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English Muffin Recipe Comparison

plate of english muffins

Apparently I’ve been thinking about English muffins for a while, because I was going through my pile of to-try recipes, and found that I had printed three different English muffin recipes. Not having any idea which would be the best, I did what any overly zealous scientist would do and baked all three recipes at the same time. Here I share what I discovered so you can benefit from my thorough (i.e. ridiculous) tendencies.

English muffin doughs

The three recipes I compared, in order from easiest to hardest, were from Alton Brown, Budget Bytes, and Lottie and Doof (who adapted theirs from the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas). Since I followed the recipes exactly as written, I’ll refer you to the original sources for the recipes themselves.

english muffins in cast iron skillet

Alton Brown’s recipe was very simple. Essentially, you mix the ingredient together in a bowl, wait for it to rise a bit, and then bake the very wet and sticky dough on the stovetop using a skillet and english muffin rings to hold the dough in shape. Don’t have muffin rings? Neither did I. Canning lids, mini tart rings, or tuna cans with top and bottom opened all work fine. You can see that I used canning lids (and overfilled them a bit).┬áThe Budget Bytes recipe involves slightly more complicated dough creation, rolling out the dough and then cutting it into circles using a biscuit cutter (or anything else round and correctly sized). It too is baked in the skillet. The fact that both of these recipes were baked in a skillet meant that they got a delightful toast on their outsides from the baking and were delicious eaten right out of the skillet without toasting.

baking sheet of english muffinsThe Tom Douglas recipe was by far the most involved and I would only recommend it if you are comfortable baking bread. This is not a beginner recipe. After many hours and several risings, you form the dough into patties by hand and bake it in the oven.

Sliced English muffin comparisonSo, which recipe was the winner? Alton Brown’s English muffins. You can see that they have the most store-bought-like holes. In taste, they were almost indistinguishable from Budget Byte’s English muffins’, and given that they were significantly quicker and easier to make, they are the recipe to which I’ll be returning. That being said, if you like to bake, and want to make a complex recipe, Tom Douglas’s English muffins were divine. Much more like a french bread, they had a complex flavor and great texture. I’ll be making them again, but only when I feel like spending the day in the kitchen.

 

 

Comments 6

  1. I made the Budget Bytes recipe, and I really liked it. I’ve been wanting to make Alton Brown’s recipe for a while, but lack round things to cook them in — I can’t get the bottoms off my tin cans because they are rounded and the can opener warps them horribly. Maybe I can “borrow” some canning lids from my mother…

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      Author

      I think it’s worth “borrowing” some canning lids (or paying a couple of dollars at the hardware store for a set of new canning lids). They worked well – just be careful not to overfill them as I did!

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      Author

      They all kept well. After the first day, I keep all bread products in a ziplock in the refrigerator. All the English muffins were eaten before any went stale or moldy. (To be totally honest, I shared about half of them with friends, so Adam and I didn’t eat three batches of muffins alone!).

  2. I love how you compared three recipes — and found a winner! I need to try the Alton Brown recipe, as my husband loves english muffins. Thanks for the inspiration!

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