Ah, the muffin.
The quintessential breakfast quick bread.
Sure, you can break out the Martha White “just-add-milk” mix.
Or you can expend a tiny bit more effort and make a truly beautiful muffin.
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.
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.
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.
Fourth tip: Use stale muffins to top crumbles, streusels, crisps, cobblers, or crumb cakes.
If you have a good basic muffin recipe, you can do anything with it.
Basic Muffin Recipe
- 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.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking power, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
Put the sugar in a mixing bowl.
When the butter is soft, cut it into chunks and add to the mixing bowl with the sugar.
Combine the chunked butter and the sugar in a mixing bowl and mix until fluffy–about 2 minutes.
Then add eggs, one at a time.
Add half of the flour mixture,
and mix a couple of swirls,
then add 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.
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,
until you have about a Tablespoon of zest.
Get about a cup and a half of blueberries.
Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg to the batter.
Then add the berries and zest.
Fold in gently, then spoon into 12 muffin tins, lined with papers and then sprayed.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool for about 3-4 minutes before taking them out of the tins.
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.
suck it, martha.