I am a morning person, 100%. Matt and I love getting up early and having time to make breakfast, drink coffee, read a book, and play with the pups. I am also a total believer in breakfast being the most important meal of the day! It gets your metabolism going and gives you energy to start your day! Especially for those of you trying to lose weight, you need to eat a full and healthy breakfast. It will help you out tremendously. I will never understand how people can just get up and drink some coffee and go about their day until lunch rolls around. I wake up hungry and would be totally grumpy if I didn’t have my breakfast.
These english muffins are my favorite morning treat. They are awesome with jelly, apple butter, pumpkin butter, preserves, or just by themselves! Nom, nom, nom. I have been tweaking the recipe to get the perfect whole wheat english muffins and I think I have finally gotten it! These are loaded with whole wheat flour, oats, wheat germ, flax seed, and honey. No artificial anything, no refined anything, no preservatives!
Baking has never been my strength in the kitchen. I don’t usually do very precise measurements, which can really throw things off. I also just seem to always screw up anything I bake! Matt always says “well, it still tastes good you just hit some bumps along the way” (he is a keeper!) These english muffins are something I seem to actually be able to make consistently good! So if you aren’t good at baking, don’t worry … you are in good company and you can do this! A few things I have discovered along the way …
1) Dont rush the rise. My house is usually cold. Yeast likes to rise in a warm place. See where the trouble lies? The original recipe from Pop Sugar for these english muffins call for an hour of rise time. My dough sometimes takes 2 to 3 hours to finally double in size. It is worth the wait. I promise!
2) Don’t be afraid to add a little extra buttermilk or water. I used to follow the recipe to a T, which for me resulted in a crumbly dough that didn’t mix up well or rise well because it was too dry. I have adapted the recipe for a little added moisture which I think makes the dough a lot smoother and easier to work with and lets it rise better.
3) Don’t walk away from your english muffins on the stove. You will get distracted and forget to come back to them. I may or may not have burnt a few that way. Thank you smoke alarm for letting me know!
4) Whole wheat flour typically produces a denser, flatter english muffin. Luckily, a friend of mine who is an amazing baker told me to add in a little baking powder when switching from all purpose to whole wheat flour. That small change made ALL of the difference when eliminating the all purpose flour from the original recipe.
5) Prep the yeast according to the instructions on the package. I have tried so many different ways to start my yeast that use milk, or honey, or whatever else. I never get the same results as just using warm water and a little bit of sugar. If you don’t get the yeast to foam up and rise at the get-go your muffins will never rise to their full potential. Don’t be afraid to restart your yeast if it isn’t foamy enough. Mine is normally foaming out of my 2 cup measuring container by the time I am ready to mix it into my dough.
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry/bread flour (regular whole wheat works too if you don't have pastry)
- 2½ cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup old fashioned oats
- ½ cup wheat germ
- 4 teaspoons flax seed
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 4½ teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar (to activate yeast)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1¼ to 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 cup warm water, divided
- semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
- Prepare yeast according to packet directions. (Add 4½ teaspoons yeast to ½ cup warm water. Mix in 1 teaspoon sugar. Let sit until foamy and doubled in size)
- Mix dry ingredients in stand mixer. Add whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, oats, wheat germ, flax seed, coarse sea salt, and baking powder. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Add wet ingredients to dry. Add butter, honey, buttermilk, remaining ½ cup water, and yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add buttermilk as needed to form a smooth dough.
- Turn dough out on a floured work surface. Knead until a smooth ball is formed. Place dough ball into a bowl, that has been sprayed with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place for 1½ to 3 hours (until the ball has doubled in size! Do not rush it!)
- Turn dough out on a floured work surface. Knead dough for a minute or 2. Roll dough out to about ¾" thick. Use a circle cut out (I use a cup flipped upside down) and cut out your muffins.
- Place cut muffins onto parchment paper that has been dusted with either semolina four or corn meal. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit about an hour (longer if needed) until "doubled in size" (they should be noticeably taller)
- Heat saucepan over low to medium low heat on the stove. Add english muffins and cook about 8 minutes per side, until they begin to get toasted. You want to cook them slowly so that they cook through. They are done when they are dry all over and toasted on both sides.
- Let cool on cooling racks before storing. I keep my muffins in the fridge and eat them within a week. All extra english muffins can be stored in the freezer!