The 10 Biggest Mistakes Everyone Makes With English Muffins

Most people don't give much thought to their daily breakfast — a quick piece of toast and a cup of juice is about the extent of this meal for most Americans. One staple item of the American breakfast is the English muffin, a small round bread with a tender and open crumb interior that gets a generous dusting of cornmeal or semolina before being griddled in butter. Once the muffin is split horizontally, it reveals the signature "nooks and crannies" for which the bread is known.

While there's really no right or wrong way to eat an English muffin, there are a few mistakes that many people make with them that can make all the difference in the world when it comes to enjoying this sliced bread alternative. Whether you're eating an English muffin with a simple spread or piling it high with toppings or fillings, this versatile pastry is much more than it seems.

Not making breakfast sandwiches

You are probably aware that you can make a breakfast sandwich on an English muffin. After all, if it's good enough for an egg McMuffin from McDonald's, then it's probably one of the better options for breakfast sandwiches. It makes perfect sense — a good slab of Canadian bacon, a gooey slice of American cheese, and even a griddled egg are all roughly the size of an English muffin and naturally create the perfect sandwich without any cutting or reshaping.

If you want to recreate the ultimate breakfast sandwich at home, we have just the recipe for you. The Sriracha butter is what really sets this recipe apart from all others and brings the perfect flavor addition to fluffy scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, and salty cheddar cheese. If you find yourself short on time in the mornings, you could always make a few of these ahead of time and just pop one in the toaster on your way out the door.

Thinking they're only good for breakfast

Generally, people consider toast to be breakfast food, and a toasted English muffin is just toast in a different shape. That being said, there are no rules that say that English muffins can only be eaten in the morning. After all, English muffins are really just little loaves of bread at the end of the day. The size and shape of an English muffin are the perfect substitutes for a sandwich roll, and the durable structure makes them a great option for housing a few slices of deli meat and cheese.

There's a whole world of uses for English muffins beyond breakfast dishes. Take, for instance, this recipe for English muffin pizza. Just a spread of pizza sauce, a scattering of mozzarella cheese, and a quick toast in the oven, and you'll have little English muffin pizzas to enjoy as a snack or light meal. There are so many ways to improvise with this recipe, too, such as adding other toppings (like pepperoni) or swapping pizza sauce for pesto.

Buying them when you could make them

Hey, if you're not exactly a morning person, we get you. Why go to the trouble of making an elaborate recipe when you could get a comparable product at the store? If you try this recipe for homemade English muffins, you'll immediately see why it's worth the effort of breaking out the stand mixer. Fresh English muffins have a flavor and texture that cannot possibly be compared to their store-bought counterparts.

English muffins are actually incredibly easy to make, and only a few ingredients (plus some time) stand between you and a hot, fresh muffin. Milk, sugar, flour, yeast, egg, and butter come together in a pillowy dough that has to proof for an hour and a half (you might have to set your alarm for this one). After rolling, cutting, and shaping, English muffins skip the oven and instead are cooked in butter (and cornmeal or semolina to avoid sticking) on a griddle. This unique baking process sets English muffins apart from other rolls and bread.

Skipping the cornmeal

Virtually all recipes for English muffins involve a sprinkling of semolina or cornmeal on the flat sides of the raw muffin dough before the final rest. This layer helps prevent the muffins from sticking when they get cooked on the griddle. Because there is a generous sprinkling of semolina between the sticky dough and the griddle, the dough can have a higher water content, which contributes to those signature nooks and crannies. The more water in the dough, the more the yeast has to eat, resulting in larger bubbles. And more bubbles mean more nooks and crannies.

The semolina also provides an extra layer of texture to the mouthfeel. Depending on whether you choose semolina or cornmeal, the texture will either be a light crust or a hearty crunch. Either way, skipping this ingredient will leave you with a huge mess and dough that's very difficult to work with.

Not using them for burger buns

Maybe it seems obvious to some, but the precise size and shape of the average English muffin are quite similar to your average burger patty. It should come as no surprise that a whole group of people swear by English muffins as a great alternative to a hamburger bun. Even though it seems like more of something you would choose if you forgot to grab buns at the store, English muffins can and should be your first pick for burgers.

