Baking Using The Muffin Method
Imagine biting into a warm, freshly baked muffin on a Sunday morning as you sip your cup of coffee and read the newspaper. You revel in the fact that you didn’t let those overly ripe bananas go to waste, but instead made something delicious and satisfying out of them.
As a baking enthusiast, you love making delectable baked goods for yourself, friends, and family. But you also know that there’s more to baking than just throwing ingredients together in a bowl, mixing them, and sliding them into the oven. No, baking is a science complete with unique methods and practices.
The same goes for baking muffins. You can’t bake the perfect one without using the muffin method. By the end of this article, you’ll learn how to master the muffin method, and how to use it in other aspects of baking.
Why is the Muffin Method Important?
The defining factor of a well-baked muffin is that it has a heavy and dense consistency.
This is achieved by using the muffin method. The key is to keep liquid and dry ingredients separate until the end and avoiding overmixing. This way, the flour won’t form gluten in the process, which causes muffins to be soft and airy.
This baking method prevents tunnels and air pockets from forming in muffins as they develop in the oven. So, when they are done, they have a heavy consistency as opposed to a cupcake, which is light and fluffy.
The Muffin Method Step-by-Step
Now that you’re aware of why the muffin method is so important, we will go through it step-by-step. While it’s a relatively simple process, doing it correctly is the deciding factor between a mediocre muffin and an outstanding muffin.
Add all of your dry ingredients into a large bowl.
Dry ingredients typically consist of flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Depending on the recipe, you may have to sift your flour before adding the other dry ingredients.
Whisk your dry ingredients to combine.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix your wet ingredients together.
Wet ingredients typically consist of eggs, sugar, vanilla, butter, or another type of fat, and any fruits or vegetables you’re using to flavor the muffins.
Mix your ingredients together well until you see little bubbles form on the surface.
Combine your wet and dry ingredients by creating a well in your dry ingredients. This is done by placing the back of a large metal spoon, such as a ladle, in the middle of your dry ingredients to create a hole with walls around it.
Then slowly pour the mixed wet ingredients into the middle of the well.
Lastly, gently mix your dry and wet ingredients together using the folding method with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
Do not use an electric mixer for this, as it can over mix your batter, creating gluten and air pockets as they bake.
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More Than Just Muffins
The muffin method is used for baking more than just muffins. It is also used in recipes for pancakes, waffles, and quick breads.
A good rule of thumb is if a baked good is made from a batter and is supposed to have a dense consistency, then use the muffin method to make it.
To get the perfect muffin every time, we’ve included a few extra tips for you to follow.
- Melt fat ingredients and let them cool before mixing in with the other wet ingredients.
- Don’t overmix the matter to avoid creating air pockets and the formation of gluten.
- To prepare the batter ahead of time, keep wet and dry ingredients separate until you’re ready to bake.
Master Even More Baking Methods
You could learn even more baking methods and enhance your kitchen skills through our online classes with one-on-one access to a chef instructor.
Or take your education to the next level and earn an online pastry degree or diploma from Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.
If you enjoyed this article, read these next:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Cake Decorating
- Best Breads For Sandwiches
- 6 Types of Culinary & Pastry Careers in the Food Service Industry
This article was originally published on March 13, 2014, and has been updated.