Lesson #2 Muffin Method – Orange Blueberry Muffins

2 Oct

Let’s have a chat about muffins and what makes them tick.

The muffin method is one of my favorite baking methods for a few reasons. First off you don’t need solid fat for the muffin method, which you do for pies, biscuits and most cakes and therefore this makes it a healthier option.

Second, its pretty easy to remember: Mix dry and wet ingredients separately in different bowls. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in any solid ingredients like nuts or berries.

It’s a good idea to measure all your ingredients out first so you can double check yourself. Plus when you put it together like this you feel like a famous TV chef…

Third, it’s an easy-going method and pretty low maintenance, you don’t have to worry about lumps – they A- okay.  The picture below is of a different muffin recipe, see the little lumps? Doesn’t the perfectionist in you just want to get them out with the whisk? DON”T give in to the temptation. You WILL end up with hockey pucks.

The only thing I think you can do to mess up the muffin method is over-mix and produce too much gluten. ( Gluten is the stuff we try to produce by kneading dough that makes bread chewy, but it’s something we don’t want to produce in a more delicate tender muffin )

The muffin method also produces a kind of laid back whatever goes kind of interior structure. Big and little popped bubbles all over the place, with uneven yet tender crumbs that fall apart. Nothing prim and proper like the organized structure of a cake, which is much easier to mess up in my opinion.

Since we are only on week two of our class, I figured the free-spirited muffin method would be a great next lesson, now that we have measuring techniques down pat with those cookies.

This muffin recipe is pretty flexible.  In the mood for something with more of an autumn feel? Substitute apple cider and chopped apples or pear. Chocolate chips? No problem!Experiment. Have fun. Make a mess. Relax with simplicity that is…… the muffin method!

Orange Blueberry Muffins

www.lessonsinfood.wordpress.com original recipe

1 cup fat-free milk ( or whole milk if desired)

1/3 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1 tsp orange extract

1  orange –  zested

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups blueberries ( fresh or frozen – organic please – blueberries are on the pesticide dirty dozen..yuck!)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Let’s play a game….don’t read below for directions just yet. Just by looking at the ingredients and recalling the method – how do these most likely go together?

Ooooo….that was fun….did you have fun? Scroll down and see if you were right!

 

Whisk all wet ingredients  in a bowl. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix until just combined. Don’t over mix, some small lumps are okay. Gently fold in blueberries.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. 

 Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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