Breakfast in Bed with Homemade English Muffins (and Doughnut Muffins, too!)

Breakfast in bed is rarely served at my house, but that's something I'm trying to rectify. I know it's considered best if someone makes it for you, but I'm kind of a control freak when it comes to breakfast pastries and breads, so really, I don't mind doing the work.

I decided to document my last effort, which was assorted nibbles shared with the hubby. It was delicious and made us feel cheery all day long. Here's what was on our tray.
  • Coffee is a must for us both and since it's been 85 degrees at 10 a.m., I bought our favorite bottled coffees and made sure they were served ice cold.
  • Doughnut muffins. These are a favorite that I've made countless times. They're easy, and if you've never made them then you should probably drop everything and go make them right now. Seriously, they are my favorite mini breakfast muffin. 
  • Homemade life-changing English muffins (with the option of butter and jam). I'm still pinching myself. I made English muffins that look and taste like English muffins! It can be done! More details on this later.
  • Juicy red cherries. It's good to offer a fresh bite with breakfast. It makes everything seem more vibrant and special.
  • O.J. - good ol' sunshine in a glass. It's thirst-quenching in a way that coffee is not. 
There are a few other small things that make breakfast in bed really great, like the morning paper or your favorite book, real table linens, and a single fresh bloom on the tray.

I made the doughnut muffins the night before. They keep really well (although they never last more than two days), so they tasted just as fresh as the first day. I know many of you have made these before, but for those who haven't, you should know that these muffins get dipped in butter (major!) and then rolled in cinnamon-sugar. They are tops in my book!

Now let's talk about these homemade English muffins, because I can't believe how well they turned out. There were two recipes I considered making before settling on this one. The first is made with a pourable batter that requires the purchase of English muffin rings, but since not everyone has those, I opted for the roll-and-cut version. I still used my pastry rings to fry them in, but I soon discovered that they are not needed. My first muffins were a little too thick, and didn't have that wonderful bubbly, craggy interior, so I patted the dough thinner, cut new rounds and fried a second batch - they were perfect! They have just the right amount of chewiness, and a perfectly pocked interior. I made these the night before too, and they kept well in an air-tight container.

Breakfast in bed is totally indulgent, and I almost dismissed it entirely with a "who has time for that?", but sweet memories are rarely made with that attitude. I'm so glad I made time for it, and I'd encourage you to try it just once!

Edit 6/24/14: Friends, please note that there is an egg in the English muffins and "ground sugar" in the muffin recipe is supposed to be "ground cinnamon". These errors have been corrected in both recipes. My apologies for the omissions! -xo

Homemade English Muffins 
(Roll and Cut Method)
[click for printable version]
Source: The Bread Bible
Yields 12 to 14 three inch muffins
Prep: 45 minutes, total time about 2 hours
1/4 cup/ 60 ml warm water (105° to 115°)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/8 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
4 to 4 1/2 cups/ 512 to 576 g  all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups/300 ml warm milk (around 95° to 100°)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Plain yellow corn meal for dusting

Combine the active dry yeast, water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl and allow it to stand until foamy, about 7 to 10 minutes. 
Combine 2 cups of flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer. Pour in the egg, milk, butter and yeast mixture. Stir with a spoon to combine. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, kneading on medium-low speed as you make the additions. Knead for 3 to 5 minutes after the last flour addition.
Place the dough inside a large greased bowl and turn the dough over so that the entire surface is coated. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. 
Sprinkle a work surface with cornmeal. Pour the dough out of the bowl onto the surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with cornmeal and roll into a rectangle, slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. Cut muffins with a large round cutter, or with the mouth of a drinking glass.
Lightly oil a skillet and place it over medium heat. Place the muffins in the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 5-7 minutes per side. 
Serve warm or split and toasted with jam and butter, or cool before placing them in an air-tight container. They will keep for 3 days air-tight or up to 1 month in the freezer.

You may use pastry rings or English muffin molds to help the muffins keep their round shape, but I tried the recipe both ways and found they did fine without.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins
[click for printable version]
Yields 20 mini muffins
Prep: 15 minutes, total time 40 minutes

1/2 cup/100 g white sugar
1/4 cup/ 57 g unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup/120 ml milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup/ 128 g all-purpose flour

1/4 cup/57 g unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup/100 g sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of fine grain salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the cavities of a 24 quantity muffin tin. (I like using flour-based baking spray that greases and flours the pan in one step).
Mix the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter and nutmeg in a large bowl. Stir in the milk, baking powder and flour until just combined. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full and bake until lightly golden, about 9-12 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool slightly before turning them out onto a wire rack.

Place the melted butter in a small bowl and dip the muffins into the butter. (I normally use a fork to skewer the bottoms of the muffins and then tilt the butter bowl so it pools to one side, then I swirl the entire muffin into the butter.) As you dip the muffins, place them back onto the wire cooling rack. Pour the cinnamon-sugar in to a large zip-top bag (or a paper lunch sack) and place few muffins in at at time - shake, shake, shake - and return the sugar coated muffins to the wire rack. Repeat until all the muffins are coated. Store in a container that seals air-tight.

link Breakfast in Bed with Homemade English Muffins (and Doughnut Muffins, too!) By Published: Breakfast in Bed with Homemade English Muffins (and Doughnut Muffins, too!) Recipe


  1. What a wonderful breakfast in bed spread! I was treated to breakfast in bed on Mother's Day and I thought to myself: "whoever says they don't like breakfast in bed, probably just never had it!" It is such a treat...and the control freak that I am also wouldn't mind being the cook and doing the prep either. : )

  2. Wonderful! I have never had breakfast in bed (I like to sit at a table to eat! ;-) )...

    Beautiful muffins!



  3. Heather!!!Love this breakfast!!Yummy!! I wish I could taste it... =) =) xoxoxoxo

  4. Hi, this breakfast seems so tasty I can't wait to make this!
    But shouldn't there be at least one egg in the cinnamon muffin batter? And I think coating should consist of 1 teaspoon of cinnamon instead of sugar?
    Anyway, I really like your blog, thanks for sharing:)

  5. There's no egg in the muffin batter, but you are right about the cinnamon "ground sugar" should be "ground cinnamon" -fixed, thank you!

  6. How many eggs in the English Muffins? Want to make them this afternoon. They look wonderful!

  7. Hi Winddove! 1 egg - my apologies. Geez louise, I need new glasses or a hired editor for my recipes.


  8. I have people coming over for breakfast tomorrow, and I have all the ingredients for both recipes in the cupboard. I wonder what's going to happen next... B xx

  9. Keep on working, great job!

  10. Thank you so much! Awesome recipe! Delicious! :-)

  11. Oh perfect! This is all I can use to describe this breakfast because Nothing is better than sharing homemade breakfast treats with all the people (animals too!) that you love.

  12. I just made the English muffins, they worked, and I feel this is an amazing life changing moment! Thanks for the recipe!

  13. I love making home made English muffins. So easy, right? I use a griddle and no rings and they turn out great. I would love to try your donut muffins as well. Definitely on my baking bucket list.

  14. I would be thrilled if I was treated to this breakfast, especially without getting out of bed! The salt and pepper set is adorable:)

  15. I was checking and checking for a new post, and i can't believe that i missed it yesterday because i was making English Muffins for the first time ever too!! They did not turn out as spongy though, so i am not happy.. i wish i found your recipe yesterday because i trust you like i don't trust myself. Thank you for the beautiful recipes!

  16. What a lovely treat! We don't do breakfast in bed, either. I'm going to run out & get one of these trays now and follow your lead, Heather.
    Wishing you a sweet w/end. xo

  17. I love that wallpaper indeed. Could you tell me where did you get it?? Love your wonderfull blog... your creations are amazing. Regards from Spain¡¡¡¡

  18. Your English Muffin recipe is much appreciated! Thank you -- Definitely a keeper! Delicious and moderately easy even without a stand mixer. I did however use an electric griddle preheated to 300F with 4 oven-proof ramekins in the corners to hold up an inverted, rimmed cookie sheet. The muffins bake for 8 minutes per side on the lightly-greased griddle.

