English muffins are different from American muffins. They are thought to have originated in Wales from “Bara Mean,” a yeast leavened baked cake in the 10th Century. An Englishman named Samuel B. Thomas introduced these muffins to the US when he first opened his bakery shop in New York.
Today, english muffins are commercially available as packaged ready-to-eat breads in grocery stores and vending machines, as well as commercial dried mixes or frozen batters in wholesale markets.1
Typical nutritional value of english muffins per 100 g serving is:2
English muffins contribute 246 kcal per 100 gram serving.2
English muffins are industrially processed through the following process:1
- Weighing and mixing: ingredients such as flour, salt, yeast, sugar are weighed and placed in a mixer (batch or continuous) and thoroughly combined.
- Fermentation: the dough is fermented for a short period of time, between 10 – 15 minutes.
- Dividing and rounding: the dough is divided into 65 -70 grams balls with a standard roll divider, and later on rounded.
- Proofing: the rounded balls are left to proof for 28 – 30 minutes into canvas covered cups at 45 -55 °C (113 – 131 °F) with a relative humidity of 50 – 55%.
- Depositing: the proofed dough is deposited onto a hot baking surface to expand in the retainer.
- Baking: the dough is baked in an oven at 245 °C (473 °F) for 4 minutes, then they are turned over and baked for another 3.5 minutes.
- Cooling: the English muffins are cooled in forced air for about 50 – 60 minutes.
Ingredients specifications and functionality
English muffins are commonly produced with the following ingredients (based on flour content):1,3
||100% of hard wheat flour (protein content 12-13%) with a high water absorption capacity (79-85%)
- Provide the desired structure.
- High water absorption provides for the desired crumb structure and proofing times.
||83 – 87%
- Aids in leavening to produce desired porous structure.
||Compressed yeast 2 – 8%
- Provides fermentation gases during proofing.
- Generates flavor compounds.
||1 – 2%
- Provides flavor.
- Regulates yeast fermentation
- Improves the flow of the batter.
||2% of sugar, dextrose or corn syrup can be used.
||1 – 1.5%
- Aids in the formation of a uniform crumb.
||Commonly used calcium propionate at 0.5 – 0.7%
In some cases baking powder, vinegar or enzyme protease may be added to the formulation.
Dough preparation methods
English muffin dough can be prepared using three preparation methods:3,4
- Straight dough: flour with a water absorption capacity of 80% is used where all ingredients are combined in one stage.
- No-time dough: flour with a water absorption capacity of 76% is used where bulk fermentation is eliminated.
- Sponge dough: flour with a water absorption capacity of 62% is used where ingredients are mixed in two stages.
English muffins are not specifically regulated by the FDA. However, the regulation status of their core ingredients wheat flour, yeast, salt, and sugar are established as GRAS.
In the EU, english muffins are also not regulated as a direct item. However, their core ingredients are regulated by the EU Commission.
- Baking Industry Research Trust. “English Muffins”.Information Sheet. Baking Industry Research Trust. New Zealand.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 14 July 2017.https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/509314/nutrients . Accessed 13 October 2020.
- Qarooni, J. Flat bread technology. 1 st ed., Springer Science & Business Media, 1996, pp. 70,160-171
- Kulp, Karel, and Klaus Lorenz, eds. Handbook of dough fermentations. Vol. 127. Crc Press, 2003.