Gluten-Free English Muffins

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Gluten-free English muffins on a cooling rack

Any English muffin lovers out there? They’re one of our old favorites and we’ve finally made a gluten-free version that’s just as good as the real deal! These delicious gems are perfectly tender, toasty, SO versatile, and also happen to be vegan!

They’re soft yet crusty and require just 10 ingredients! We love them with butter and jam, or to make Eggs Benedict (find our plant-based version here!) for a simple yet elegant brunch (Mother’s Day, anyone?). Let us show you how it’s done!

Yeast, salt, baking powder, avocado oil, brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, oat flour, cornmeal, ground chia seeds, and cane sugar

Origin of English Muffins

An English muffin is a small, round, yeasted bread that’s typically sliced in half horizontally and toasted. The earliest recipe resembling these toasty delights is believed to have been in a 1758 British cookbook. At the time, they were just called “muffins” and were sold door to door in England.

Then when Samuel Bath Thomas moved from England to New York City, he opened a bakery and began making his mother’s muffin recipe. In 1894, he filed a trademark, claiming to be the first to use the term “English muffin.” English muffins are now a breakfast favorite in many places around the world including North America, Australia, and New Zealand. In Germany, they’re known as Toastbrötchen, and a similar dish called bolo de caco is served in Portugal.

The following is our gluten-free and plant-based take on the delicious creation!

How to Make Gluten-Free Vegan English Muffins

For classic English muffin flavor (and texture), we start with the yeast, activating it by mixing dry active yeast with warm water and a little bit of sugar (because yeast loves sugar — and who can blame it?).

Adding yeast to bowl of warm water

Once the yeast has activated, we stir in ground chia seeds as the egg-free binder.

Bowl with activated yeast and ground chia seeds

Then we transition to the dry ingredients. A combination of gluten-free flours provides the perfect balance of structure (brown rice flour + oat flour), fluffiness (potato starch), and stretch (tapioca starch). The last dry ingredient is sea salt for flavor.

Stirring wet ingredients into dry
Bowl of gluten-free English muffin dough

After stirring the wet ingredients into the dry, we cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise. Then for extra lift, we stir in some baking powder dissolved in warm water and let the dough rise once more. We know, Sally, it’s a little extra effort, but you get amazing English muffins out of the deal! Plus, you can get some chores done in the meantime. We knew you were still in!

Adding a baking powder and water mixture to risen dough to give it even more lift

Once the dough is done rising, you can either cook your English muffins right away or you can refrigerate the dough overnight if you want fresh-in-the-AM muffins!

When ready to cook, divide and shape the dough, then place on a baking sheet lined with cornmeal (to prevent sticking).

Sprinkling cornmeal over gluten-free English muffins

Then cook in an oiled skillet, flipping to get both sides of the English muffins nicely browned, repeating until you’ve cooked them all! The last step is to bake in the oven to ensure cooked centers.

Cooking gluten-free English muffins in a cast iron skillet

We hope you LOVE these English muffins! They’re:

Tender
Toasty
Wholesome
Comforting
Versatile
& Just like the real deal!

They’re delicious toasted with butter and jam or made into breakfast sandwiches or Eggs Benedict (find our plant-based version here!).

More Delicious Breakfast Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Showing the inside of a homemade gluten-free English muffin

Gluten-Free English Muffins

Tender and crusty English muffins that are undetectably gluten-free! Perfect for breakfast sandwiches or topping with butter and jam! Just 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Hand picking up a gluten-free English muffin spread with vegan butter
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 (English muffins)
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine British-Inspired, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 2 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water (DIVIDED)
  • 1 Tbsp cane sugar (ensure organic for vegan-friendly)
  • 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
  • 1/3 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
  • 2/3 cup oat flour* (DIVIDED // certified gluten-free as needed)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp cornmeal (DIVIDED // optional)
  • 2 tsp avocado oil (for greasing pan)

