The Basic Muffin + Endless Variations

Ah, the muffin.

from wovets

from wovets

The quintessential breakfast quick bread.

Sure, you can break out the Martha White “just-add-milk” mix.

from thekrazykouponlady

from thekrazykouponlady

Or you can expend a tiny bit more effort and make a truly beautiful muffin.

from coconutandquinoa

from coconutandquinoa

All it takes is a little knowledge to make excellent muffins every time.

First tip: Mix the dry and wet ingredients together with a rubber spatula, and don’t over mix. Overmixing makes for touch muffins. Lumps are okay.

from kemkellogs

from kemkellogs

Second tip: Even if you’re using paper muffin cups, spray the tops of the pans. This keeps any drips or large muffin caps from sticking.

from howtobaker

from howtobaker

Third tip: If you don’t fill each muffin cup with batter, fill it with water before baking. This keeps the muffin tin from warping and the steam helps keep the baking muffins moist.

from 5dollardinners

from 5dollardinners

Fourth tip: Use stale muffins to top crumbles, streusels, crisps, cobblers, or crumb cakes.

from babble

from babble

If you have a good basic muffin recipe, you can do anything with it.

Basic Muffin Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400.

Soften, but don’t melt, the butter. I do this by putting my stick of butter on the stove while it preheats.

softening butter

softening butter

Combine flour, baking soda, baking power, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

dry ingredients, mixed

dry ingredients, mixed

Put the sugar in a mixing bowl.

sugar

sugar

When the butter is soft, cut it into chunks and add to the mixing bowl with the sugar.

softened

softened

butter and sugar

butter and sugar

Combine the chunked butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until fluffy–about 2 minutes.

all fluffy

all fluffy

Then add eggs, one at a time.

one egg

one egg

mixed

mixed

two eggs

two eggs

mixed

mixed

Add half of the flour mixture,

half the flour mixture

half the flour mixture

and mix a couple of swirls,

mixed a couple of swirls

mixed a couple of swirls

then add half of the buttermilk.

half of the buttermilk

half of the buttermilk

Gently mix and then add the other half of the flour mixture and the other half of the buttermilk. Gently mix everything together until just combined.

I forgot to take a picture of the completed dough.

I’m sorry.

from gamespot

from gamespot

So, combining everything this way will give you the fluffiest and most tender muffins. Alternatively you could just add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix, but trust me–you want to take the extra 3 minutes to do it the first way.

Using the basic muffin recipe, you can make any type of muffins. I chose to make orange-blueberry today.

To do this, zest an orange,

zesting an orange

zesting an orange

until you have about a Tablespoon of zest.

zest!

zest!

Get about a cup and a half of blueberries.

blueberries

blueberries

Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg to the batter.

spiced

spiced

Then add the berries and zest.

berries & zest

berries & zest

Fold in gently, then spoon into 12 muffin tins, lined with papers and then sprayed.

empty tins

empty tins

filled tins

filled tins

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

baked

baked

Let the muffins cool for about 3-4 minutes before taking them out of the tins.

buttered muffin

buttered muffin

Maybe add some butter to a hot muffin.

Other add-ins you can use include: dried or fresh fruit, chocolate chips, cinnamon and dried apples, candied ginger and raisins, dried cranberries and orange zest, blueberries and lemon zest, and folks the list just goes on and on.

You can also jazz up muffins with jam–either top the uncooked batter with a spoonful of jam before baking or spoon some jam into the tin before the batter.

jam

jam

suck it, martha.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Food & Drink, Tips

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

2 Comments on “The Basic Muffin + Endless Variations”

  1. Earthmomma
    January 9, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

    They were excellent. This is my process as well and the recipe also except I use bananas or Apple sauce in lieu of buttermilk.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: