One of the most popular breakfast foods we can make is muffins. They can be eaten warm or cold, with butter, cream cheese or jam, and will withstand the trip to the office where you can heat them in the office kitchen microwave to enjoy with your morning coffee or tea.
Whether you make yours from-scratch or from-mix here are a couple things you should know to give them good texture and a great rise in the oven. The first is the mixing process. Begin with all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then add all the wet ingredients at once and mix immediately but just enough to mix in the dry ingredients. A properly mixed muffin batter is actually slightly lumpy. A smooth batter means it has been over-mixed. Why does this matter? Well, poorly mixed muffins tend to rise unevenly in the oven and often have large air tunnels in them.
Next let’s cover the rise. Muffins, like most quick breads, rely on quick acting baking powder or baking soda. These powders begin working the moment they come in contact with liquid. Anyone who has added baking soda to vinegar in science class will understand what I mean by “quick.” Once those bubbles start to form you want the batter to be in the oven so the muffin will rise and stay that way. This is why you should always preheat an oven when baking muffins. This is also why you shouldn’t mix the muffins, take a shower, and then put them in the oven. The sooner you get the batter in a hot oven the better.
Now you’ve gotten the muffins mixed and in the oven. Once they come out, remove them from the pan and let those gorgeous goodies rest about five minutes. That’s hard when they look so yummy. But allowing them to cool slightly will allow the muffin structure to solidify nicely so they will break apart properly and be just right.
That’s how you make magnificent muffins. To give you incentive to try my ideas, I’m passing you this recipe from a Bed & Breakfast along the Maine coast. You’re just 30 minutes away from a real flavor treat.
Cinnamon Oat MuffinsCourse: Breakfast
1 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup quick oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
How to Make It
- Prepare one small 12-muffin or large 6-muffin tin with muffin papers or oil.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix all the dry muffin ingredients together (quick oats through salt).
- Add in sour cream, melted butter, and eggs. Stir just until well combined.
- The batter will be stiff at first but don’t add more liquid.
- Evenly divide the batter into the muffin cups.
- In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup quick oats and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Sprinkle over the tops of the muffin batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 17-18 minutes for small muffins or 20-22 minutes for large muffins.
- Serve warm with a little butter.