Photo Credit: Anthony-Masterson/getty images
In all my years of muffin-making, I’ve picked up several tricks to yield substantial, satisfying muffins with terrific flavor, appearance and texture. Some tricks I learned on the job—in a commercial bakery, as a recipe tester and in my own kitchen—and others I’ve gleaned through many years of trial and error. Having children helps, because little kid-hands always beg for muffins, so a fresh batch is never far away.
Here are some tips to yield perfect muffins every time:
Use a light touch when mixing ingredients. Over-mixing causes tough muffins, and while you do generally want a tight crumb and more heft than cupcakes, no one wants a tough muffin.
Use heavy gauge tins to promote browning. Flimsy tins and even pricy silicone molds, although they release muffins easily, don’t provide that nice, brown crust you want in a muffin.
Spoon a little of your dry ingredients over heavy add-ins, like blueberries or chocolate chips, then give a quick stir. Doing so prevents these ingredients from sinking to the bottom of your muffins.
Sprinkle the top of raw muffin batter with coarse sugar for a nice, sweet crunch. Try demerara sugar, which is available in larger supermarkets, kitchenware stores, and online.
After baking, let muffins stand for a few minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. If you try to turn them out while they’re still hot, they’ll tear, and you’ll weep.
There. Go on now. Make muffins.