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English muffins hold a very special place in my heart. How could you possibly not love the craggy, full-of-holes, moist bread and the crunchy, toasty bits of cornmeal stuck to the outside that transfer to your fingers when you grip it?
I love them every which way, from the English muffin pizzas my mom used to make as after-school treats, to dripping with butter and slathered with berry jam or marmalade, to topped with a fried egg and a good squeeze of rooster sauce.
I can’t imagine my life without English muffins.
Yet, as much as I love English muffins, that is how much I love this English Muffin Bread. I know, it feels kind of disloyal to say it, but it’s true. This bread is everything that an English muffin is, but more convenient. And way-hay-hay-hay less expensive.*
*Unless, of course, you’re making your own, in which case it’s no less expensive but a heckuva lot more convenient and far less time consuming. Carry on.
What I mean to say is that this bread has the crags, the holes, (*cough the nooks and crannies cough*) the moistness, the crunchy, toasty bits of cornmeal that transfer to your fingers and the incomparable ability to carry sinful amounts of butter and jam, or sauce and cheese, or egg and hot sauce just like its namesake muffins.
Let me tell you something. This bread is so easy, so DEAD easy, that there is no reason a complete beginning baker can’t successfully make it. It doesn’t require any exotic ingredients or specialty equipment.
The hardest part of the whole process is waiting for it to cool. Because cool completely it must. If you cut into this gorgeous, tempting, incredible bread before it is one-hundred-percent cooled, you will cry many bitter, salty tears of regret.
There is a very good scientific reason to this. The bread continues to cook and set up as it cools.
Unlike some other breads where it’s a-okay to wrench large fistfuls of warm bread and stuff them into your mouth, this will simply assume a gummy texture and stay there when sliced warm. That’s where your crocodile tears would flow.
Sigh. But if you wait, your wildest dreams will come true. Kind of like if you vote for Pedro. In short, LET IT COOL!
And then when it has finally cooled and you slice it and toast it…
There have to be little blackened parts around the edges. You can’t half-heartedly toast an English muffin, right? Well, you can’t be meek about toasting English Muffin bread, either. You have to go all-in, full-throttle; you have to commit to toasting it.
For heaven’s sake, don’t let a toaster anywhere near this bread. Toast this bread in a good puddle of melted, salted butter in a cast-iron (or other heavy-bottomed) frying pan or on a griddle over medium high heat. Does this really make a difference?
Let me answer it this way. Does breathing make a difference in your quality of life?
When it’s browned in the middle and black around the edges, flip it over with a fork. Oh, yes. It is far more hands-on than a toaster, but the results will speak for themselves.
Salted, crispy, buttery on the outside and moist and soft on the inside. We’re talking about toasty, crunchy, bready nirvana.
If this doesn’t make you happy, I just don’t know how to help you.
I never, ever make this in quantities less than four loaves, but I am feeding a regiment here with my five boys and their buddies and, let’s be honest, my husband and I can eat impressive quantities, too…
If you have a wee bird appetite, or are feeding fewer people than we are, I’ve included a halved recipe in the printable recipe. If you want to make more and freeze it, you can use the handy-dandy converter in the recipe, too!
Nothing in the method changes, so choose your level of consumption and let’s get baking!
I love this toasted under creamed peas or as English muffin bread pizza. I also love it madly with strawberry freezer jam.
Are you looking for more delicious bread based brunch or breakfast offerings? Look no further than our Bostock Pastry and Ham and Cheese Melt Egg Bake.
What you need for English Muffin Bread
-salt (My recipe calls for kosher salt. If you’re using table salt, reduce to 2 teaspoons.)
-cornmeal or semolina
-butter or oil
-a mixing bowl
-a mixing spoon or sturdy spatula
-a couple of loaf pans
English Muffin BreadRate Recipe
For a Standard Recipe (3-4 loaves):
- 5 1/2 cups warm-to-the-touch water not hot
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast or 3 packages
- 11 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour 3 pounds 1 1/2 ounces by weight, I often do a half and half combination of the two.
For a Half-Size Recipe (1-2 loaves):
- 2 3/4 cups warm water not hot
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast or about 1 1/2 packages
- 5 3/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour 1 pound 9 ounces, by weight
- Non-stick cooking spray
- plastic wrap
- melted butter for brushing the bread mid-way through and after baking
To Prepare the Dough:
- Stir all of the ingredients together by hand in a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle) just until combined. The dough will be shaggy and very sticky.
- Spray a piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and lay it loosely over the mixing bowl. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about an hour or until it looks bubbly and puffy.
- Spray 3 standard loaf pans (8.5" x 9.5") with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle in a fistful of cornmeal. Tilt the pans, tapping gently, until the interiors are coated with a thin layer of cornmeal. Tap out any excess cornmeal.