At Diablo Burger in Flagstaff, Arizona, they serve all their burgers on toasted English muffins. This restaurant prides itself on using high-quality ingredients (they even go as far as to raise their own 100% local, open-range, antibiotic, and growth-hormone-free beef for the patties). They wouldn't have so deliberately chosen this bread as their bun of choice if there wasn't an excellent reason. According to testimonies from satisfied customers, the English muffin stands up well to the juicy, hefty patties that come loaded with succulent toppings.

Avoiding them for health reasons

Every few years, there's a new diet trend and a new study or group claiming that certain foods are bad for you. Carbs have always been considered bad for the waistline, and some celebrities have even gone years without so much as looking at bread to maintain a certain body image. All this carb hatred includes the humble English muffin, though in reality, they really aren't as bad for you as you might think.

According to SF Gate, English muffins are fairly healthy, nutritionally speaking. English muffins contain several crucial vitamins and minerals that are essential to wellness and daily bodily function. Even when compared to slices of wheat bread, English muffins were better nutritionally in some areas. Overall, English muffins have fewer calories than two slices of wheat bread. A wheat English muffin has about 100 milligrams of calcium, compared to about 80 in slices of wheat bread.

Only using plain butter as a spread

If you've only ever had your English muffin with a quick spread of soft butter, you have been seriously missing out on the wide world of muffin spreads. While a slick of Nutella or berry jam will certainly jazz up your muffin, there's so much more out there to take it to the next level. If you still want to stick to some kind of butter, you can at least add some extra flavor to it by making this recipe for spiced honey butter. It's quick, simple, and delicious.

There's really no limit to what can be served on an English muffin, and anything you put on other kinds of bread can easily be transferred over to an English muffin. There's also a whole world of open-faced dishes, like eggs Benedict. If you don't care for poached eggs, swap it with a fried egg or ditch the egg altogether and go for ricotta or mozzarella cheese.

Confusing them with crumpets or with actual muffins

Did you know there's a difference between crumpets and English muffins, and neither are technically muffins? Both crumpets and English muffins fall into the griddle cake category. Crumpets and English muffins were originally cooked on a hot metal skillet instead of baked in an oven. Many factors overlap between the two types of bread, but one key difference is that crumpets are only griddled on one side.

The worst thing you can do is to assume that English muffins are anything like actual muffins. As we know, in America, muffins are a type of quick bread. A quick bread is any kind of cake or bread (think banana bread) that comes together just by mixing and does not require yeast or fermentation to rise. Almost all muffin recipes start with butter and sugar, adding eggs and sometimes another liquid, then folding in the flour and chemical leavening (baking soda or powder) mixture.

Buying them pre-packaged instead of fresh

If you don't have the time or energy to make English muffins yourself at home but still really want to try that next-level quality, seek out some of the premium options from specialty bakeries. Over in Napa, California, a bakery known as Model Bakery is famous for making some of the best English muffins known to man. If you don't live near Northern California, fear not. The bakery sells its muffins through Goldbelly (shipping available anywhere in the U.S.) and in select Whole Foods locations. 

Over on the East Coast, Stone and Skillet is a company on a mission to bring the world a better English muffin. They are available in select grocery stores and ship via their website. They offer muffins in several delectable flavors, including Everything bagel and roasted herb and garlic. With flavors like that, they hardly need anything on top!

Splitting them wrong

Possibly one of the most basic pieces of knowledge when it comes to eating English muffins is splitting them in half. After a recent TikTok went viral, millions of people have suddenly been questioning whether or not they even knew this simple tenet. Even though the directions are printed right on the box, using a fork to perforate and then split the muffin is not as intuitive as it seems. Apparently, most people have been using a knife to cut open their muffins.

Maybe it seems like a harmless difference, but there's actually a reason for this. Using a knife severs the open holes cleanly, but that's not what you want in a muffin. Using a fork separates each hole unevenly, leaving more pronounced nooks and crannies that will toast and crisp completely differently. If you don't have a fork, fear not. Another TikToker Stephanie Reynolds, aka @r_eginageorge, showed everyone that you could also use your hands to pry the muffin apart and let the seam form naturally.