Basic American muffins

Basic American muffins

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Makes
12

These are one of America’s nicest gifts to the culinary world. They are light little quick breads, baked in deep, round tins and served hot for breakfast, with coffee, or with soups or salads.

It is important to remember when you mix American muffins that the liquid ingredients should be mixed into the dry ones with a few swift strokes, just enough to moisten the flour – the mixture should still be lumpy. Overmixing will produce tough, coarse-textured muffins. Spoon the mixture into each tin in one large spoonful, pushing it off with the spoon held low, to avoid stretching the elastic gluten strands in the flour.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
250ml milk
60g butter, melted

Method

  1. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Mix egg, milk and butter together, pour over dry ingredients and mix just until flour is moistened; batter should still be lumpy.
  2. Spoon into 12 well-greased 80 ml muffin tins, filling each one two-thirds full. Bake in a preheated hot oven for 20–25 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.

Variations

  • Nut or fruit muffins: Follow recipe for basic American muffins, but use 55 g sugar and add 60 g chopped nuts or dried fruit to the dry ingredients before mixing in liquid. Chopped pecans, walnuts, dried apricots, raisins or mixed dried fruit may be used. After filling muffin tins, sprinkle with sugar.

    Wholemeal muffins: Follow recipe for basic American muffins, using 150 g wholemeal and 150 g white flour.

    Wholemeal orange muffins: Follow method for basic American muffins, using 150 g wholemeal flour; 150 g white flour; 1 tablespoon baking powder; ¼ teaspoon salt; 115 g firmly packed brown sugar; juice 2 oranges; grated zest 1 orange; 2 eggs; and 60 g butter, melted.

    Bacon or ham muffins: Follow recipe for basic American muffins, reducing sugar to 1 tablespoon and adding 3 rashers bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, or 80 g finely chopped ham, to dry ingredients before mixing in liquid.
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