Category Archives: Blueberry Muffins

Making Blueberry Muffins

There’s a big misconception out there that muffins are supposed to have highly domed, even conical tops. Nonsense. A peaked top is a sure sign that a muffin has been over-mixed, and that means it’ll be chewy, even gummy to the tooth. That’s not a good muffin in my book. I prefer them melt-in-your-mouth tender. Just out of the oven, when they have a touch of crispness on them, they’re a sort of an American version of paradise.

They’re mixed, unsurprisingly, via the muffin method. That’s a fast-and-easy technique that you’ve probably used before. It simply means combining (gently) two mixtures: the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients, then panning and baking. Easy! So let’s go. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next sift/whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. That’s the dry side of the equation.

Now for the wet side. Combine the butter and the sugar (yes, that’s classified as “wet” since it dissolves so quickly in water) in a bowl.

Beat those together until they’re fluffy, then beat in the egg, sour cream and milk.

It’ll look about like this:

Now all you have to do, spatula in hand, is apply the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.

Gently mix everything together.

You’ll want to just bring the mixture together. If you see a few spots of unmixed flour left, so much the better.

Add in the berries and gently fold them in as well, just until they’re evenly distributed.

Now all you need to do is fill your forms with batter and bake! You don’t need to use cupcake liners if you don’t want to do that. Just make sure your form is well lubricated.

While the muffins are baking you can get a window into how well you mixed as you wash up. Pay attention to the behavior of the residual bits of batter as you wash out your bowl. If the batter simply dissolves in the water stream, you’ve got a superior muffin to look forward to. If it puts up a fight or leaves stringy/rubbery deposits on your wash cloth or sponge, you’ll want to ease up on elbow grease next time, killer.

This is what you’re after: a tight crumb with a few irregular holes, but no “tunnels” caused by gluten formation. I think I’ll put the kettle on.

Filed under:  Blueberry Muffins, Pastry | 12 Comments

Basic Muffin Recipe

There are all kinds of muffin recipes out there, about as many as there are quick bread recipes (if not more). That’s what American muffins are of course, portion-sized quick breads. But more on that later. This recipe will work with lots of different inclusions…berries especially, but chocolate chips, nuts, all sorts of stuff. It’s a great launching pad for any of your own ideas.

10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
4.25 ounces (1/2 cup) sour cream or buttermilk, room temperature
2 ounces (1/4 cup) milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 1 1/2- 2 cups fresh or dried berries (3/4 – 1 cup chocolate piece or nuts)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin mold. Sift the dry ingredients except for the sugar together into a medium bowl. In a large bowl cream the sugar and the butter with a wooden spoon until it’s light and fluffy. Beat the eggs into the butter/sugar mixture one at a time, then the sour cream, milk and vanilla. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl and gently fold it all together, leaving a few spots of unmixed flour. Add the…whatever, and stir until it’s all just incorporated. Fill the molds about 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and eat!

Filed under:  Anything Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, Pastry | 27 Comments