Hi! Welcome to my blog. I am a major foodie, with a haphazard cooking philosophy, currently making that transition from cooking and baking for friends and family to 'wonder if I could make this my career'. Follow me for recipes, the outcomes of a few experiments, and general lovely foodiness. Opinions, reviews and recommendations are all my own.

Wednesday 28 August 2013

Paul Hollywood's English Muffins - GBBO Technical Challenge Two

I was quite intrigued to see that this week's technical challenge on The Great British Bake Off was English Muffins. I've been making these myself for the last few months, and have found them pretty straight forward to make, so I was curious to see Paul's recipe and how it differed to the one I've become attached to. 

Muffins are made from an enriched dough, and the Paul Hollywood recipe uses butter and milk to do this, a variation from the natural yoghurt version I have been making. You can find Paul's recipe on the BBC Food website here

Paul Hollywood English Muffins - Butter and Milk Enriched Dough

I found Paul's recipe easier in the execution, all the ingredients in one bowl and mix, then knead, however it makes for a very wet dough that is difficult to knead. In the end, I had to attack mine with dough hooks attached to my hand whisk. The dough proved well enough, but after cutting the circles out the muffins proved sideways rather than upwards, leaving some very large but slightly flat muffins.

Paul Hollywood English Muffin - Butter and Milk Enriched Dough

Overall both Gary and I agreed that we preferred the taste of the original recipe we were used to, although these were still of course much nicer than shop bought. I really think that the natural yoghurt gives an extra depth of flavour to the muffins, and that will always be my preferred recipe, though I may use Paul's as a back up if I don't have any yoghurt to hand.

English Muffins - Natural Yoghurt Enhanced Dough

I am re-posting my muffin recipe from a few months ago here, as it is my preferred way of making them.


7 grams fast action yeast
125 ml tepid water
75 grams natural yoghurt
225 grams strong white bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
handful of semolina

  • In a medium sized bowl, dissolve the yeast in about half of the water. Add the remaining water and the natural yoghurt, and mix well until smooth and combined. 
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and quickly stir. 
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the flour, and mix together to make a dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead well for 5 - 10 minutes until a smooth pliable dough is formed. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. 
  • Turn the dough back out on the surface, and knead quickly to knock back. Roll the dough out to about 2 cm thick, and cut out rounds about 3 inches wide. Knead the offcuts back together, re-roll and continue to cut out rounds until all the dough has been used. 
  • Place the rounds on a lightly floured baking tray, sprinkle the semolina over the tops, cover, and leave again to rise for about 40 minutes.
  • Heat a little oil in a large frying pan. Place the muffins in the pan, and cook for about 7 minutes on both sides. Keep the heat down low so as not to burn the outside of the muffins before the inside cooks. 
  • Set aside to cool. These muffins can be kept for a couple of days in an airtight container, just halve and toast and they are ready to eat. 


  1. I might try your recipe instead of Paul's too! I can't stand wet doughs. How many muffins does it make?

    1. I spoke to a few people on twitter tonight that use a yoghurt base recipe too. This one makes about 6 muffins so not too many :-)

  2. I like your recipe better and will give it a try. I bake bread all the time but have never made English muffins. Have you tried them with half whole wheat flour? I think we'd like that better.

    1. I've never tried it with half and half but there is absolutely no reason why that wouldn't work! I'd love to hear how you get on with the recipe, have fun! x

  3. a little confused. little oil meaning...what type oil and how much? 7 mins on both sides? or 7 mins on each side please?

    1. Hi. A little oil meaning just enough to make the pan non-stick, no more than half a teaspoon. Any cooking oil, sunflower, vegetable, olive oil will do just fine, it's just to prevent the muffins from sticking. And 7 minutes altogether, so flip halfway through. Use your judgement so they don't burn on either side.

  4. I like the sound of your recipe and your muffins turned out great looking!

  5. Thanks for sharing your recipe....I will definitely give it a try!

  6. I've never actually tried making my own muffins and watching the technical challenge actually put me off! They made it look really complicated but I guess that this is because they never get the detailed recipe. Yours sound really nice with the addition of yoghurt - I always think that it just seems to give it an extra depth of flavour somehow.

    1. They did make it look trickier than it really is on the show, that's true. I didn't find Paul's recipe as easy as the one I have been using either, will definitely be continuing to use the one I posted here instead, You really should give them a go though :-)

  7. I always use fresh yeast, how much do I need ?Sabot

    1. The general rule is double, so if the recipe calls for 6g dried yeast use 12g fresh :-)

  8. I started thinking about you when I saw the muffins last week! I haven't tried Paul's ones so not sure yet, but my flatmate and I loved your recipe so probably will go back to that!


  9. I made this using 50% of the ingredients and without semolina. It came out pretty good! Thanks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9XFiFwf70A


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