a little touch of honey goodness to pair with the whole wheat flavor.

By the way, if you enjoy baking with whole wheat flour, try this hearty, yet soft whole wheat pizza dough. It’s a whole grain favorite!

stack of homemade wheat English muffins

Are English Muffins… Bread?

Yes, a yeast bread. I learned they’re called English muffins so they aren’t confused with sweeter cupcake-like muffins such as blueberry muffins.

Let me brief you on today’s recipe.

These Homemade English Muffins Are:

  • Made with a simple 8 ingredient no-knead dough
  • Fresher-tasting than store-bought
  • Perfect if you’re looking for a fun baking project
  • Started on the stove and finished in the oven
  • Heartier than white flour English muffins
  • Super soft and filled with their signature jagged texture aka “nooks & crannies”
  • Begging you to slice & toast them and slather with butter!
  • An intermediate baking recipe

They don’t have the same exact texture as store-bought, but the flavor is out-of-this-world especially if you let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (and up to 24 hours). Your kitchen will smell like a bakery and it’s just so satisfying.

Start on the stove: Homemade English muffins can be cooked entirely on the stove, but it depends on your stove and griddle/skillet situation. I have a large griddle, but it doesn’t heat evenly so the batch is never consistent. I also find that English muffins solely cooked on the stove end up doughy inside. For best (and most uniform) results, I recommend starting the muffins on the stove and finishing them in the oven.

Recipe Testing: What Worked & What Didn’t

After making homemade English muffins from King Arthur Baking, I decided to try my hand at a honey wheat version. This recipe went through 6 rounds of dough variations.

baking sheets with test batches of English muffins on top

Here’s What Works:

  • Use melted butter because recipe tests made with softened butter weren’t as flavorful.
  • Embrace a sticky dough made with *some* whole wheat flour and *some* all-purpose or bread flour.
  • You will be tempted to add more flour, but don’t. The high hydration level is key to obtaining that shaggy & airy texture inside.
  • Let the dough rise on the counter until doubled, about 2 hours. Then let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. This time gives the muffins extra flavor, plus cold dough is MUCH EASIER to work with. (We do the same when making artisan bread and olive bread.)
  • Start the muffins on the stove in a skillet or on a griddle and finish them in the oven. Cook until an instant read thermometer reads the center as 200°F (93°C). If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, cut a muffin open and if it’s still extra doughy in the center, return to the oven.

Here’s What Doesn’t Work:

  • A firm, dry dough will not produce an airy center.
  • Avoid using ALL whole wheat flour because you may end up with bread hockey pucks.
  • Do not punch down the dough after it rises.
  • Do not skip the cornmeal or semolina flour because it’s needed to coat the dough and your hands.
  • Do not flatten the shaped muffins with force because they will deflate.

Step-by-step photos are found below the printable recipe.

9 Ingredients You Need

There are 8 ingredients in the dough, plus cornmeal for hands + cooking surface.

  1. Milk: Some recipes call for using some milk and some water, but I found using all milk ideal especially when using whole wheat flour because it’s so drying. Whole milk is great, but you can use any milk– non dairy or dairy + any milk fat.
  2. Yeast: Use active-dry or instant yeast.
  3. Honey: Honey adds flavor. Feel free to replace with regular granulated sugar, but I would reduce down to 2 Tablespoons.
  4. Egg: Do not skip the egg because the muffins lacked structure and flavor.
  5. Melted Butter: Some fat adds flavor and melted butter is ideal.
  6. Salt: A scant 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of regular table salt gives the bread nice flavor and balances out the 3 Tablespoons of honey.
  7. Whole Wheat Flour: Use 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
  8. Bread Flour or All-Purpose Flour: The remaining flour should be bread flour or all-purpose flour. This amount *slightly* varies based on humidity, weather, brand of flour, and so many other little factors that are imperative to yeast dough’s performance. However, 2 cups + 3 Tablespoons was the perfect amount each time I tested.
  9. Cornmeal or Semolina: You need either for coating the dough and your hands. Using regular flour instead will dry out the dough– you want something coarse that the dough can’t really absorb. As a bonus, this adds a lovely little crunch on the muffin’s exterior.
ingredients needed for dough including egg, melted butter, whole wheat flour, honey, milk, and yeast

Quick Test Recipe Comparison

Once I landed on the perfect dough, it’s all a matter of shaping and cooking the muffins. Use your hands to gently shape the dough into 1-inch thick discs. The next photo shows 3 columns of cooked English muffins. Let me explain each.

