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Oct 12, 2008 10:56 PM

English Muffins from a Bakery, preferably East Bay

Any recommendations on a bakery that sells a good English muffin? I did a search and found Sconehedge and Arizmendi mentioned. I thought Acme might make one as well. I think I've had Arizmendi's and didn't really like them.

I just bought some from the grocery store (OroWheat) and was a bit shocked at the price and figured at those prices ($3.89 for 6) I might as well look for some really good ones.

Any thoughts or recs?

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  1. My only thought was Cheeseboard, which are the best english muffins that I've had, but if you don't like Arizmendi's, you probably won't like those. I've never seen Acme ones at the bakery in Berkeley, but maybe I haven't been there at the right time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG

      I'm pretty sure Acme doesn't make them but second the Cheeseboard's.

      1. re: wally

        I agree. I've never seen English Muffins at Acme, but Cheeseboard's are darn good.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. I like the ones from Sconehenge Bakery - they are very fluffy and need extra toasting but make really great eggs benedict. Strangely, they are not vegetarian friendly as they contain gelatin . . . weird, right? But they are still pretty darn good. .. far and away better than most store bought brands.

        I found it really interesting that when Wylie Dufresne wanted to manipulate Eggs Benedict, he used Thomas' English Muffins as an element because to him, they were the most 'English muffiny". :)

      2. I've had the English mufffins from Alexis Baking Co (ABC) in downtown Napa in a great version of eggs benedict.

        Alexis Baking Co
        1517 3rd St, Napa, CA 94559

        1 Reply
        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Have you ever tried the English muffins from Model Bakery?

          I was going to try one for ML8000, but they were sold out. I don't like every bread from Model, but I was totally blown away by the pain d’epi from Model that Hog Island was serving. Much better than Acme, IMO. I might have to start picking a different loaf each time I'm in the area to get a good feel for what they excel at bread-wise. They had a marble rye I should have bought.

        2. I have recently eaten through a half-dozen each from Sconehenge, Arizmendi, and Cheeseboard.

          Arizmendi: Least favorite. Biggest at 4oz each. 6/$4 or $0.75 apiece. Dense and
          somewhat undercooked inside. When you've toasted it enough on the inside, the
          outside has gotten pretty tough. Flavor is just ok. The size, density, and cornmeal
          dusting the outside remind me a lot of Venezuelan arepas. I wonder if these might be
          better sliced in half, rather than forked, griddled in oil, and then making some sort of
          spicy pork and cheese sandwich out of them? Not quite an arepa without the corn
          flour, but it would look right.

          Cheeseboard: 3oz each. $4/6 or $0.75 apiece. Closest to thomas' in proportion
          and behaviour, though thomas' are 2oz each. Full of nooks and crannies. Toast
          up nicely and taste very good.

          Sconehenge: 3oz each. $3.65/4 only available in packages of 4. I have only seen these
          at the Berkeley Bowl. They didn't have them at the bakery/restaurant the one morning I
          inquired. Odd looking guys, they're about twice as high as you'd expect an english
          muffin to be. "Sourdough" says the label but it's not terribly noticeable. Very white and
          puffy. Nice taste and a good medium for butter and jam. I liked these the best.
          [And the Bowl really tries hard to hide these from you. If you're standing at the
          pastry counter cash register, they're directly behind you on the bottom of the
          rack with boxed pies and stuff.]

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

            Chuckles - thanks for the report, and in particular the detailed Sconehenge/BB location info. I would have never guessed the store a block away didn't sell them. And the BB bread section is just nuts...but in a good way. Out of towners see it and almost cry at the choices.

            Next time I'm at BB I'm going to grab some, despite doing the reduced carbs thing.

            Also, interesting info about Cheeseboard vs. Arizmendi. I rarely get to CB because of the hours and it's a single trip but I might have to make a stop.

            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

              I got English muffins at Arizmendi yesterday, and they were $0.60 each or 6/$3. Did they lower their prices? I had one this morning, and I agree that once they're toasted enough, their tensile strength is just too much.

            2. I need to amend my previous glowing review of Sconehenge english muffins. I recently
              bought a package and didn't notice until I got home that the label did not say "sourdough"
              on it this time. And checking the ingredients, there was no mention of gelatin (I've
              never noticed it there in any case, but as pastryqueen notes it was there sometime in
              the past).

              These non-sourdough muffins are basically white bread in a different format. There's
              nothing interesting at all about them. The texture is your basic, low-end dinner roll and
              the taste is white bread.

              This lack of any sort of english muffin essence places them at the bottom of the rankings.
              Check the bag before buying: sourdough->interesting, non-sourdough->meh.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                Thanks. I picked some up on Mon from Berkeley Bowl and I was wondering what was going on since Thomas' were actually better. I got the non-sour...also, check the expiration date. Seeing them I just picked them up and bought them. In two days they had mold...then i looked at the date, bingo, just on time.