Thursday, July 7, 2011

Muffin Baking

Muffins are a mainstay around our house. They are just as nutritious as they are good to eat. They are quicker and easier to make than cookies and usually contain much less sugar and fat. We usually eat them for breakfast, but they like with any meal. (For Easter, we served cranberry nut muffins with a ham dinner.) They work well for snacks and desserts as well. Extras can be frozen and warmed in the microwave for hot muffins anytime.

Today we will make muffins using the "muffin method". (Just as there are two major makeup methods for quick breads, there are two methods for muffins muffin method and the method of skimming.) The muffin method, liquid and dry ingredients are mixed separately and then stir together until just combined. We will include tips and guidance to the perfect and some muffins Streusel topping and recipes to crown your creations with.

To make muffins with muffin method, select a favorite recipe muffin no urge to whip the sugar into fat. (Look for a recipe that calls for that oil or melted butter.)

In preparation, be greased muffin cups. We like the oils of an aerosol spray to reach the corners of boxes. Be sure to cover the upper edges of the muffins will leak during cooking. (You can use paper liners, but when the dough is slightly sticky to the paper, you will be slightly below the muffins.)

Preheat the oven to preheat. Temperature is one of the secrets to those who are well domed muffins that you find in stores cook better. Commercial ovens use precise parameters of the heat and timers. In the kitchen, we can combine these results by:

o Make sure the oven is completely heated before baking. We like to let the oven sit at full temperature for at least ten minutes before cooking so the heat absorbed in the furnace structure.

o Close the door as quickly as possible to keep the heat trapped.

o Setting the temperature to a higher setting and lowering the initial temperature later. The higher heat creates a vapor explosion that raises the dough.

o Place the muffins in the upper third of oven, as it tends to be warmer and more constant.

Always accurate measurement of the flour using a scale, if you have one. Recipes for muffins are sensitive to the ratio of flour to liquid. Too much flour and the muffin will not rise properly and will be dry. Too little flour and the muffin will run on the banks of the muffin cup, rather than dome nicely. If you need to adjust your favorite recipe, the change of the flour with a tablespoon or two.

For the cake-like muffins, use a protein content of cake flour or pastry flour. Higher protein all-purpose or bread flour will make a muffin that is rubbery and more bread-like.

Return to the mix:

Whisk dry ingredients in large bowl to make sure that the baking powder and other ingredients well combined. Set aside.

Whisk egg in a bowl with a whisk or fork French. Add remaining liquid and whisk again. (Some recipes require you to mix the sugar and salt in the liquid, rather than add to dry ingredients, to ensure that they dissolve completely and are distributed equitably. We prefer to do this with all receipts muffins, not cream. )

Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add the liquid at a time. Stir with a spatula until well blended and moist-some pieces back. Do not over stir-stir too much to develop the gluten in the flour and the muffin will not be tender and crumbly. To avoid puddling, we prefer a spatula to a mixer.

If using fruit in your muffins, fold them gently at the end of your mix with a minimum number of layers. Fruit crushes easily in the thick juice and stain the dough.

Fill muffin pan with a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Make sure the muffin cups are filled evenly, so they cook evenly. Most recipes direct that the muffin cups to be filled 2 / 3 'full to allow room for expansion. If your dough is the right consistency, you can fill in for a nice dome on the muffins.

Bake until light golden. The top of bread is expected to rebound when pressed gently with your finger and a toothpick inserted into center should come out clean. Plus baked muffins will be dry and tough. During the muffins can be wet and heavy.

It is easy to tear muffins warm by trying to lift the cans. Rather than allow the muffins a few minutes and you should be able to easily take them out intact. Place on a cooling rack to continue.

Muffins are best served warm and not keeping well beyond the first day. Freeze extras.

Now, for those Streusel recipes we promised:

Brown Sugar Walnut Streusel Topping and

1 / 2 cup walnut pieces

1 / 2 cup brown sugar

1 / 2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon cold butter

1st Chop nuts into small pieces.

2nd Stir in nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon.

3rd Cut the cold butter with a pastry cutter or two table knives.

4th Pour mixture over dough Streusel muffins before baking evenly.

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

1 / 2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon of good quality

6 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. When you remove the muffins from the tins, dip still warm muffins in butter, then roll tops in cinnamon sugar mixture.

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