Many store-bought English muffins actually contain milk. And the dairy-free options aren’t always the cheapest or readily available. So I decided to switch to homemade, and I might never go back! These dairy-free English muffins are perfectly delicious and tender. Use a fork to pull them apart, and then toast to create all of those crispy edges. It’s the perfect base for dairy-free eggs benedict or medium for your favorite spreads.
The Best Dairy-Free English Muffins Recipe with Options
After perusing many recipes, I decided to start with a classic from King Arthur as my base. Their recipe makes a huge batch, contains dairy, and uses a couple ingredients that my local store didn’t have in stock. So I tested smaller batches using easy to find ingredients with some variations. I’ve included some of the options in the recipe, as well as in the FAQs below.
Can I Substitute Honey or Another Sweetener?
I love this recipe with honey, so yes! But it does make the dough even a little stickier. Granulated sweeteners, like sugar, brown sugar, and coconut sugar are ideal, but your favorite type of sweetener should work great.
Is Bread Flour Essential? Can I Use Just All-Purpose Flour?
Technically, this dairy-free English muffins recipe will work with just all-purpose flour. But for the best texture, I highly recommend either bread flour or the all-purpose flour option in the recipe notes. The latter is a mock bread flour, which is what I use. I find it cheaper and easier to just stock all-purpose flour and a smaller bag of vital wheat gluten. Bread flour is simply a higher protein version of all-purpose flour. So adding wheat protein (gluten) to all-purpose flour produces equivalent results. Bread flour or mock bread flour lends more of that classic chewiness to your dairy-free English muffins.
Can I Substitute Whole Wheat Flour?
You can safely substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the bread flour. The wheat dairy-free English muffins will just be a little denser. To help mitigate this, you can add 1/2 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten. That would be 1 1/2 tablespoons of gluten total if you are using all-purpose flour + wheat flour, or just 1/2 tablespoon of gluten if using bread flour + wheat flour. If you opt to use all whole wheat flour, add 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten, and keep in mind that the muffins still might be a little heartier.
My Dough is Very Sticky. Should I Add More Flour?
Try to resist the urge! English muffin dough is much softer and stickier. This allows more bubbles to form in the dough just before cooking. But if it’s simply too sticky to shape, you can dust on another tablespoon or two of flour to help work with the dough. When it’s quite humid, I do allow myself to dust on flour as I work with it. Using a knife or dough cutter to divide the dough up is also helpful.
Could I Just Bake these Dairy-Free English Muffins?
They’ll turn out more like domed buns if you bake them. The process of cooking these dairy-free English muffins in a pan or on a griddle creates flat perfectly browned sides and that ever-so-slightly collapsed middle for easy fork-splitting. Splitting, rather than cutting reveals more nooks and crannies to trap your favorite spreads.
Can I Freeze these Dairy-Free English Muffins?
Yes, like most single-serve breads, these dairy-free English muffins do freeze well and are easy to heat up. Split them first, and then individually wrap or put in a sealed plastic bag if you won’t be freezing them for too long. To reheat, simply pull one out, separate the halves and toast! If pre-split, they separate fairly easily, even when frozen.
Special Diet Notes: English Muffins
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free (but has an egg option), nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegettarian.
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons dairy-free milk alternative, lukewarm (can sub water)
- 1⅛ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons oil (can sub melted dairy-free butter alternative)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 ¼ cups bread flour (see All-Purpose Flour Option below)
- Cornmeal, semolina, or farina, for sprinkling
- Pour the milk alternative into a very large mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the yeast, and let it proof for 10 minutes.
- Put the paddle attachment or dough hooks on your mixer or hand mixer. Add the oil, sugar, salt, and about half of the flour, and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour and mix for about 5 to 7 minutes. You can alternately use a silicone spatula to “knead” the dough. If you have a bread machine, you can work the dough on the dough cycle. It’s very sticky dough, so you won’t easily be able to knead it by hand.
- Scrape the dough together and cover the bowl. Let the dough rise for 2 hours.
- Next, you are going to shape the muffins. But if possible, you’ll want to do the second rising on your cooking surface, so you don’t have to move them. You’ll need a large griddle or two large frying pans. If the surface isn’t very non-stick, grease it. Then liberally sprinkle the griddle or frying pans with cornmeal, semolina, or farina. If you don’t have pans or a griddle big enough for all 8 English muffins, you can place them on a sheet of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal, semolina, or farina. You will just need to use care when transferring the unbaked English muffins to your cooking surface.
- Using oiled or floured hands (I use flour), gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, arrange them on your prepared cooking surface or parchment paper, and press to flatten them until about 3 to 3½ inches in diameter.
- Lightly cover, and let the English muffins rest for about 30 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the English muffins to a prepared pan, if they are on parchment paper. Place the pan(s) over low heat, or turn the griddle on to 325ºF. The English muffins will slow cook as it heats up. Cook for 5 to 15 minutes, or until browned, flip, and cook for 3 to 8 minutes, or until browned. If not cooked through, transfer the English muffins to a baking sheet, and bake them at 350ºF for 3 to 10 minutes. On my stove, they cook very quickly, even at the lowest setting. So I bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, and they come out perfectly. If you have an instant read thermometer, the English muffins will read about 200ºF in the centers when done.
- Let the English muffins cool, then fork split them (do not use a knife!) and toast, if desired.
Double Batch: If you opt to double this recipe, it’s 1¾ cups milk alternative, 2 ¼ teaspoons yeast (one .25-ounce packet), ¼ cup oil, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1½ teaspoons salt, and 4½ cups flour. Just be aware that the dough will be huge when it rises. You’ll need a very large bowl, or split the dough and rise it in two large bowls.
Fluffier Option: For fluffier English muffins, reduce the oil to 1 ½ tablespoons and add 1 egg with the wet ingredients. If doubling the recipe, you can use just one egg for the whole batch or two eggs.