Baking the Perfect Muffin
You don’t need to know the muffin man to enjoy fabulous muffins! Muffins are quick and easy to make and can be enjoyed any time of day — with meals or on their own. Here’s how to make the perfect muffin every time:
Preparing Muffin Pans
- Grease muffin cups or use muffin cup liners.
- To create those perfectly rounded muffin tops you see in bakeries, grease only the bottoms and halfway up the sides of the muffin cup.
- Do not grease any muffin cup that will not be used. The grease will burn onto the pan. Instead, fill empty cups with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water to keep the pan from warping.
Preparing the Batter
- Start with ingredients at room temperature.
- To make fluffier muffins, substitute buttermilk or yogurt for the milk in the recipe and add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the dry ingredients for each cup of buttermilk or yogurt used.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl using a whisk and then make a well in the center using the back of a wooden spoon. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl, pour into the well of the dry ingredients and gently mix together.
- Do not overmix the batter; overmixing produces a tough texture. To combine the wet and dry ingredients, use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and gently stir just until the dry ingredients are moist. Do not try to smooth out the batter; it should have some lumps.
- For uniform muffins, use a measuring cup or ice-cream scoop to fill the muffin cups.
- Do not fill muffin cups more than three-quarters full.
Ways to Add Extra Nutrition
- Add dried or fresh fruit or heart-healthy nuts after mixing the wet and dry ingredients. Just give the batter one more gentle stir after the addition.
- Replace half the regular flour with whole-wheat pastry flour.
- Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Set muffin pan on wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before removing muffins from cups.
- To remove warm muffins from the pan, run a dinner knife around the edges, then under the bottom and tilt it out of the pan.
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