Soft and chewy 100% whole-wheat English muffins are going to become a family favorite. This homemade English muffin recipe is incredibly easy to make and tastes so much better than anything store-bought.
This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.
Whole wheat English muffins recipe
Whole wheat English muffins are a high fiber, low-fat option for your bread cravings. They are made from scratch with natural ingredients and sweetened with a touch of honey.
I used quality organic whole wheat flour from Bob's Red Mill so the muffins come out perfect every time. The flour is 100% stone ground and has all of the nutrients still intact. This makes the flour a wholesome option which is often preferred when making bread for breakfast.
Since the English muffins are leavened with yeast, they do require time for the dough the rise. There are two rises with this recipe. The first rise happens after the dough has been combined and kneaded. The second rise happens after the English muffins are shaped.
I chose to use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast. The only difference is instant yeast is more reliable and the dough takes less time to rise.
Why this recipe works
- I adapted the recipe from my tried and true English muffin recipe. I used whole wheat instead of bread flour. And reduced it by 1/4 cup.
- I added 1/4 cup more milk to help hydrate the dough. Whole wheat flour will absorb more liquid so you need that extra liquid to give you a great textured muffin.
- Use instant yeast. I found that instant yeast works best for 100% whole wheat bread. It's more reliable and rapid rise, meaning it will work quicker and require less rise time.
Whole wheat English muffin Ingredients
This English muffin recipe uses the same ingredients as my regular homemade English muffins. The only difference is the use of organic whole wheat flour. Let's go over everything you'll need.
- Milk: It's best to use whole milk. Anything low-fat or a milk alternative will not give you the same results.
- Honey: Use raw local honey that is of high-quality. The honey helps feed the yeast to ensure the dough rises properly.
- Yeast: Instant yeast works best. It is more stable and reliable.
- Egg: You'll need an egg for these muffins. The egg enriches the dough and makes the muffins taste better.
- Butter: A little melted butter also enriches the dough.
- Flour: Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour is what I tested the recipe with. It's of high quality and offers premium results. I can't guarantee that other whole wheat flour brands will work the same.
- Salt: Because salt makes everything taste better.
- Cornmeal: You only need a dusting of cornmeal. It's used to keep the shaped dough from sticking to the parchment paper and griddle.
To make these whole wheat English muffins you'll need:
- Stand mixer: A stand mixer will make your life easier. It does all the hard work for you. If you don't own one, you can still make the muffins by mixing the dough with a wooden spoon then knead it by hand.
- Griddle: A griddle that's either electric or sits over a stove burner will work just fine.
- A large frying pan will also work great.
How to make homemade whole wheat English muffins
Making English muffins at home is extremely simple. Make sure you follow the instructions exactly as they are written.
The process does take a bit of time because the dough needs two rises. So plan ahead for that. The muffins also freeze well, so you can make a batch well in advance and freeze them for later use.
The Dough – English muffin dough should be fairly wet and sticky. My whole wheat version isn't quite as sticky as ciabatta bread but it should have a good amount of hydration. The dough is also very soft, making it easy to shape into small discs for muffins. You'll love the chewy texture whole wheat flour offers!
Step 1: Make the dough
Start by warming milk and honey in a saucepan over low heat until it reaches 105-115°F. Then add the yeast and let it sit for 5 minutes.
You typically don't need to do this with instant yeast. I like to since we are using 100% whole wheat flour. Sometimes it can be difficult to get whole wheat flour to rise because of its structure. But activating the yeast with warm milk and honey will give the yeast a little boost to ensure the dough rises properly.
After the yeast is good and foamy, whisk in the egg and melted butter.
Add all the whole wheat flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and turn it on low speed. Gradually pour in the yeast mixture.
Let the mixer run on low until all the dry flour is incorporated. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix until the dough is smooth and sticky. This will take about 4 minutes.
Step 2: Proof and shape the dough
Scrape the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Brush a little oil over the top of the dough then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Set the bowl in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This can take around 45 minutes. The warmer the environment, the quicker it will rise.
I like to have my oven preheating so that the heat will rise up to the microwave above the stove. This makes the microwave the perfect cozy, little spot for the dough to hang out.
Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a dough cutter to divide the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces.
Roll the pieces of dough into a ball, then flatten the ball into a disk. Place the discs of dough onto baking sheets that are lined with parchment paper and dusted with cornmeal.
Cover the muffins with a lint-free towel and set them in a draft-free place to rise for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Bake the muffins
If you haven't already, preheat the oven to 325°F. Warm a griddle over medium-low heat.
Gently place a few discs of dough onto the griddle. Be careful to not overcrowd the griddle. Cook the English muffins for about 2 minutes on each side, until the tops and bottoms are golden brown.
Transfer the muffins back to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until you have browned all the muffins.
Bake the muffins in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through. I prefer to bake them because I feel like they burn too easily on the griddle. Anytime I try to cook English muffins fully on the griddle, the outside is burnt while the inside is doughy. Baking them in the oven is a safeguard for perfectly cooked muffins.
If you want to double check they are in fact cooked through, use a probe thermometer. The internal temperature should read 200°F.
Cool the English muffins completely before slicing them open or the centers will appear doughy. Toast the halved muffins until lightly browned. Serve them warm with your favorite toppings.
How long do homemade whole wheat English muffins last?
Keep the English muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze whole wheat English muffins?
Whole wheat English muffins will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then warm before serving.
How to slice whole wheat English muffins?
The easiest and best way to slice an English muffin is with the tines of a fork. Press the tines in the center all the way around the edges of the muffin. This will allow the muffin to be pulled apart easily while keeping each nook and cranny intact.
Tips for making the best whole wheat English muffins
- Weigh the flour! This will ensure you are using the correct amount. Accidentally using too much flour will cause the muffins to be too dense.
- Use instant yeast for the best results. Regular active dry yeast can be used but it will take longer for the dough to rise.
- A stand mixer makes it much easier to knead the dough but if you don't have one, you can certainly knead by hand.
- Don't rush the process. The dough needs time to rise. It will take about 45 minutes for the dough double in size.
If you like English muffins, you’ll love these other delicious bread recipes: