Six simple steps ensure golden, tender, moist, and fragrant muffins every time you bake them.
The ease of muffing making is vividly illustrated by the six photographs shown at right for classic blueberry muffins preparing the muffin tin, mixing dry and liquid ingredients, stirring the batter, filling the muffin tin, and baking and testing for doneness.
Of course, some added insights will speed you along the path to producing perfect muffins. Preparing the tin, for example, is a step that, although simple, sometimes gets scant attention.
Coating the cups thoroughly with butter keeps the muffins from sticking; since it also promotes their browning, the step is recommended even for stick-resistant cookware.
If you’re watching your cholesterol or fats, substitute margarine or vegetable shortening; or use a nonstick cooking spray, making sure each muffin cup is evenly coated.
And if you would like the honey touch of paper muffin cups, by all means, line the tins with them, omitting the greasing step.
When blending the batter, take special care not to overmix it an error that overdevelops the flour’s gluten and promotes toughness.
A light hand, sometimes resulting in a slightly lumpy batter, yields the most tender muffins. Since many home ovens cook hotter or cooler than the temperatures to which they are set, it is also wise to calibrate your oven.
Place a good-quality oven thermometer on the center rack and use the temperature it registers as your guide to adjusting the heat.
The recipes in this book call for a standard muffin tin (6-tablespoon13 1/2 –fl oz/110-ml cup capacity), usually yielding 12 muffing. If you bake the batter in oversized or miniature muffin tins, the yield will vary.
So will baking times, with oversized muffing taking a few minutes longer to bake completely, and miniatures a few minutes less; be sure to te4wst for doneness.
Finally, if you have only one muffin tin, bake the batter in batches; the batter will keep at room temperature until the first batch of muffins is done.
1. Buttering the tins
First, preheat the oven to the temperature called for in the recipe. To prevent muffins from sticking, prepare the tin by lightly but thoroughly coating the cups with softened butter, using a paper towel, if you like, to keep your fingers clean.
2. Mixing the dry ingredients
Measure all the dry ingredients flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, salt, and other seasonings and put them in a large mixing bowl. With a flat whisk, wooden spoon, or other implements, stir well to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
3. Mixing the liquid ingredients.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients such as milk or cream, eggs, melted butter, and oil until thoroughly combined.
4. Stirring the batter
Combine the liquid and dry ingredients and stir just until the batter is blended. A few lumps are okay; do not overmix or the muffing may be tough
5. Filling the muffin cups.
Just before filling the cups, and any solid ingredients, in this case, blueberries and stir briefly until incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them to the depth called for in the recipe usually two-thirds to three–quarters full. Place the muffin tin on the middle rack of the preheated oven.
6. Testing for doneness.
Check the muffins when the minimum baking time called for in the recipe has elapsed. If they wear well recipe has elapsed.
If they are well risen and golden, test for doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done; if some batter clings to the toothpick, bake a few more minutes before testing again.
Cool in the tin for a few minutes, then remove.
Some Other Cooking Tips