    I also sprinkled the corn meal on the tray upon which I placed the cut rounds, then sprinkled the cut rounds with additional corn meal. This way I was able to rest and re-roll the scrap dough after the first cutting without them being peppered inside with the cornmeal.

    Again, thank you -- Best English Muffin recipe I've tried. Can't wait to try it replacing half of the AP flour with whole wheat flour and the sugar with honey.

  19. Update YUM!
    -Switched out half the AP flour for WW flour, and the sugar for a tablespoon of honey.
    -Used omelette pan to melt butter; then added honey, water and skim milk - barely heating. Cooled to happy yeast temp in mixing bowl, then added rest of ingredients, egg first.
    -Divided the deflated dough in two, flattened, and cut each half into 8 wedges. Shaped each wedge into a ball, then just flattened with palm of hand (no rolling pin, no round cutter, no re-rolled scraps).

    Perfect honey-wheat English muffins! Thanks again for presenting this recipe! ^.^

  20. Just the way everything is posted with the roll and cut method of the muffins I get the feeling that the pourable version should be somewhere. Am I missing it? I don't see it anywhere. Boy would I love to figure out these as gluten free. I get SO amazingly frustrated I see recipes like this which I KNOW I would love and I can't eat them. No one realizes how badly someone like me, who ate gluten items for over 40 years and then all of a sudden are told they can't do that now. Not just eating but I am what is known as a "hobby" baker. I bake and sell some things but I'm not an official bakery as a business and I do cake decorating. HOW in the heck am I suppose to test recipes? I wouldn't follow it if it hadn't made me so incredibly sick and also I'm told if I don't let the damage to my GI system heal (I'm hoping after close to 10 years now its healed) I'm at a much higher risk for that "C" word and THAT terrifies me. I'll make these for other people and I have to trust they give me an accurate opinion of things. As soon as I make them I'll take them to our farm. I'm glad you said you made yours the night before and they were fine for breakfast the next morning. Fortunately for me the bulk of the rest of my family lives in one spot. My parents and my brother (and his wife) have a double type house built on one of the farms 10 years ago. They built it that 90% of the time its two separate homes but when a holiday meal or some other event is happening special doors open and both dining rooms, made to be back to back combine to become one large dining room. It was done that way intentionally and its a pretty neat set-up. Then, my mom made the upstairs of their section (which we call the granny house) into what she jokingly calls "the maid quarters" but mostly if she or my dad needs in-home care a caregiver can live up there. (they are in their 70s now) Now its used as guest rooms but presently, until he leave for graduate school this summer my nephew is using it as his own apartment. At 6 am he and my dad have breakfast together before my nephew heads off for his job after college in his first year of teaching. These would make a wonderful item for them to try for me. I make and send out to them all sorts of things such as breakfast cookies (Martha Stewart) banana breads, quick breads, cookies, cakes,and on and on and on. Sometimes my nephew takes items to school and puts them in the teacher's lounge. I never need worry things get eaten. That's not even getting into the retirement community my family owns and manages and all the residents there. I have seniors who are men who will eat anything sweet I can create. They're from the generations where men didn't bake, wives and mothers did those things. What is it about widowed single men that give them an insatiable sweet tooth? Even with the couples that are married the wives at this point in their lives, age mostly in the 70s to the 90s, don't bake much anymore. I wonder if I'll get that way if I'm around, that I won't want to bake? I hope not, its far too much fun. I love how homemade baked goods, from breads and savory items to the sweets like cakes and cookies and all the rest make people so incredibly happy. I think that's one of my favorite things about baking, how happy it makes people. How can it not make you feel good inside?


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