Your guide to the ‘Muffin Method’ and all your questions answered
It’s time for another mixing method.
(Quick recap: A mixing method is the order or process by which you incorporate different ingredients together to make a cake, cookie, pie dough, muffin etc.. Different mixing methods produce different textures and knowing how to use them and which one to use is important for creating a certain type of baked good).
Today we’re talking about The Muffin Method, which along with these baking secrets, will have you baking the kind of muffins all your friends and family rave about.
What is the Muffin Method?
This method of mixing is typically used for making muffins, quick breads, waffles, and pancakes but can also be used for cakes that use a liquid fat.
It has 4 main steps:
- All dry ingredients (e.g. flour, sugar, salt, baking powder/soda, spices etc.) are sifted into a large bowl and then whisked until well combined.
- In a medium sized bowl, all wet ingredients (e.g. eggs, milk, cream, liquid fat, vanilla extract and sugar) are whisked together.
– Incorporating the sugar with the wet ingredients enables better distribution as the liquid helps the sugar to dissolve – Mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately first enables an even distribution of ingredients
- Using the back of a large metal spoon, a well is made in the dry mixture (i.e. a hole in the middle of the mixture).
– this helps even distribution of the wet ingredients
4. The wet ingredients are combined with the dry ingredients and are gently folded together until just combined (about 10 folds)
What does it mean to “fold”?
Folding is a technique used to limit over-mixing.
To fold, hold the spoon at the top of the bowl and ‘cut’ down through the middle in a straight line, and then bring the spoon up around one side of the bowl, like so:
Folding (opposed to stirring) the wet and dry mixtures together helps to prevent too much gluten from forming – producing a light and fluffy texture and avoiding a chewy, tough texture with ‘tunnels’ (large gas bubbles).
Any fruit, chocolate, nuts etc. are also added at this stage.
The mixture is then spooned into the prepared pan ready to be baked.
The most important ‘rule’ to remember about this method is to not over mix. Why? Because over mixing produces more gluten which results in tunneling, chewy and tough textured baked goods.
Other methods to take a look at: The Creaming Method