April 5, 2024 Posted in Culinary

Melt-in-your-mouth English muffins

So you think you know English muffins? Dare we say you haven’t tasted anything like these, expertly prepared by King Estate Baker Steven Pope. Here’s his recipe and a few technique tips, too. Makes 25 English muffins (about 3 ounces each). Please note you’ll need to have sourdough starter on hand for this recipe.


All-purpose flour, 8-3/4 cups
Salt, 2 Tbs
Sugar, 2 Tbs
Active dry yeast, 1 Tbs
Melted butter, 2 Tbs
80-degree water, 2-3/4 cups
Levain (sourdough starter), 1 cups

Gather all ingredients and measure them out before proceeding. Add water and levain to mixing bowl. Mix gently. Add all dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and mix thoroughly so all ingredients are evenly distributed (with instant dry yeast there is no need to bloom). Add dry mixture to wet mixture. Mix on slow until dough starts to come together, with no dry flour spots. Add melted butter. Once the dough comes together, mix on medium speed for 6 minutes, then move the dough to a container that will allow the dough to double in size and that can be covered with a lid or plastic wrap and kept in an environment as close to 81 degrees as possible.

Tip: If your oven has an incandescent light bulb, you can keep the dough warm simply by leaving the light on. If the oven is very cold you may want to turn it on low briefly to remove any chill and bring the temperature inside the oven to 81. Do this before placing dough in the oven. 

Getting started to form dough into balls. Photo by Joe King

In 2 hours check to see if dough has doubled in size. If not, the air temperature may be a little cold. No worries; just give it more time. Once the dough has doubled, divide into 25 equal portions and roll into round balls. Do not roll them so much it begins to tear the dough.

Each muffin should weigh about 3 ounces. Photo by Joe King

As you finish rolling each ball, toss it in a small bowl of semolina to coat the outside.

Coating the dough balls with semolina. Photo by Joe King

Place balls on a cookie sheet spaced so they will not touch. Cover with plastic wrap and place back in the oven that is warm but not on.

Baker Steven Pope prepares to put the muffins in an off oven to rise. Photo by Joe King

After 30 minutes or so, give the dough balls a “poke” test. Flour your finger and poke the dough. If it springs back right away, they are not ready yet. If they indent and slowly spring back, they are ready. If they don’t spring back, they are overproofed. (If this happens, ask the internet for guidance. We won’t digress here!)

The proof is in the poke. Photo by Joe King

Once ready, remove dough from oven and heat to 350 degrees. Heat some oil on a griddle (a sauté pan will also work). Brown one side of the dough balls, flip, and brown the opposite side.

Cooking the English muffins prior to baking in the oven. Photo by Joe King

When ready to bake a batch, place muffins onto another cookie sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until the internal temperature of the muffins is 190 to 200 degrees.

Testing the internal temperature to determine doneness. Photo by Joe King

You may need to bake the muffins in small batches so they are all the same temperature when placed in the oven. Be careful not to overcook which can cause the muffins to dry out. You’re only trying to bring the internal temperature up, not further brown the outside. Place baked muffins on a cooling rack to preserve the crispy exterior. Serve and enjoy!