Most people rarely think twice about the history of the simplest things that surround us. One of these is the history of muffins - the little sweet American or English desserts that have become a favorite for so many peoples around the world.
Muffins can be sweet or savory, with a filling or a spicy taste, but no matter how they're made they are always perfect. Usually they have a somewhat moist structure, with a soft texture of the dough and they double their volume during baking. The ingredients can vary depending on one's personal tastes and they are considered a traditional American breakfast.
This technique includes a process where all of the dry ingredients are mixed together separately from the wet ones, then the wet ones are poured into the dry ones, not the other way around, and are then quickly mixed with a spoon, a wooden one if possible.
Due to the fact that the dough is runnier in comparison to other types of dough, such as for tartlets for example, the fact that it's quick to knead and that it retains more moisture is absolutely essential. Otherwise, more gluten would form in it and the resulting muffins would have a gummy and compact structure.
When using fruits, pick whole ones, which you can easily place in the dough - blueberries, blackcurrants, raspberries or blackberries. It's best to break chocolate up into small pieces but you'd get an even better result if you use chocolate chips.
When using meat and cheese, they also need to be cut into small pieces, so they don't cause issues during baking. All types of filling need to be added during the last stage of dough making or directly into it when you've placed the dough in the muffin cups.
To successfully make delicious muffins you need to know that:
- before you bake them, it's recommended to preheat the oven to 392°F (200 °C).
- when mixing the wet and dry ingredients, you shouldn't make more than 15 movements and turns with the spoon, plus you should do it from the bottom going up.
- always pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, not vice versa because this really does make a difference in quality.
- you have to stick to the proportions in a given recipe and try to measure out the exact quantities of the ingredients.
- don't open the oven door during the first 20 min. of baking, and then to check if they're ready afterward, use the dry toothpick method.