  1. Below Left: As the muffins cook on the stove, avoid flattening them too much with a spatula. A little is fine, but don’t overdo it or you’ll end up squeezing all the air out and eating hockey pucks. The heat was also a little high on my stove and I cooked them too long, so they burned.
  2. Below Center: It’s best to cook the muffins over medium or medium-low heat. Anything lower may not properly cook the muffins as you can see.
  3. Below Right: Perfectly cooked English muffins are browned with oodles of crumbly air pockets inside. These are cooked over medium heat on a griddle (medium low heat for a skillet) for 7-8 minutes on each side and finished in the oven.
photo showing English muffins comparison

Can I Skip the Stove?

I do not recommend it. Cooking them entirely or briefly on the stove browns and sets the exterior, preventing them from puffing up too much. If cooked entirely in the oven, you’ll have rounded dense dinner rolls, not English muffins.

cooking English muffins on the griddle on the stove
toasted homemade English muffin with butter on blue plate

Cutting Into Your English Muffins

To preserve the craggy texture, I recommend slicing the honey wheat English muffins in half using a serrated knife. Or you can slice around the edges with a regular sharp knife and then pry the two halves apart with a fork.

How to Store & Freeze English Muffins

This recipe yields 12 muffins. The shelf life of homemade English muffins is shorter than store-bought. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 2 days and then transfer to the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that, it’s best to freeze them. Freeze for up to 3 months and then thaw by defrosting in the microwave or setting out on the counter. For best taste and texture, slice and toast them.

See Your Homemade English Muffins

Many readers tried this recipe as part of a baking challenge!

Print
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homemade honey wheat english muffins

Homemade English Muffins

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 8 hours, 45 minutes (includes dough rise)
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These honey wheat English muffins are completely homemade from a simple no-knead 8 ingredient dough. Though the dough rises and is ready in about 2 hours, I strongly recommend refrigerating it for at least 6 hours so your English muffins have better flavor. For best success, review recipe notes, video tutorial, and step-by-step photos (below) before starting.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (300ml) milk, warmed to about 100°F (38°C)*
  • 2 teaspoons (6ginstant or active dry yeast*
  • 3 Tablespoons honey*
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted & slightly cooled
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup (130g) whole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)*
  • 2 cups + 3 Tablespoons (280g) bread flour or all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)*
  • cornmeal or semolina flour for handling dough (at least 1/2 cup (60g))

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: In a large un-greased mixing bowl, whisk the warm milk, yeast, and honey together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Cover and allow mixture to sit for about 5 minutes or until foamy on top. *If you do not own a mixer, you can do this in a large mixing bowl and in the next step, mix the dough together with a large wooden spoon/rubber spatula. A hand mixer works, but the sticky dough repeatedly gets stuck in the beaters. Mixing by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula is a better choice.*
  2. Add the butter, egg, salt, whole wheat flour, and 1 cup (about 130g) of the bread flour. Whisk to combine. Add 1 more cup (130g) bread flour and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Dough will be extremely sticky and like a loose batter. Add remaining flour, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and then beat on low speed for 1 minute to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and then fold the dough together a few times with your rubber spatula. Do not be tempted to add more flour. It’s supposed to be very sticky.
  3. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and set on the counter at room temperature. Allow to rise until double in size, about 2 hours. The dough will be sticking to the sides of the bowl and have a lot of air bubbles. You can continue with step 4 immediately, but for absolute best flavor and texture, I strongly recommend letting this risen dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours. Place covered dough in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours. The dough will very slightly puff up during this time, but may begin to deflate after 24 hours.
  4. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. One is for the shaped uncooked muffins and the 2nd is for baking the muffins.
  5. Shape the muffins: Remove cold dough from the refrigerator– no need to bring it to room temperature. Sprinkle a little cornmeal/semolina on the surface of the dough and all over your hands. Have more nearby and use whenever things begin getting super sticky. Grab a small handful of dough, about 1/3 cup of dough or 2.5-3 ounces if you have a kitchen scale, and gently form into a 1-inch thick disc that’s about 3.5 inches in diameter– doesn’t need to be perfect– and place onto lined baking sheet. You’re basically shaping them as you’d shape hamburger patties. Repeat with remaining dough for a total of about 12. Sprinkle the tops of the shaped discs lightly with more cornmeal and cover to rest for 20 minutes. (Do not extend this time or the muffins will puff too much.)
  6. Meanwhile, as the shaped muffins rest, get your stove ready. Heat a griddle to medium heat or about 325°F (163°C) or use a large skillet or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. If your griddle/skillet/cast iron is nonstick or seasoned, there’s no need to grease it. If not nonstick, grease with a little butter. Once greased pan/griddle is heated, sprinkle lightly with cornmeal/semolina flour and begin to cook the muffins in the next step.
  7. Read this entire step before starting to cook the muffins. Using a flat spatula, carefully transfer however many muffins can fit on your pan/griddle with at least 2 inches between each because muffins will puff up as they cook. Gently flatten them around the edges with the back of your spatula, being careful to not flatten too hard which would deflate them. Cook for 7-8 minutes and then flip over, gently flatten again, and cook for another 7-8 minutes. (No need to grease or sprinkle more cornmeal/semolina when flipping.) This cook time is a general guideline because griddles/stoves/pans can heat differently and/or unevenly. You want to cook until golden brown on each side and edges seem set. If muffins seem to be over-browning quickly, slightly turn down the stove’s heat. And, as the muffins cook, you can start preheating the oven (next step). Transfer cooked muffins to the unused prepared baking sheet.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  9. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads the center as 200°F (93°C). If you don’t have an instant read thermometer, cut a muffin open after 8 minutes and if it’s still extra doughy in the center, return to the oven until baked through. I usually bake them for at least 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before slicing and handling. To preserve the craggy texture, slice the honey wheat English muffins in half using a serrated knife. Or you can slice around the edges with a regular sharp knife and then pry the two halves apart with a fork. Toast halves in the toaster if desired (taste best that way!) and serve warm with desired toppings such as butter, honey butter, jam, apple butter, or other topping of choice. Muffins can also be used for breakfast sandwiches or eggs Benedict.
  11. Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 2 days and then transfer to the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After that, it’s best to freeze them. Freezing instructions in notes.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the dough through step 3 and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before continuing with step 4. No need to bring dough to room temperature before you begin to shape the muffins– cold dough is easier to work with!
  2. Make Ahead Instructions – Freezing: Baked English muffins freeze well up to 3 months. You can freeze in a large container or freezer bag or wrap individually in plastic wrap. Thaw by defrosting in the microwave or setting out on the counter to come to room temperature. For best taste and texture, slice and toast them after thawing. You can also freeze the English muffins after they come off the stove (after step 7). Cool completely and then freeze in a large container or freezer bag or wrap individually in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Thaw and then continue with step 8.
  3. Milk: Whole milk is great, but you can use any milk– non dairy or dairy + any milk fat.
  4. Yeast: You can use active-dry or instant yeast. The instructions are the same no matter which you use. Note that 2 teaspoons (6g) is less than 1 standard packet.
  5. Honey: You can substitute the honey with granulated sugar, but reduce it down to 2 Tablespoons (25g).
  6. Flour: This ratio of whole wheat to white flour is best. I do not recommend using more whole wheat flour because the texture of the English muffins will change. For the white flour, you can use bread flour or all-purpose flour. I recommend bread flour for the best texture.
  7. Adapted from King Arthur Baking. I reduced the flour, reduced the butter and switched to melted, used some whole wheat flour, swapped sugar for honey, and reduced the milk.

Keywords: honey wheat English muffins

Let Me Show You a Few Steps

Here is the yeast proofing mixture that you prepare in step 1 above. The foamy top proves the yeast is ready and active.

yeast proofing mixture in glass bowl

After the dough comes together, use a rubber spatula to fold the dough a few times and scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough is very, very sticky:

English muffin wheat dough before rising

Below left: Let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled.

Below right: Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. The dough doesn’t rise that much in the refrigeration period– just a little. Cold dough does, however, produce a more flavorful English muffin and it’s a lot easier to work with than room temperature dough.

photo showing dough in two different stages

Unlike most yeasted bread recipes, do not punch the dough down– you do not want this dough to collapse or release air. With cornmeal or semolina dusted hands, begin pulling sections of dough and gently shaping into discs. The dough is very sticky, but manageable since it’s cold.

English muffin wheat dough after rising

Arrange on a lined baking sheet and then cover and let rest for 20 minutes as you prepare the stove for cooking.

shaped English muffins on baking sheet before cooking

After cooking the muffins on both sides on the stove– a photo you can find above as well as shown in the video tutorial– bake until the centers are 200°F (93°C) or no longer doughy.

English muffins on baking sheet
honey whole wheat English muffins

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I’ve been planning to make English Muffins for quite some time. Seeing this recipe as the January Baking Challenge was the perfect impulse to get me to actually make them! I found the dough very sticky and if I make them again will plan to troubleshoot that part. Also, I didn’t have a thermometer for my frying pan and despite frequently lowering the gas, found that the muffins blackened well before the 7 minute mark. Very delicious! Thanks for the support and encouragement to make this challenging recipe!

  2. The whole family loved these muffins! I toasted mine and slathered it with cinnamon honey butter. The inside is so soft and pairs perfect with the crisp exterior.

  3. I just made these and they are outrageously good! This is my first time making English muffins and the step-by-step directions were spot on. I don’t think I’ll ever eat store bought again!

  4. What a delicious recipe! Thank you for making so many intimidating recipes approachable and easy to follow!

  5. This was such a fun recipe to make. I loved going through these steps. Sally lays everything out so clearly, making these english muffins a winner for anyone!! Top with honey butter. Divine!

  6. Awesome recipe and not near as difficult as I thought they would be. I don’t have a griddle so experimented and used one stainless steel skillet with butter and cornmeal and one non stick skillet with just cornmeal. Both browned nicely, but will use the stainless steel pan moving forward. I agree with the other comment, that they browned quicker than 7-8 minutes. I have an induction cooktop and on medium heat they browned in about 5-6. Thanks for another fabulous go to recipe!

  7. As a frequent eater of whole wheat English muffins, I had high expectations. And as usual, Sally did not disappoint. While the recipe had some quirks, such as sticky dough and using corn meal, Sally explained every step so you knew exactly what to expect. And the results are amazing! So delicious and I can’t wait to eat another one.

  8. These turned out wonderfully!! I have made english muffins before but I prefer this recipe now. I followed the recipe as is and left the dough overnight in the fridge after proofing. The cold dough was easy to work with for shaping. Will definitely be making these again!!

  9. Super easy to make, absolutely delicious and love that you can start them one day and finish them the next! Will definitely make again.

  10. These looked intimidating but were so easy to make! Great with jam and butter!

  11. We love English muffins, so it was fun to finally try making them from scratch. This is a good recipe that was easy to follow, although I’m not sure if I’d make them again. I followed the recipe exactly but did not really get any nooks and crannies, and the flavor was good, but more bread-like than I expected.

  12. So easy! At first, I was nervous attempting the recipe. After reviewing the ingredients and watching the video I felt more at ease. My family enjoyed the change from store bought. Plus, these hold up very well for egg sandwiches. Agree with prior comments about browning time. When I make them next, I’ll need to keep our scale at hand. The dough is very easy to work with when shaping.

  13. These honey English muffins were subtly sweet. Mine were still a little doughy in the middle after baking but I think old yeast might have been to blame. I would make them again for a breakfast treat!

  14. The flavor on these English muffins were delicious! You really taste the honey and heart y wheat flavor. I can’t say I’m a big English muffin fan, but now that I’ve had homemade, now I know the reason is I don’t care for the store bought options. I let it rise overnight and although the dough was sticky, it was not hard to work with while using the semolina and the results were very worth it. I plan to make this again for family when we can all get together.

  15. This recipe was so much easier to make than I thought it would be! I made it mostly as-written, except I found out I didn’t have cornmeal after I already started. I just oiled everything up and rolled with it. As you will find with any recipe, I quickly realized I only needed to cook them about 3-4 minutes per side. Baking was a solid 10 minutes to reach temp. They are delicious toasted with a little bit of butter!

  16. This was my first time making and eating English Muffins. They were great! I’ll be making this again soon.

  17. I have never made English muffins before… until now. I love this recipe, my whole family does!! These English muffins are just perfect for being spread with butter and drizzled with honey. Thank you so much for the recipe!! ❤️

  18. I’m an inexperienced baker, so was quite intimidated to try this recipe but it was surprisingly simple! My dough wasn’t as sticky as I think it’s supposed to be so the finished product seemed a bit dense but I blame user error and not the recipe. Taste was wonderful though and I would definitely try making again!

  19. These were delicious!! Really difficult to handle during shaping though since the dough was SO STICKY, and they didn’t end up as airy as I was hoping—i might have overproved them or knocked out too much air during shaping. a lot of cornmeal also ended up inside our muffins during that process.

  20. I consider myself a “beginner” baker and so was a little intimidated by this recipe. I was pleasantly surprised! With your instructions I was in good hands and this was a fun project. The muffins turned out great! I don’t think I’ll ever buy store-bought muffins again.

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes and baking challenges!

  21. A bit tricky of a recipe. Mine didn’t seem to rise as much as I expected and made 10 muffins. I used a gas griddle to fry and ended up a little burnt. But they still taste incredible! I was wanting to try making them because my daughter loves egg sandwiches so this was the perfect challenge. Thanks!

  22. My sisters and mom and I are all doing the baking challenge. They have said it’s the best English muffins they have ever had, so I had high hopes and was disappointed when I ate mine. I wouldn’t say they are any better than ones I can buy at the store, and my husband said it just tastes like whole wheat bread and not an english muffin. I did have fun making them though as I have never made english muffins before.

  23. While these made wonderful bases for my eggs Benedict I wasn’t a huge fan just eating them plain and toasted, a bit too heavy for my tastes. But ready for challenge in February!

  24. Excellent muffins. I only made one modification – I reduced the honey to two tablespoons. Only one head-scratching moment – after taking them out of the fridge I let them rest for 20 minutes; but since I could only make four muffins at a time in my cast iron pan, the other 8 muffins had to rest longer before they got pan time.. Luckily, it didn’t end up being a problem. I ate one – melted cheese on the muffin – and pan fried it in butter, and it was beyond yummy!

  25. I thought these were absolutely delicious. The instructions were well written and easy to follow. I struggled a bit with the texture so be careful not to squish the muffins too flat. Overall, a great recipe with great instructions!

  26. I absolutely loved this recipe! I never thought to make English Muffins from scratch before, so I was slightly intimidated. But the recipe was so easy to follow and is so delicious!! I would definitely make it again. The hardest part was all the waiting because I was so hungry!! haha

  27. Turned out great and everyone at work loved them when I brought them to the office. I definitely couldn’t follow the cooking directions verbatim though. They browned much faster than the 7-8 minutes. I initially put butter and the semolina in the pan and that was a smoky mess. The second batch I did just butter but that still smoked up too much with the semolina from the muffins. The subsequent batches I put nothing in the pan and that worked best. Nothing stuck to the pan and it wasn’t as smoky, though I did still have to wipe out the pan after each batch. I doubled the recipe which turned out fine. I also allowed them to bake for probably 15 minutes in the oven which seemed to be the right time for mine.

  28. If you follow every step exactly as written, you truly can’t go wrong! My fiance loves English Muffins, so I was excited to try a homemade version. Sandwich with an egg and some cheese for perfect breakfast sandwiches 🙂

  29. These turned out great! I even had my 8 & 10 year old help make them. I used my electric griddle and baking thermometer for the oven part with the times and temperatures recommended and they worked out perfectly. The dough is really sticky but I didn’t have a problem as long as I sprinkled semolina flour on my hands and the dough as I shaped them. Flavor and texture turned out great, this was much easier than I expected it to be!

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