Soft and fluffy gluten free English muffins. These muffins are so good that no one will know they are gluten free!
English muffins are one of my favorite things to have for breakfast with eggs. Therefore, I couldn’t help but conduct a little research on where they came from. English muffins came to be from a welsh cake called “Bara” in the 10th century. They made it to the U.S when an English man named Samuel B. Thomas opened a bakery shop in New York.
For those of you who don’t know what English muffins are, they are round flatbread. They are usually made of simple ingredients like water, butter, flour, sugar, and yeast. English muffins are fluffy, soft, and can be opened using a fork. Meanwhile, most English muffins in the market contain gluten. Therefore, the goal of this recipe is to provide you with fluffy, soft, and homemade gluten free English muffins that your whole family will love.
The Secrets to Soft and Fluffy Gluten Free English Muffins
The secret to good gluten free baking is all about the ingredients you use. Achieving the right texture and taste with gluten free baking can be tricky. Therefore, I’m here to tell you all the secrets you need to achieve the best gluten free English muffins.
Gluten free flour mixture: If you have tried my other recipes, then you know I don’t like store-bought mixes because they don’t always achieve the correct texture. Therefore, to make these gluten free English muffins, you will need white rice flour, tapioca flour, corn starch, and brown rice flour. When measuring the flour, make sure to use a scale and sifter. This will help in creating a soft and fluffy texture. Meanwhile, to bind all the ingredients, you will also need xanthan gum. Xanthan gum will act similar to gluten and help the ingredients bind together.
Milk & Water: English muffins dough needs to be sticky and well moistened. Therefore, the dough will require a lot of liquid. I came to find that the use of both milk and water achieves the best outcome in terms of texture and flavor. Meanwhile, if you are dairy-free, you can substitute milk with canned coconut milk. Moreover, ensure that the milk and water are at a temperature between 49-55°C (120°F ).
Instant Active Yeast: I prefer instant active yeast as it works most of the time and does the job instantly.
Salt: To provide the gluten free English muffins with flavor and control the yeast activity.
Sugar: The purpose of sugar in this recipe is to provide the yeast with food.
Butter: You can’t have bread without a fat source. I recommend the use of unsalted butter. Also, make sure that the butter is at room temperature. If you are dairy-free, you can use vegan butter.
Egg: Gluten-free dough requires structure, and this is where eggs come in.
Cornmeal: English muffins have a distinct flavor and texture due to the addition of cornmeal. If you don’t have cornmeal feel free to omit it. The muffins will still taste great!
Making Homemade Gluten Free English Muffins
The process of making gluten free English muffins is simple. All you need is a rolling pin, a cookie cutter, a non-stick pan with a lid. Now that the equipment is sorted, let’s jump in!
- Activate the Yeast: Whenever you are making bread or anything with yeast, always activate the yeast to ensure it is alive. To start the yeast, add the warm water, warm milk, sugar, and yeast to a bowl and stir the bowl gently. Then cover the bowl and set it aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you should see bubbles and foam indicating that the yeast is active.
- Prepare the Dry Ingredients: Scale the flours and sift them into a bowl. Then add the xanthan gum and salt. Whisk the ingredients to make sure everything is well combined. Then create a hole in the middle.
- Form the Dough: Add the eggs and yeast mixture to the hole. Using a stand-alone mixer, with the paddle attachment attached or your hand, form the dough. If using a stand-alone mixer, set the speed to medium-high. The dough will be very sticky, and that is okay. Now, slowly add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, into the dough and incorporate it using the stand-alone mixer or your hand.
- First Rise: Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap followed by a damp kitchen towel. This will help create a humid, warm environment for the dough to rise. Allow the dough to rise for at least one hour.
- Creating English Muffins: Once the dough has risen, transfer the dough to a floured surface. Dust the dough with gluten free flour, and roll it into a rectangle with a thickness of 2.5 cm ( 1 inch). Using a 7.5 cm (3-inch) cookie cutter, press into the dough without twisting the cookie cutter. Transfer the cutout dough to a baking tray aligned with parchment paper. Repeat until you are out of dough. I managed to make 11 muffins.
- Second Rise: Cover the gluten free English muffins with a clean kitchen towel and allow them to rise for another 15 minutes. This will ensure that the muffins are fluffy and thick.
- Baking the Muffins: Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Then sprinkle some cornmeal on the pan. Gently transfer 3-4 muffins to the pan, ensuring that the muffins are at least 5 cm (2 inches) apart. Cover the pan with the lid and cook the muffins for 6-7 minutes. Then using a spatula, gently flip the muffins on the other side and cook for another 6-7 minutes with the lid closed. Having the lid closed allows the gluten free English muffins to cook from the inside as pressure and steam build up.
Commonly Asked Questions
Yes, you can freeze gluten free English muffins. To store the muffins, transfer them to a ziplock bag. The muffins can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. Meanwhile, defrost the muffins in the fridge for 12 hours before use.
Crumpets and English muffins are not the same. Crumpets are made of a batter similar to pancake batter consistency. However, English muffins are made of dough. Moreover, crumpets use yeast and baking powder, while English muffins only contain yeast.
You can have English muffins with anything you like. Some individuals enjoy serving them warm with butter or jam. You can also make egg benedict with English muffins.
Most English muffins have gluten. It is difficult to find a bakery that serves gluten free English muffins. However, there are options for gluten free English muffins in grocery stores.
Items Used in This Recipe
Gluten Free English Muffins
- 200 ml of Milk at 49-55°C 120°F
- 100 ml of Water at 49-55°C 120°F
- 5 grams of Instant Active Yeast
- 32 grams of Sugar
- 160 grams of White Rice Flour
- 66 grams of Tapioca Flour
- 32 grams of Cornstarch
- 66 grams of Brown Rice Flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon of Xanthan Gum
- 1 teaspoon of Salt
- 1 Egg
- 45 grams of Unsalted Butter at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons of Cornmeal
- In a bowl, add the milk, water, instant yeast, and sugar. Using a spoon, gently stir the ingredients until combined. Cover the mixture and set it aside for 10 minutes until bubbles form.
- In a separate bowl, add the white rice flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Using a whisk, combine the ingredients. Create a hole at the center of the flour mixture and add the eggs and yeast mixture. Using a stand-alone mixer, at medium-high speed, with the paddle attachment attached, beat the ingredients until the dough is formed ( about 4-5 minutes). You can also use your hands to form the dough.
- Now, add the butter one tablespoon at a time until it is well incorporated into the dough.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap followed by a damp kitchen towel, and allow the dough to double in size ( about 1 hour).
- Dust your working surface with gluten-free flour and transfer the dough to it. Sprinkle some flour on the dough to make it less sticky. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle with a thickness of 2.5 cm ( 1 inch). Then, using a 7.5 cm (3-inch) cookie cutter, press into the dough (do not twist the cookie cutter) and transfer the cutout dough to a baking tray aligned with parchment paper. Repeat until you are out of dough. You will have about 11-12 muffins.
- Cover the baking tray with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest for another 15 minutes.
- Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Then add one tablespoon of Cornmeal. Gently transfer 3-4 muffins at a time to the pan, ensuring that the muffins are at least 5 cm (2 inches) apart. Cover the pan with a lid. Cook the muffins for 6-7 minutes, then flip the muffins on the other side and cook for another 6-7 minutes. Then, discard the Cornmeal. Repeat until all the muffins are baked.