I’m not much for baking; there’s too much of magic in it for me. You mix ingredients just so, put the amalgam in the oven, cook it for a precise amount of time, and, presto, there’s a tasty treat. Or not. And, if not, there’s nothing you can do. No, I like to cook main courses, I can fool with them as I please until they’re just perfect.
But muffins are my challenge of the moment. Since I can’t eat a lot of commercially-available food, I can’t just buy breakfast in the morning. And, since my business school classes will start at 8am in just a few weeks, I won’t have time to fix breakfast at home either. Muffins, convenient packages of tasty food, will fit the bill perfectly: I can easily bake a week’s worth on a Saturday or Sunday, take one with me every morning, and have tasty food during my morning class. The only problem: I don’t bake.
Time to change that, apparently. My first experiment was “banana-blueberry muffins”:http://www.24hourfitness.com/html/nutrition/recipes/breads/muffins/bb_muff/. I like banana, I like blueberry, what’s not to try?
Of course, I asked around first for some suggestions as to how to fix the muffins correctly. My “chef friend”:http://www.gojoanna.com/chefblog/ made one suggestion, repeatedly: don’t stir the batter too much! Apparently a well-stirred batter makes rubbery, bread-like muffins.
For my first batter, I stirred with restraint, used my new “Adjust-a-cup”:http://cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=184848 to measure precisely (yes, I’ve been inspired by “Alton”:http://www.altonbrown.com/pages/rants.html), and, with some trepidation, put my muffins in an over-hot oven (when my oven gets to a certain temperature, you can’t lower the temperature without turning it off).
The muffins turne out pretty well! They are definitely fluffy and tasty, which I do attribute to the limited stirring. Unfortunately, they were also pretty oily; I may try modifying the recipe to use less oil next time; my only worry is, what purpose does the oil serve? I don’t want to end up with a dry, cakey muffin. Maybe less cooking spray on my nonstick muffin pan will help (although, conveniently enough, the muffins did not stick at all). The muffins are also, sadly enough, pretty small; they didn’t rise to fill the spaces in my muffin pan, and they don’t fill me up. About one-and-a-half muffins is right, so, next time, add 50% to the recipe.