Whole Wheat English Muffin

Fluffy whole wheat muffins that are perfect for toasting and spreading with butter or classic peanut butter and jelly.

When I was young, my mom’s favorite breakfast was an English muffin with peanut butter and jelly, and a mug of instant coffee. To this day, the aroma of coffee and peanut butter remind me of her.

So it’s no surprise it has become one of my favorite breakfasts as well. I eat it the way my mom did, with PB & J and instant coffee.

Over the years, I made some changes like using unsalted peanut butter, jam with less added sugar, and eventually making my own muffins from scratch.

My desire to make my own muffins actually started in Australia. We were staying with my in-laws and they bought generic whole wheat English muffins from the local grocery store, not a fancy bakery. The muffins were huge and fluffy and so delicious!

When I came back to the States I tried to find something similar. Unfortunately, the muffins I found were either dry or gummy and definitely not fluffy, especially if they were whole wheat.

Thus began my journey for the perfect whole wheat English muffin. I tried out so many recipes! Some involved pouring batter into metal rings, while others required rolling out the dough and using a biscuit cutter to make the round the shape.

The recipe below is somewhere in between. It is a wet dough but not thin as a batter. There is some kneading required, but no rolling out.

You can absolutely make these by hand, which is how I used to make them, but having a stand mixer is much easier. These muffins take a bit of work, but they are so worth it!

How to Make Homemade English Muffins

Joby's Test Kitchen golden English muffins on cutting board

Yeast

In a small bowl mix together 1-2 teaspoons of honey and 2 tablespoons warm water. Sprinkle 1 1/8 teaspoons of yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes foamy.

Flour

Then in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup all-purpose or bread flour, and 3/4 teaspoons of salt.

Play around with the amounts and types of flour. Using only bread flour results in chewier muffins. But since bread flour can be expensive, I substitute some of it with all-purpose flour. You can also use all whole wheat flour but the muffins will be denser. 

Liquids

Next, in a large measuring cup, whisk 3/4 cup milk, 4 teaspoons of oil, and 1/2 an egg together.

To measure out half an egg, whisk the egg in a small bowl and scoop out only half the amount needed in the recipe. Save the rest to add to scrambled eggs, an omelette, or for an egg wash on top of pastry before baking. Or use a whole egg, but the muffin might not be as airy.

Alternatively, you can make these vegan by substituting the milk with water and eliminating the egg, or using 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 1 tablespoon water in place of the egg.

The version with egg and milk will be softer and more hearty. The version with only water will be lighter and chewier, similar to store-bought.

Mixing

Slowly add the liquids and yeast to the flour. If mixing by hand, stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is incorporated. Then continue mixing 8-10 minutes until it comes together.

If using a stand mixer, use a dough hook attachment and mix at medium speed for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be sticky but elastic. Add more water if needed (small spoonfuls at a time) to reach the right consistency.

Proofing

Now use your hand to grease another bowl or large container with 1 teaspoon oil. Scrape the dough into it using a dough scraper or plastic spatula.

If there’s residual dough sticking to your bowl a trick is to sprinkle in some flour and rub it into the sides of the bowl with your fingers till it comes together and forms a little dough ball. Then add to main dough.

Cover the dough with an airtight lid or plate and set in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes. You don’t want it to overproof or get bigger than double its size or the muffins will deflate later on.

Shaping

In the meantime, sprinkle a baking sheet with semolina or cornmeal. With another 1 teaspoon oil, grease your hands and work surface very well. Turn the dough out onto it and gently knead, using more oil as needed. Again, avoid adding extra flour.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. If you want to be precise, use a kitchen scale to weigh out each piece. Roll them into balls, and flatten each into a 4 inch wide disk.

Place the disks on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rise for about 50 minutes until puffy.

Cooking

Preheat oven to 325ºF and heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet on the stove over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.

Using hands, gently place 2-3 disks on the heated pan, making sure they don’t deflate. Cook 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed.

Place the muffins back on the baking sheet and bake them for 14 minutes, turning the pan halfway through. Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool. They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

When ready to eat, slice with a bread knife, or split open with a fork to get those traditional nooks and crannies. Toast them and top with butter, jam, or PB & J.