Instructions

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup (180 ml) of the warm water (100-110 degrees F / 38-43 C) and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the yeast and let it bloom on the counter for 10 minutes until frothy. If it doesn’t foam, start over — your water may have been too hot or the packet of yeast was expired.
  • Once the yeast has bloomed, whisk in ground chia seeds and let the mixture gel for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, 1/3 cup (30 g) of the oat flour, and salt.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the center of the dry and stir together with a wooden spoon — it should turn into a thick and dense bread dough. You can knead with your hands for a few minutes to thoroughly combine. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for one hour in a warm spot.
  • Once the dough has risen, measure out the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) of warm water (100-110 degrees F / 38-43 C) and add the baking powder to the warm water to dissolve. Add the water mixture to the dough and mix with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until all lumps are broken up. It should be thick and sticky. Let this mixture rest again for 30 minutes in a warm spot covered with a kitchen towel.
  • While the dough rests, prepare a baking sheet by sprinkling 1 Tbsp (19 g) of cornmeal evenly across it, and preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C). Once rested, add the remaining 1/3 cup (30 g) of oat flour to the dough and stir with a wooden spoon. It should be thick and semi-sticky, but not so wet that it sticks badly to your hands. If it is too sticky, add oat flour 1 tsp at a time until you can handle the dough. At this time, you can choose to make your English muffins right away, or transfer the dough to the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.
  • To make the muffins, divide the dough into 6 even pieces and shape them into flat, round English muffin shapes, about 3 inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Place the prepared dough onto the baking sheet on top of the cornmeal. When all the dough is shaped into English muffins, sprinkle the remaining 1 Tbsp cornmeal over top of them, aiming for even distribution.
  • Add 1 tsp avocado oil to a cast iron skillet, griddle, or non-stick pan and turn on medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, turn it down to medium heat and add as many English muffins as you can. It is helpful to use a metal spatula to quickly pick up the English muffin dough from the baking sheet and flip it into the skillet. Cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side, being careful not to burn. Flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the second side, then remove from the skillet and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat until all muffins have been cooked in the skillet. Place the baking sheet of cooked muffins in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the outside is very firm and crusty and they sound somewhat hollow when tapped.
  • Remove the English muffins from the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Instead of cutting the muffins, use a fork to poke into the side of each English muffin all the way around until it can be easily pulled apart. Serve immediately with jam and butter of choice, or toast for extra crispy goodness! Leftovers keep well in an airtight container for 2 days at room temperature and reheat best in a toaster.

Video

Notes

*If oat-free, we find sorghum flour usually subs well 1:1 for oat flour. We haven’t tested it in this recipe and can’t guarantee the result.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 English muffin Calories: 197 Carbohydrates: 39.4 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 3.1 g Saturated Fat: 0.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 413 mg Potassium: 113 mg Fiber: 2.5 g Sugar: 2.2 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 31 mg Iron: 1.1 mg

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  1. Katy says

    These were AWESOME! I did use a real egg instead of the chia (I’m only GF/DF, not vegan, so egg is OK) – I decreased the water to 3/4 cup total to compensate, since 1 egg typically measures ~1/4 cup liquid. I had to add a bit extra oat flour at the end but they worked beautifully and taste amazing!! Thank you, these are going on permanent rotation!

  2. Alexa says

    “Leave to cool for 10-15 mins?” Well, that was NEVER going to happen, given the warm yeasted scent of these muffins! I followed the recipe exactly as written and the muffins were perfect – soft and light inside, gently crusty outside. My wheat-eating partner couldn’t tell the difference between these wonderful G-F muffins and traditional wheat-based ones, and neither could I, from memory. Not a hint of the usual grittiness that G_F breads often have. Next time I might try just baking the dough in a loaf tin, in case it makes an excellent bread too. Thank-you so very much for this perfect recipe :).

  3. Laurie says

    I made these yesterday, we ate them today. I think I added too much flour because although the taste was really good, they were a bit dense. Looking at your photo I see more crumbs than mine had. I’m going to try again next weekend! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Laurie! These are definitely more dense than traditional english muffins, but not unpleasantly so. Let us know how it goes if you give them another try!

  4. Cat says

    MB you have done it again! These are amazing. I did a double-batch on faith that none of your recipes have ever turned out badly, and I am SO glad I did a double-batch. Thank you for creating this recipe – I have been GF for 15 years and this the first time I’ve ever eaten a GF English muffin that was reminiscent of a gluten-filled one! I did need to add a bit more oat flour than called for in the last step. This is going to be a new favourite. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We love to hear this. Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Cat, we’re so glad you enjoyed these!

