Basic Muffins

Published January 1, 1997.

Why this recipe works:

When developing our muffin recipe, we wanted to wind up with a muffin with a rich, full flavor and a thick, crisp crust protecting its fragile, tender crumb. We wanted our muffin recipe to produce a real beauty, sporting a perfectly round, mushroom-like cap with a pronounced and crisp… read more

When developing our muffin recipe, we wanted to wind up with a muffin with a rich, full flavor and a thick, crisp crust protecting its fragile, tender crumb. We wanted our muffin recipe to produce a real beauty, sporting a perfectly round, mushroom-like cap with a pronounced and crisp overhang. We began by testing mixing techniques and chose creaming, which produced the most tender crumb. Liquids were up next, and we found that low-fat yogurt delivered the finest crumb and the most rounded and crusty top. To get that big mushroom-like cap, we increased the amount of batter by one-third.

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Makes 1 dozen large muffins

Remember, if you're short on time, you can melt the butter, mix it with the eggs, and stir it into the dry ingredients. When thoroughly mixed, beat in the yogurt and proceed with the recipe. To cinnamon-coat muffin tops, dip warm muffins in melted butter, then in mixture of one-half cup granulated sugar and two teaspoons cinnamon.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, less 1 tablespoon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • Vegetable cooking spray or additional unsalted butter for muffin tins

Instructions

  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

    2. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in one-half of dry ingredients. Beat in one-third of yogurt. Beat in remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with yogurt, until incorporated.

    3. Spray twelve-cup muffin tin with vegetable cooking spray or coat lightly with butter. Use large ice cream scoop to divide batter evenly among cups. Bake until muffins are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tin and serve warm.

Technique

Filling the Muffin Tin

1. For clean dispensing and uniform size, use an ice-cream scoop to fill muffin tins.

2. When baking less than a full tin, fill empty compartments with water to ensure that heat is evenly conducted.

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