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Old 11-22-2015, 06:08 PM   #1
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Question about making muffins

I have several muffin recipes I want to try. I like muffins with big, puffy tops. Sometimes I achieve that and sometimes they're more flat.

What are the variables that determine how this turns out? I'm looking for ways to evaluate recipes to figure out in advance of making them whether they will have this result, and if not, how I can tweak the recipe so they will.

Also, different recipes say to fill the cups halfway or most of the way, etc. What do you usually do and why?

Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:38 PM   #2
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A thick batter will rise up instead of out. I always fill my batter to the rim of the cup, no whimpy muffins for me!

One thing to help them jump is start them in a hotter oven for the first 10 minutes then lower the temp for the remainder, like 375 then down to 325. I don't always bother doing this though.

Here is a winner of a recipe, it's my basic muffin batter that I add things to. Fill them to the top and you'll get a nice big crown on the muffin. The mixing method is the same as the reverse creaming done for cake and creates a really nice texture.

4 cups all purpose flour
1 cups white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
teaspoon baking soda
cup softened butter
1 cups buttermilk (or sour milk)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray muffin tin or line with paper liners.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix to combine. Add softened butter, and mix with mixer until combined and the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Beat together, buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Add to the dry mixture and stir just until combined, don’t over mix, a slightly lumpy batter is what you are looking for. Add desired add ins.
Fill prepared muffin cups to the very top. Bake until done, time will depend on muffin pan size.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:47 PM   #3
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Thanks, Bakechef! One of the recipes I've made is orange-cranberry (I replaced the cranberries with dried cherries) and it uses orange juice for the liquid. So I guess I could replace the buttermilk with orange juice in your recipe and it should work, right?

And I should be looking for recipes with a ratio of about 4:1 flour to liquid. Kewl
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Thanks, Bakechef! One of the recipes I've made is orange-cranberry (I replaced the cranberries with dried cherries) and it uses orange juice for the liquid. So I guess I could replace the buttermilk with orange juice in your recipe and it should work, right?

And I should be looking for recipes with a ratio of about 4:1 flour to liquid. Kewl
I'm thinking that the acidity in the OJ should be a good substitute for the buttermilk. Let me know how it turns out!
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:39 AM   #5
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I'm thinking that the acidity in the OJ should be a good substitute for the buttermilk. Let me know how it turns out!
I will! About how many muffins does your recipe make?
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:44 AM   #6
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Thank you for your muffin recipe, Bakechef. Copied and saved.
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Old 11-23-2015, 07:03 PM   #7
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I will! About how many muffins does your recipe make?
You should get a solid two dozen filling them to the top, or more depending on how many add-ins you do.

I've made
butter pecan (butterscotch chips with toasted pecans)
Cinnamon chip
chocolate chip
blueberry (I usually zest a lemon into the batter) sometimes top with cinnamon struesel
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Old 11-24-2015, 09:30 AM   #8
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bakechef - I love banana nut muffins. How could I incorporate bananas into this recipe?
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Old 11-24-2015, 03:50 PM   #9
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The two elements that allow quick breads like muffins to rise are an acid and an alkaline base. The chemical reaction creates carbon dioxide. Ingredients like baking powder, which is made from baking soda (alkaline) and cream of tartar (acid) have both elements. Liquid is the catalyst that starts the reaction.

If you have a recipe that calls for baking soda alone, it needs an acidic element, such as buttermilk - or orange juice - as your recipe example mentions, to cause the reaction.

It's also important to not let the batter sit for very long after mixing, as the chemical reaction will eventually subside.

And as Bakechef points out, thicker batter will also help because it keeps the carbon dioxide trapped within the batter rather than just escaping through the surface.
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Old 11-24-2015, 05:03 PM   #10
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bakechef - I love banana nut muffins. How could I incorporate bananas into this recipe?
This is a wonderful recipe that I made muffins from.

Banana Bread (with optional nuts)
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