Whip Up a Batch of English Muffins (You Don't Need Rings!)

May 17, 2018

This month our Baking Club members are focused on Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice and, as you might suspect, they are baking up a lot of bread. We've seen loaves of everything, from sourdough to ciabatta to anadama and more. But we've also seen quite a few batches of (less-intimidating, easier-to-tackle) English muffins.

Nooks and crannies for days. Photo by Juana Lemus
Photo by Jane Booth
Photo by Leigh Christine

The only downside to whipping up a batch of these breakfast champions is that some recipes call for making them in rings, meaning you're out of luck if you don't have a set. Or are you?

Our Club members shared their best tricks for pulling off a batch of English muffins, no rings required.

  • Sarah Elizabeth Johnston makes her own rings out of aluminum foil, folding it over twice to make it sturdier and then wrapping it around a biscuit cutter for a perfect circular shape.

  • Katie Schweiss cuts the tops and bottoms off of cans of water chestnuts. She notes that tuna cans are a similar size, but those cans are most often rounded on the bottom while water chestnuts cans are not.


Did someone say chicken and muffins?

Or, if you'd rather, you can forgo the DIY rings altogether and use an English muffin recipe that doesn't require them. Christina Tosi has you gently roll the dough into balls and nestle them into a cornmeal-covered baking sheet to rise, while Erin McDowell has you roll out the dough and simply cut it into squares.

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With multiple English muffin-making methods to choose from, surely there's one that's right for you. Now you just have to decide what to smear over those nooks and crannies. Butter? Jam? Peanut butter? (All of the above?)

What's your go-to English muffin topping? Tell us about it below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Lisa A.
    Lisa A.
  • Smaug
I like esoteric facts about vegetables. Author of the IACP Award-nominated cookbook, Cooking with Scraps.


Lisa A. June 4, 2018
I use a sourdough recipe from "The Fresh Loaf". The dough is rolled or patted out then cut with a large biscuit cutter. After rising the rounds cooked on a griddle.
Smaug May 17, 2018
At some point you have to decide what an English muffin is- a lot of recipes are just dinner rolls. Personally, I think they need at a minimum to be cooked on a griddle from a batter, but even if you accept baked bread dough as an English muffin it won't split properly if you don't use rings. Which cost about $5 for a set of four. The traditional tuna cans (or, nowadays, cans from various imported products work OK but are usually 3", which is pretty small (about 30% less than the usual 3 1/2" size".