- Spray your hands with non-stick cooking spray and use them to divide the dough evenly between the pans. The pans should be no more than halfway full. If you need to, spray and cornmeal an additional loaf pan for any excess.
- Spray more pieces of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and lay them loosely over each loaf pan. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until the dough looks bubbly and puffy again, and has risen with the top of the dough dome just peeking above the edge of the pan.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
It is possible to let this dough rise too long, so be sure the oven is waiting for you rather than you waiting for the oven.
- Evenly space the loaf pans in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take out one bread pan at a time and brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter. When you place the bread pans back in the oven, rotate their positions from front to back. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until they are just lightly golden brown.
- Immediately turn the loaves out onto a cooling rack and brush again with melted butter. Cool completely before slicing.
- The bread can be stored, tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to a week. If you do not think you can eat it in that time, wrap the cooled, unsliced loaves with two layers of plastic wrap and cover that with one layer of foil before storing in the freezer for up to 3 months. They can be thawed or simply sliced from their frozen state before toasting.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
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This post originally published February 2012, updated March 2020 with improved notes.
Mary Hastings says
I made the King Arthur recipe just to compare them. Your wins hands down !
Oh hooray, Mary! Thanks so much for letting me know you love it.
yvonne roos says
I like baking this loaf
Kenny's Wife says
Super easy and so D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!! Thank you for sharing!
Thanks so much for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know you love it, Kenny’s Wife! 🙂
Nancy Householder says
I am now addicted to this bread! I have your Ready,Set,Dough! book and follow the recipe in it by using half bread flour and half all-purpose. It is amazing. Thanks so much.
Thank you, Nancy! I’m so glad you love this (and the book!) and that you took the time to let me know. I’d be honoured if you’d review the book on Amazon! 🙂
warlock 10 minutes to go in the oven before brushing with butter and both loaves have sunk down in the pans. I am thinking the problem might be that I weighed the flour and when mixing it was soupy and I had to keep adding flour. But the rise both times looked perfect, I will wait a day and try it again. Maybe I will use the cups instead of weight.
Do you scoop the flower and level or scoop into the measure and then level?
I want this to work so much.
Hi Susan- I always, always bake this by weight. It will definitely be a very wet, quite slack dough, but it should not be soupy. I use wet or oiled hands to divide the sloppy dough into the prepared pans. This might be a silly question, but I’ve done sillier things in the kitchen, so I’ll ask; you didn’t by any chance do the liquid from the full batch and the flour from the half batch amounts did you? If not, I’ll just also point out that the dough is not a high-doming bread. If you look at my pics, they do have some irregular tops. Let me know how your final bread ends up, please. I’ll help you trouble shoot!
I have made this recipe for the first time and it was scrumptious! I have a quick question…..since this dough is so sticky, is there a easy way to divide it evenly so there is the same amount in each pan. My loaves were uneven and therefore the second rising was off and them of course the baking was off.
Any help would be appreciated!
Hi Mary- Great question! I prefer to weigh the dough out to get as close as possible to evenly dividing it. Is that necessary? Not even a little. 🙂
So…. do you weigh the dough out by putting your pans on a scale then adding the dough to the pan, therefore creating an equal measure for each pan? That sounds so technical, but this dough is so sticky even after putting oil on my hands…..maybe I didn’t use enough on my hands. I just figure the less I have to handle the dough the better.
That is exactly what I do, Mary. 🙂 My pans are all the same, so as long as I tare the scale with the first one, I don’t need to measure each one!
Perfect! This will keep the rising and baking times of the loaves at the same times. Thank you so very much. You know what I will be baking today!
You’re very welcome, Mary! Happy Baking!
Mary Anne says
sounds wonderful —- but I have sodium issues.
Wonder what it would be like with only 1/2 or 1/4 the amount of salt.
Hi Mary Anne- I have not tested it with less salt. Let me know if you do!
Hello Rebecca! I am so grateful to have stumbled upon your blog, I have done your bread recipe 5 times in the past two weeks and it is as good every time! Such a charm and so easy. Also, your blog is hilarious ! It’s a pleasure to read you and cook your recipes and I am now a fan of yours! Keep up the amazing work
Thanks so much, MarieEve! That is so kind of you to say. <3 I'm glad to have you here.
WOW! I made a 1/2 recipe (2 loaves) Saturday morning using 3 cups Bread Flour and 2 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour. Mixed with a wooden spoon in my largest Pyrex glass bowl. Easy Peasy, no mixer necessary!
Checked warm water temp and it was 112*.
After mixing, set the bowl of dough in oven with the light on. (OVEN OFF!!!)
40 minutes later, it was to the top of the bowl and springy and elastic.
(The only thing I found was that I hadn’t sprayed the glass pans well enough as I had to use a knife around the edges to get them to release from the pans after they were baked, lesson learned.)
