“Do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man,
Do you know the muffin man who lives in Drury Lane.”
~English nursery rhyme~
The muffin method of baking is fairly simple and straightforward. Mix the wet ingredients, mix the dry ingredients then combine them until they just come together. Be careful not to over mix (a few lumps in the batter are o.k.).
Typically you would set the oven to 500°F then drop to the temperature to 400ºF when placing muffins in the oven. This change in temperature helps to give the muffins their characteristic peak. If incorporating nuts or other heat-sensitive ingredients in your batter, set the oven for 350ºF and bake for 20-25 minutes.
The muffin method is versatile, forgiving and quick. You can use the basic recipe (listed below) and get creative by using different flours and an assortment of ingredients. Depending on your additions, you may need to adjust the amount of oil, sugar and flour. This may result in an unfamiliar texture so continue to experiment until you get it to the way you prefer.
Muffins make for a portable, easy-to-make snack and can be made either sweet or savoury.
Basic Muffin Recipe
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (can be reduced for health reasons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk (soy, rice, almond, cow)
1/4 cup oil or melted butter (can be reduced for health reasons)
2 eggs or equivalent egg substitute
The weather outside is frightful and a hot oven is so delightful. It’s been muffin mania around here and here are just a few of my flavour combinations that go well in muffins.
- banana walnut bran
- cranberry pecan with maple syrup as sweetener
- trail mix/muesli: oatmeal, coconut and a variety of dried fruit, seeds and nuts
- pizza style: tomato, cheese, olive, basil
- broccoli and cheese (vegetarian or vegan cheese works well)
- spinach, sun-dried tomato and pine nut
- cornmeal with corn, onion and sweet and hot peppers
For a healthy and nutritionally balanced muffin, be sure to include some protein and fibre in your mix.