The Quick Muffin

Food date: 2016.311

One of my favorite breakfast foods is muffins. The food history world references two basic kinds of muffins — English and American. English muffins are made with yeast, while American muffins are in the quick bread category.

This week I am focusing on American muffins, or what we Americans like to call…muffins. They come in many varieties—ginormous, large, average, small and mini. Oh, and there are different flavors too. My favorites are the averaged-sized blueberry, lemon poppy, and corn muffins.

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As I often am, I was surprised when exploring muffin history. It seems that unlike other baked goodies, American muffins are relatively new to the baked goods family. The time frame differs depending on the source, but more support indicates muffins popping up around the 1920s. New leavening agents allowed home cooks to make quick breads like muffins versus breads that required yeast. Sweet treats moved from afternoon tea to the morning. More modern cookstoves and molded pans helped cooks provide baked goods that did not take as much time or effort as breads of the past.

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I have made muffins from scratch on and off over the years. I too often buy muffins versus make them. A trend that I am now determined to correct. I baked the classic blueberry muffin recipe from The King Arthurs Flour: Bakers Companion (10th Anniversary Edition). I was over excited and sifted the dry ingredients when after reading more about muffins, I should have skipped that process. But overall, I enjoyed not only rediscovering the joy and simplicity of muffin making, I now love muscovado sugar topping.

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FFF’s—Food Fun Facts:

I could not find much of a conscience of the origin of the word “muffin.” Options ranged from: German’s muffen, French moufle or simply for English word muff.

Personal fun fact—Each time I use a muffin pan (whether for muffins or cupcakes), I always challenge myself to not drip any batter on the top or sides. Do I always accomplish this? Heck no, but it’s a fun game that I’ve done since I was little. Cookie scoops have made a significant difference this personal challenge versus my old spoon and knife technique.

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