When it was time to pan the dough, I donned rubber gloves and rubbed them with Coconut Oil, then just scooped out half the dough and placed half in one pan and the other half in the other pan. No mess! 🙂
Preheated oven and before I knew it, the dough had filled the pans 🙂 so into the oven they went.
After they came out of the oven, I took a few shelves out of my dehydrator and let them cool on one of the shelves there. That kept the itty bitty kitties from being tempted to jump up on the freezer to see what I had cooling and also didn’t tie up my work space as I was making Pickled Carrots at the same time.
Sunday, I could hardly wait for brunch after church to dive into this lovely looking bread! I sliced off the heel and another slice, plopped in my cast iron pan with butter and toasted well. Filled this breakfast sandwich with Scrambled Eggs, Crispy Bacon, sliced Tomato and a slice of Muenster Cheese. So tasty!
Reminded myself to hop back over here to post a review (which I didn’t get done yesterday).
Tonight, I toasted two thin slices in the oven on a pan while my supper was warming up (Yukon Gold Potatoes, Hamburger and Gravy). One slice I slathered with Strawberry Spread, the other I buttered and used to sop up the Gravy. 0oooooh My! YUM! I can’t believe you don’t have a kabillion reviews on this recipe! It gets better everyday! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Robin S says
I’ve made your recipe 3 times now, each time subbing some sprouted spelt flour in different ratios. All were spectacular! Been sharing loaves with friends and they are hooked! Now i am going to make it without yeast and use sourdough starter instead. It may take a little longer for the rise, which is ok with me. Keeping my fingers crossed for success!
5 years later and this is still our go to recipe for Englishmuffin bread in our house. Tonight we added a little whole wheat and made 2 batches. One batch was divided into two 9 by 13 pans and a large castiron skillet. The skillet was turned into BBQ chicken and cheddar pizza for dinner with a salad. The two 9by13 pans are the crust for two batches of frozen breakfast sandwiches. The other batch is in loaf pans; one cinnamon and pecan, one plain and one everything bagel. I should have some happy boys this week!
Making English Muffin Bread right now! OOOOOh I love your site!
And I love YOU for telling me which recipes you love!
Miracle! It’s like little square English Muffins – So good. I thought the Muesli Bread was my toast but, Rebecca, you are playing games with us – now it is the English Muffin bread that is my toast! OMG these are so good – and I like my toast cold and crispy so I put them in the toaster and let them get cold…ok, ok, tomorrow morning I will toast them with butter in my cast iron:-)
I did toast them in my cast iron skillet with gobs of butter. They were really good – just not crispy dry all the way through. If you put the butter on while they are warm they are kinda soft, as with all toast. Soooo I will be toasting mine in the toaster:-) I’m tell’n ya these are the real deal – little square English Muffins and when you put them up to your nose and take a good looong sniff – pure heaven! Much better than those piffy little rounds filled with who knows what?
Could I successfully substitute active dry yeast for the instant yeast? If so, with what adjustments? I can only find instant yeast in 1 lb packages and, since I bake only once or twice yearly, more goes to waste than is used. I will buy some, though, if necessary, because I can’t pass on trying this bread. As always, Rebecca, thank you for the inspiration!
Hi Carrie- I haven’t tried it with active dry yeast, honestly. I only use SAF instant yeast, generally speaking. Many grocery stores have little pots of instant (also known as bread machine) yeast in the baking section or the refrigerated section of stores. If you use active dry yeast, you may need to proof it in the liquid first.
Can this be made in muffin tins? If I prepared the tins with the cornmeal as I would in the loaf pan, would that work? I make the loafs frequently…but we are having a family gathering and was wondering if it would work to make individual “muffin/loaves”
Hi Bryn- I don’t see a reason that it wouldn’t work, but please know I haven’t tried it that way. I’d love to hear the results if you give it a try, though!
Mrs. Rebecca delicious…?… made this bread today.. my friend is a big English muffin fan.. he wanted to taste it first without any jelly… his reply was this is really good.. bomb… thank you
You’re so welcome, Shanda!! I’m glad you and your friend liked it! I love to fry a slice or two in butter on a pan and make fried egg sandwiches with them. Mmmmmmm.
Tara Ahmed says
This was my first time making bread and it was a really fun experience. My family loved it. I didn’t toast the bread and it was still delicious. Thank you from California
Love this bread. I have been baking it for years. I give it as gifts in small loave pans with homemade butters yumm
Dianne Luna says
This looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it! Yum!
I’ve wanted to make this bread since you first posted about it. I FINALLY made it today. Oh. My. Goodness. I love this bread. I thought 3 loaves might be much but they’ll be gone in no time! There’s a reason why your blog is my favorite!!
Yay, Yasmin!!! I’m awfully glad you got to try it and liked it! Thank you so much!