  5. MEB says

    I can’t do even GF oats and am intolerant to sorghum. What would be the next best option (understanding that it isn’t tested and can’t be guaranteed)? Would buckwheat work?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! We haven’t tried this with buckwheat, but it could possibly work. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

      • MEB says

        Just made these tonight. They are delicious! I can’t eat oats or sorghum or corn so a few changes.

        Subs:

        🔸Riceberry flour instead of brown rice (what I had on hand) which is why they are so dark
        🔸 buckwheat flour instead of oats or suggested alternative sorghum; I had to add an extra 3-4 tbsp to the 30g after the baking powder and resting to be able to handle the dough
        🔸 home ground buckwheat groats instead of cornmeal
        🔸I also use home made baking powder (baking soda + cream of Tartar) because of the corn in baking powder

        Mine were slightly gummy still but I baked for 10 minutes. Next time, I’ll go slightly longer.

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          We’re so glad they turned out well! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  6. The Vegan Goddess says

    I would to leave out the yeast. Perhaps I could make up for it by adding more baking powder.

    What do you think?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, we think the yeast is pretty crucial in this recipe for the right “bready” taste and texture. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

      • The Vegan Goddess says

        I might try this tip from The Spruce Eats and see how it comes out and will let you know if it works:

        Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

        When you combine yeast, flour, and water, sugars are released and consumed by the yeast, which in turn releases carbon dioxide.1 It’s this carbon dioxide that’s responsible for making bread rise.2 You can create a similar carbon dioxide release by combining baking soda with an acid.3 Some recipes, like biscuits, already rely on this.4

        If you want to successfully substitute the yeast called for in a recipe, you just need to swap in the right amount of baking soda and acid to make the dough rise. You can use lemon juice, buttermilk, or milk combined with an equal part of vinegar as your acid.

        Add all the ingredients according to the recipe.
        Then, add equal parts baking soda and lemon juice to equal the amount of yeast called for in the recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for one teaspoon of yeast, you need to add a half teaspoon of baking soda and a half teaspoon of lemon juice. Buttermilk or a 50-50 mix of milk and vinegar can also be used in place of the lemon juice.
        Bake as usual. The dough doesn’t need the typical rise (or proofing) time when you’re using this substitute. In fact, for the reaction to work properly, it’s important to get your dough in the oven as soon after you’ve added these final ingredients as you can.

        Tip

        For the best results, use fresh baking soda. Open containers are only good for six months.

  7. Rachel says

    Just made this recipe yesterday! I didn’t have any tapioca flour on hand so I used arrowroot. Because of this sub, I had to add a bit more water for my dough to initially come together. These babies turned out so delicious!! Perfect to pair with my homemade jam. They are soft on the inside and a perfect golden brown on the outside.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you made the recipe and enjoyed it, Rachel! Thank you for sharing your experience! xo

  8. Judy says

    Hello minimalist team, I’d love to make this, your recipes are “theBomb” I’ve had great success with so very many of them, but first, I have 2 questions.
    1. Instead of the expense of procuring all those individual flours, can I use 1/3 Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 gluten free + 1/3 oat flour? Or some ratio thereof ?
    2. Can I replace the cornmeal with millet flour in this recipe. It has a similar texture. sorry, but I don’t do corn (meal) it’s all GMO and I don’t trust when they say organic isn’t GMO, too. Icy conflicting evidence, and there’s no guarantee with cross pollination. I’ve use millet flour when making pizza crust, and on the pan for a crispy crust.
    Thanks for the assistance. Keep up the great work of helping all of us happy home cooks to continue baking minimalistic way.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Judy, we’re so glad you’ve had success with so many of our recipes! We think they will turn out more dense vs. light and fluffy if subbing Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 and oat flour because it will have a lesser amount of the starchy flours. But if you want to try it, we’d suggest 1/3 cup oat flour and ~2 cups GF flour blend, adding more as needed for the texture in the photos. Millet flour would be fine in place of cornmeal, or you can just leave it out!

