Any English muffin lovers out there? They’re one of our old favorites and we’ve finally made a gluten-free version that’s just as good as the real deal! These delicious gems are perfectly tender, toasty, SO versatile, and also happen to be vegan!
They’re soft yet crusty and require just 10 ingredients! We love them with butter and jam, or to make Eggs Benedict (plant-based version coming soon!) for a simple yet elegant brunch (Mother’s Day, anyone?). Let us show you how it’s done!
Origin of English Muffins
An English muffin is a small, round, yeasted bread that’s typically sliced in half horizontally and toasted. The earliest recipe resembling these toasty delights is believed to have been in a 1758 British cookbook. At the time, they were just called “muffins” and were sold door to door in England.
Then when Samuel Bath Thomas moved from England to New York City, he opened a bakery and began making his mother’s muffin recipe. In 1894, he filed a trademark, claiming to be the first to use the term “English muffin.” English muffins are now a breakfast favorite in many places around the world including North America, Australia, and New Zealand. In Germany, they’re known as Toastbrotchenand a similar dish called bolo de caco is served in Portugal.
The following is our gluten-free and plant-based take on the delicious creation!
How to Make Gluten-Free Vegan English Muffins
For classic English muffin flavor (and texture), we start with the yeast, activating it by mixing dry active yeast with warm water and a little bit of sugar (because yeast loves sugar — and who can blame it?).
Once the yeast has activated, we stir in ground chia seeds as the egg-free binder.
Then we transition to the dry ingredients. A combination of gluten-free flours provides the perfect balance of structure (brown rice flour + oat flour), fluffiness (potato starch), and stretch (tapioca starch). The last dry ingredient is sea salt for flavor.
After stirring the wet ingredients into the dry, we cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise. Then for extra lift, we stir in some baking powder dissolved in warm water and let the dough rise once more. We know, Sally, it’s a little extra effort, but you get amazing English muffins out of the deal! Plus, you can get some chores done in the meantime. We knew you were still in!
Once the dough is done rising, you can either cook your English muffins right away or you can refrigerate the dough overnight if you want fresh-in-the-AM muffins!
When ready to cook, divide and shape the dough, then place on a baking sheet lined with cornmeal (to prevent sticking).
Then cook in an oiled skillet, flipping to get both sides of the English muffins nicely browned, repeating until you’ve cooked them all! The last step is to bake in the oven to ensure cooked centers.
We hope you LOVE these English muffins! They’re:
& Just like the real deal!
They’re delicious toasted with butter and jam or made into breakfast sandwiches or Eggs Benedict (plant-based version coming soon!).
More Delicious Breakfast Recipes
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Servings 6 (English muffins)
- 1 cup warm water (DIVITED)
- 1 Tbsp cane sugar (ensure organic for vegan-friendly)
- 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
- 1/3 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
- 2/3 cup oat flour* (DIVITED // certified gluten-free as needed)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 Tbsp cornmeal (DIVITED // optional)
- 2 tsp avocado oil (for greasing pan)
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup (180 ml) of the warm water (100-110 degrees F / 38-43 C) and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the yeast and let it bloom on the counter for 10 minutes until frothy. If it doesn’t foam, start over — your water may have been too hot or the packet of yeast was expired.
Once the yeast has bloomed, whisk in ground chia seeds and let the mixture gel for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, 1/3 cup (30 g) of the oat flour, and salt.
Add the wet ingredients to the center of the dry and stir together with a wooden spoon — it should turn into a thick and dense bread dough. You can knead with your hands for a few minutes to thoroughly combine. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for one hour in a warm spot.
Once the dough has risen, measure out the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) of warm water (100-110 degrees F / 38-43 C) and add the baking powder to the warm water to dissolve. Add the water mixture to the dough and mix with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until all lumps are broken up. It should be thick and sticky. Let this mixture rest again for 30 minutes in a warm spot covered with a kitchen towel.
While the dough rests, prepare a baking sheet by sprinkling 1 Tbsp (19 g) of cornmeal evenly across it, and preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C). Once rested, add the remaining 1/3 cup (30 g) of oat flour to the dough and stir with a wooden spoon. It should be thick and semi-sticky, but not so wet that it sticks badly to your hands. If it is too sticky, add oat flour 1 tsp at a time until you can handle the dough. At this time, you can choose to make your English muffins right away, or transfer the dough to the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.
To make the muffins, divide the dough into 6 even pieces and shape them into flat, round English muffin shapes, about 3 inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Place the prepared dough onto the baking sheet on top of the cornmeal. When all the dough is shaped into English muffins, sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbsp cornmeal over top of them, aiming for even distribution.
Add 1 tsp avocado oil to a cast iron skillet, griddle, or non-stick pan and turn on medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, turn it down to medium heat and add as many English muffins as you can. It is helpful to use a metal spatula to quickly pick up the English muffin dough from the baking sheet and flip it into the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side, being careful not to burn. Flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side, then remove from the skillet and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat until all muffins have been cooked in the skillet. Place the baking sheet of cooked muffins in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the outside is very firm and crusty and they sound somewhat hollow when tapped.
Remove the English muffins from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Instead of cutting the muffins, use a fork to poke into the side of each English muffin all the way around until it can be easily pulled apart. Serve immediately with jam and butter of choice, or toast for extra crispy goodness! Leftovers keep well in an airtight container for 2 days at room temperature and reheat best in a toaster.
*If oat-free, we find sorghum flour usually subs well 1:1 for oat flour. We haven’t tested it in this recipe and can’t guarantee the result.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
Serving: 1 English muffin Calories: 197 Carbohydrates: 39.4 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 3.1 g Saturated Fat: 0.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9 g Monnounsaturated Fat: 1.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 413 mg Potassium: 113 mg Fiber: 2.5 g Sugar: 2.2 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 31 mg Iron: 1.1 mg