Several years ago I started buying whole wheat cinnamon-raisin English muffins at Trader Joe’s. I’d bring one to work each morning to toast for breakfast, spread with peanut or almond butter. Then Trader Joe’s stopped carrying them, so I switched to their plain whole wheat version. Eventually the store changed brands and the new one tasted more like a dry biscuit than an English muffin. My working breakfast wasn’t nearly as enjoyable.
It took me a while, but I finally looked at a few recipes for homemade English muffins and realized it’s not all that complicated to make your own and, for those of you intimidated by yeast bread baking, there’s no kneading required! I figured they had to be better than what I was currently buying, and they were–by leaps and bounds–no going back to store-bought for me!
Unlike most yeast breads, English muffins aren’t cooked in the oven, but in a skillet to give them that signature browning on each side. Using English muffin rings will ensure the appropriate shape, but you can get by without them too—just nudge the dough to get each muffin as round as you can. The imperfect ones I made before I ordered the rings tasted just as good! Enjoy!
Whole Wheat Cinnamon-Raisin English Muffins
1/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F.)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or organic sugar
2 ½ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup warm skim milk or almond milk
¾ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup seedless raisins
Grapeseed, canola or other neutral flavored oil (for greasing skillet)
Cornmeal or semolina flour (for dusting pan)
Place warm water in a small bowl and whisk in yeast and maple syrup or sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt, and cinnamon. With a wooden spoon, stir in yeast mixture and milk, mixing until fully incorporated. Gently stir in raisins.
Cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes to an hour.
Heat a cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat. Brush skillet with about a teaspoon of oil. Sprinkle with a little cornmeal or semolina flour. Place English muffin rings, sprayed with cooking spray, (if using) in skillet. Scoop about ¼+ cup dough into each muffin ring and spread dough to edges of rings. If not using rings, drop dough by the heaping quarter cup onto skillet and nudge it into a 3 ½-4 inch round. Cook for about 3 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. Using tongs, remove rings and sprinkle muffin tops with a little cornmeal. Flip English muffins, cover pan and cook for another 3 minutes or so (you may need to lower the heat slightly if bottoms are getting too brown). Continue flipping muffins every couple minutes (to ensure even browning) until they are cooked through, a total of 10-12 minutes. Move cooked English muffins to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
Using a fork, split cooled muffins and toast them. Top with butter, jam, honey, peanut or almond butter—whatever strikes your fancy. Makes 8 English muffins.