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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. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I used my English muffin rings but really didn’t need to. They are more dense than my usual homemade English muffins but im sure that’s due to the wheat flour. They were delicious! I love Sally’s very detailed instructions!

  2. Turned out great! I used all-purpose flour since I was in a pinch. It still turned out great. I had to bake for much longer than 10 minutes but the checking the temperature trick really helped to make sure it was done.

  3. Great recipe! A little time consuming with all the steps but it was fun to make and everything turned out great.

  4. These were a little time consuming with having to griddle them first before baking, but they were really easy and they taste SO MUCH BETTER than store bought English Muffins!

  5. I preheated a heavy aluminum electric griddle to 325 degrees, and by following your instructions they browned exactly right. Using Active Dry Yeast (rather than instant) and refrigerating the dough overnight seemed to help develop a deeper flavor. Thank you for the tips and video!

  6. Though this recipe is timely to make. It was easy to follow and came out delicious. Definitely something fun to try if breads are outside of your comfort zone

  7. This recipe was great! They totally came out looking like the real thing.

  8. I laughed at how sticky my dough was! Had a hard time handling it! But I’ve always wanted to make these, and they taste good, so that’s always worth it! Thanks, Sally!!

  9. Great recipe. I’ve made the King Arthur version several times (we like to have fresh/frozen muffins around for the weekends) and these were a pleasant change. The overnight rest made it much easier to work with. These will definitely go into our recipe rotation.

  10. This is a delicious recipe. If you do have the time, I recommend doing the long rise in the fridge; you cannot beat the delicious smell of the yeast after pulling them out of the fridge and the yummy taste after baking them. Do watch them closely on the griddle, prioritize keeping an eye on them over waiting for the time to pass. If you have hot spots, some may go quicker than others. I measured out each muffin (1/3 c. each) and only was able to make 9, so I didn’t get the 12. If you need the 12 or more, I recommend either doing the weighing method (perhaps you will get closer to 12) or doubling the recipe.

  11. Great instructions, as always, Sally! I used a cast iron skillet, and found that the center was much hotter than the outside – so after my first muffin over-cooked (not quite burned), I stuck to the outside of the skillet and moved them around a lot. I am not sure I got the full nooks and crannies that you did, and I found the honey flavor pretty subtle – but they were delicious. My muffins did fork split – which made me happy! Next time I stop in the bread isle to purchase (which happens a few times per year), I will remember that homemade is better! Thank you Sally!

  12. These came out delicious and soft. I had to proof for double the time due to the temperature in Colorado , but other than that it was perfect.

  13. I have to be honest, I was intimidated but this recipe! But as always, Sally’s instructions did not let me down. These came out JUST like store but English muffins, but better! I only got 10 from the recipe but that’s plenty for your family!

  14. So so good! I subbed 1/4 C whole milk for my sourdough starter and proofed it in the fridge for 36 hours (meant to be 24, but life happens and it didn’t fall!) Really excellent flavor.

  15. I have made regular English muffins many times, but these instructions were a bit different so I wanted to give them a go. They came out perfectly just as all of Sally’s recipes do. I used white whole wheat from King Arthur and I love the texture and flavor using some of that flour in this recipe. These are great for egg sandwiches and just plain with butter or jam. Another home run Sally. Thanks for all of your pictures and detailed instructions. Definitely a keeper! YUM!

  16. Very detailed recipe with helpful photos. These muffins are delicious and a fun project, but I don’t know if I will make them again because of the work involved and the large bowl that I needed to find space for in my small refrigerator.
    A great baking Challenge!

  17. This was a great challenge. While it seemed like a long process, most of the time was hands off while the dough was chilling. I found the directions easy to follow and the results were so yummy. My husband said “Wow” these really look like English muffins! We enjoyed them with butter and jelly.

  18. This was a fun challenge – my husband and I impressed ourselves with how well we did! They came out great and was easier than I thought it would be – will definitely be making these again.

  19. These were surprisingly easy to make! They smell amazing and taste just as good!

  20. Turned out nicely. The dough was REALLY sticky like you said it would be. I think that caused mine to pick up a bit more corn meal but I enjoyed the crunch! First challenge done! Looking forward to February

  21. These were so much easier to make than I anticipated and honestly a lot of fun. They turned out great, too! I believe I may have forgotten to add salt so they were a little sweet, but I used a seasoned cast iron skillet for the stovetop portion and salted them a little at that point.

  22. I only had a quarter cup of whole wheat flour to make these, and the two stores near me were sold out! I just subbed in all purpose flour instead. This made the dough drier. In order to revive some of the hydration of the dough, I added a few tablespoons of milk. This helped out a lot. The muffins turned out great, and I used them to make a batch of breakfast sandwhiches the I froze in preperation for having a newborn at home!

  23. These were good, but there are many other breads from this site that I’ve enjoyed more (and are easier too). I ended up with 6 bigger muffins and 6 smaller muffins because I’m terrible at estimating sizes.

    Mine were starting to get a little burned after 4 minutes in my electric skillet set to 325.
    Possibly because of the shorter time on the skillet, I had to bake mine a lot longer to get them to 200 internally. The small ones were about 14 minutes, the big ones were closer to 17. (My oven almost always takes the maximum time for Sally’s recipes).

  24. Enjoyed the flavor and they were great for making breakfast sandwiches!

  25. I absolutely love this recipe! I’ve already made these twice this month! Easy to follow instructions, and making the dough the night before and then doing the griddle/oven part in the morning is the perfect way to have a delicious, fresh breakfast! Thanks Sally!

  26. These were delicious! So much better tasting than store bought. Though I didn’t quite get many holes as you would from a store bought. Will be making these again!

  27. These were a huge hit for my family! We really enjoyed the taste and how’s light they were. One area that I’ll change for next time is the amount of cornmeal I used. I didn’t use enough! I think I’ll put a thicker layer on the unbaked pan. The English muffins stuck to the parchment more than I liked. Even with that, I’ll be making these again!

  28. I made these English muffins this morning. It’s hard to stop eating them. I love the texture and flavor. We enjoyed them as both breakfast sandwiches with sausage, egg, and cheese, and also with a variety of toppings.

  29. Learned a new process with putting on a skillet before baking in oven. Many steps in this recipe, but always like to learn new ways.

  30. This was a great recipe! I was a little intimidated by this recipe at first, but the instructions were clear and easy to follow and my English muffins turned out delicious! They are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. They also have a great texture. So yummy!!

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