Eng Muffin with Pb&J.jpg

What My Kids Say:
10 year-old: “Fluffy, crispy on the outside, perfect for breakfast!”
8 year-old: “I like it because it is crusty and tender.”

Here are some more bread recipes

Homemade Wheat Bagels
Though these bagels may take some time to make, they are so worth it!
Check out this recipe
Golden wheat bagels on wooden board.
Homemade Wheat Bread
A delicious and simple recipe for homemade bread!
Check out this recipe
Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns
These sandwich rolls are soft and fluffy, yet hearty enough to hold all your favorite fillings!
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen hot dog buns with sesame seeds on a cooling rack.
Cheddar Cornmeal Biscuits
These easy biscuits are savory and slightly sweet with a soft muffin-like texture.
Check out this recipe
Plate of cheddar cornmeal biscuits.

Closeup of golden wheat English muffins.

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Joby’s Test Kitchen
Fluffy whole grain muffins that are perfect for toasting and spreading with butter or classic peanut butter and jelly.
Prep Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 46 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 6 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 8 muffins
Calories 173 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsps (30ml) warm water, (105°-109°)
  • 1-2 tsps honey
  • 1⅛ tsps yeast
  • cup (210g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup (120g) all-purpose or bread flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup (180ml) milk, room temp (or warm in microwave 30 seconds)
  • ½ large egg, room temp *see notes
  • 1½-2 tbsps (22-30ml) oil (reserve 2 tsps for greasing)
  • 1 tbsp semolina or cornmeal for dusting

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl mix the honey and warm water together. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes foamy.
  • In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour & salt.
  • In a large measuring cup, whisk milk, oil, and egg together.
  • Slowly add the liquids and yeast to the flour. If mixing by hand, stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is incorporated. Then continue mixing 8-10 minutes until it comes together. If using a stand mixer, use a dough hook attachment and mix at medium speed for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be sticky but elastic. Add more water if needed (small spoonfuls at a time) to reach the right consistency.
  • Now using your hand and some of the reserved oil, grease another bowl. Then scrape the dough into it using a dough scraper or plastic spatula. If there’s residual dough sticking to your bowl a trick is to sprinkle in some flour and rub it into the sides of the bowl with your fingers till it comes together and forms a little dough ball. Then add to main dough.
  • Cover the dough with an airtight lid or plate and set in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, about 30-60 minutes. You don’t want it to overproof or get bigger than double its size or the muffins will deflate later on.
  • In the meantime, sprinkle a baking sheet with semolina or cornmeal. With the remaining oil, grease your hands and work surface very well. Turn the dough out onto it and gently knead, using more oil as needed. Again, avoid adding extra flour.
  • Divide the dough into 8 pieces. If you want to be precise, use a kitchen scale to weigh out each piece. Roll them into balls, and flatten each into a 4 inch wide disk.
  • Place the disks on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a towel, and let rise for about 50 minutes until puffy.
  • Preheat oven to 325ºF and heat a cast-iron or nonstick skillet on the stove over medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Using hands, gently place 2-3 disks on the heated pan, making sure they don’t deflate. Cook 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Adjust the heat as needed.
  • Place the muffins back on the baking sheet and bake them for 14 minutes, turning the pan halfway through. Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool. They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
  • When ready to eat, slice with a bread knife, or split open with a fork to get those traditional nooks and crannies. Toast them and top with butter, jam, or PB & J.

Notes

Flour: Using only bread flour results in chewier muffins. Using only whole wheat flour results in denser muffins. 
Egg: To measure out half an egg, whisk the egg in a small bowl and scoop out only half the amount needed in the recipe. Save the rest to add to scrambled eggs, an omelette, or use as an egg wash on top of pastry before baking. You can also use a whole egg, but the muffin might be more dense
Vegan Version: Substitute the milk with water and eliminate the egg. Or use 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 1 tablespoon water in place of the egg.
 
Keyword bread, breakfast, English muffins, sandwich

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating