Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Whole wheat summer berry muffins and baking tips

A tender whole-wheat muffin, filled with sweet summer berries.

I've been on a muffin baking kick lately. Muffins are so quick to make (instant gratification!) and I throw in just about anything I can scavenge out of the back of the fridge or freezer. This recipe produces a hearty muffin, and with whole wheat, yogurt and berries, it makes a great breakfast on the go.  I used a frozen berry mixture, but you can experiment with any fruit combination you like. Chopped strawberries would be delicious as well! Below the recipe are my tips for baking beautifully domed, tender muffins.

Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Muffins
Adapted from allrecipes

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup bran (the ingredient, not the cereal!)
3/4 cup sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used 2%)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mixed berries, fresh or frozen

  • Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  • Add the berries to the flour mixture and gently mix so that the berries are coated with flour.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the egg, milk, yogurt and oil until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and gently fold the batter until just combined - there should be lots of little lumps!
  • Pour the batter into the muffin tin and reduce temperature to 350F.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out with a few dry crumbs.

Muffin baking troubleshooting:
For a long time I watched as trays and trays of  my muffins emerged from the oven either totally flat or resembling miniature replicas of exploding volcanoes. I so craved those beautiful, domed muffin tops. Finally, after much googling and too many muffin recipes to count, I'd like to share my muffin baking tips. Simple tips, but nevertheless helpful!

-In fact, do not "mix" muffin batter at all! Master the technique of folding (how to fold ingredients). Use a big rubber spatula. If your muffins have little weirdly-shaped bubble "tunnels" , or are rubbery, you are guilty of over-mixing. Remember: flour lumps are friends.

2. Start with a hotter oven temperature
-I just could not get domed muffin tops... until I started with a hotter oven temperature. This is the number-one tip that changed my world of muffin baking. Play around until you find the perfect "start" temperature for your muffins (too hot, and your muffins will have volcano peaks instead of domes).

3. Do not overbake muffins
-There's a fine line between raw, gooey muffins and overcooked muffins. It's easy to tell when you have gooey muffin centers, but I hadn't realized just how important it is to watch out for over-baking your muffins as well. With the toothpick test, you do not want it to come out completely clean - there should be a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick.

If you have any more muffin tips, please share them in the comments below!

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of using multiple kinds of berries in one muffin. Normally I just stick with blueberries, but raspberries and blackberries would be delicious too! :)