  9. Kirilly says

    These look delicious! Do you think a flax egg would work in place of the chia egg? Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kirilly, we find ground chia is a little better at binding, but flax might be okay. We’d suggest using 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal. Let us know how it goes!

    • Mandy says

      Hi @Kirilly: I was out of chia seeds and I had your idea of grinding up some flax seeds instead — I used the same ratio. Turned out delicious and the texture was spot-on. Plus the flax lends some pretty flecks in the dough. I’ve made two batches of these so far and I can’t keep them in our house longer than a few days! :)

  10. Thomas Karlmann says

    What would you suggest as substitute for the “Potato Flour/starch”?
    I don’t eat potatoes.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Thomas, potato starch is key for making gluten-free baked goods light and fluffy. The next best alternatives would be corn starch or more oat flour, but we can’t guarantee the texture will be the same.

    • Victoria Evanko says

      Hi there, what temp are these to be baked at in the oven? I think the temp may be missing in the recip. Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sheila, we find quinoa flour has a stronger flavor, but it might work okay structurally. Let us know if you try it!

  11. Oakhurst Park says

    I woke up this morning craving English muffins. Having bought some disgusting GF vegan ones a few years ago I assumed I was hosed. Then I got this magical recipe in my inbox. HOW DID YOU KNOW?!?!

    Made them and ate them. I didn’t have any oat flour ready so I used sorghum flour instead. They turned out AMAZING! Perfect. Delicious. The only thing I’ll change next time I make them (I will be making these on the reg BTW) is that I would make 8 muffins instead of 6. They were a bit on the big side for me.

    Thank you Minimalist Baker!!! <3

    Please put out another cookbook :-)

  12. Colleen says

    Hello,
    this English Muffin recipe looks great but I cannot tolerate
    even certified GF oats. Do you have any ideas for a subsitute?
    Maybe amaranth flour? Quinoa Flour?
    Thanks,
    Colleen

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Colleen, we find sorghum flour usually subs well 1:1 for oat flour. We haven’t tested it in this recipe, but let us know if you do!

  13. Diane says

    Is there an option to bake these in an oven? I really need to avoid oils and fried foods. Thank you.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Diane! The nature of english muffins is that they are pan-cooked, so you could possibly start them in a nonstick skillet with no oil, but we haven’t tried it. We also have not tried baking them without pan-cooking, so we don’t know if it will work, but you could try it for 20-30 minutes. Hope this helps!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jan! We haven’t tried these without potato starch and cannot guarantee results. We think corn starch or more oat flour might work, but we aren’t sure. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

  14. Tatiana says

    Ooh these look delicious! Do you have any recommendations for a gluten-free substitute to cornmeal? Corn is highly inflammatory for me so I try to avoid it as much as possible.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tatiana! The corn meal is an optional ingredient, as it is primarily included for a classic english muffin look, and doesn’t add much taste. If you are worried about sticking, you could probably use some oat flour? Hope this helps!

      • Judy says

        Hi Tatiana, I have the same inquiries. I’ve used millet flour to dust the pan when making a pizza crust. It creates a friction on the pan and give you that crisp crust.

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Danielle! We haven’t tried that so we aren’t sure if it would work, but it could. The same amount should be a good place to start. Let us know how it goes!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Angela! We haven’t tried these without potato starch so we cannot guarantee results, but we think corn starch or more oat flour would be your best bet. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

  15. Ashlee says

    These look wonderful! Question: is there any substitute for the chia seeds? (No chia or flax for me.) How about an egg? Thank you for your thoughts!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ashlee! We haven’t tried this recipe with eggs so we cannot guarantee results. We think an egg might add too much extra liquid, but we aren’t sure. A slightly lesser amount (maybe 1-2 tsp) of psyllium husk might work, but we haven’t tried it. Let us know how it goes if you give any subs a try!

  16. Kenna says

    Hi, I’m very excited to make these – have you tested this recipe using eggs instead of chia/egg replacer?

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kenna! We haven’t tried this recipe with eggs so we cannot guarantee results. We think an egg might add too much extra liquid, but we aren’t sure. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!