Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bake2Share: Blueberry Muffins

A Bake2Share Recipe

Baker's Banter Blog

This muffin is the one to go to for a well-behaved, consistent recipe. It does very well with any kind of berry. The batter will also keep, once mixed, for up to a week in the refrigerator. It's nice to wake up, turn on the oven, make your morning coffee, scoop two muffins, pop them in to cook, and by the time you've fetched the paper and let the dog back in, you're ready to settle down for a wonderful, warm, fresh-baked treat.

Our guarantee: This recipe makes tender, sweet muffins that hold the blueberries without falling apart.

Ingredient Section

* 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
* 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
* coarse white sparkling sugar for garnish (optional)

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with papers, and grease the papers.

2) In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.

3) In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a hand-held or stand mixer, until light, fluffy, and almost white in color. Start the mixer at low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, then gradually increase speed to medium-high until the desired color and texture are reached.

4) Scrape down the bowl to make sure all the butter is incorporated, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5) Add the vanilla and sour cream or yogurt, and mix until incorporated.

6) Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until the batter is smooth. It will be thick.

7) Fold in the berries by hand.

8) Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups, using a heaping 1/4-cup for each. Sprinkle with regular granulated or coarse white sugar, if desired.

9) Bake the muffins for 18 to 24 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center of one comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on a rack.

Recipe summary
Hands-on time:
20 mins.
Baking time:
18 mins. to 24 mins.
Total time:
38 mins. to 44 mins.
Yield:
12 muffins

Tips from our bakers

* If you're using frozen berries, mix them into the batter while still frozen. They'll turn the batter a streaky blue color. They'll also increase the baking time by as much as 5 minutes.
* Take the muffins out of the baking pan as soon as you can. Leaving hot muffins in the pan creates steam that will toughen the muffins as they sit.
* To make handling baked muffins easier, use a potholder to tilt the hot pan at a 45° angle. The muffins will tilt enough that you can lift them out of the cups easily. Place them on a rack to finish cooling.
* You can use any kind of fresh berry, dried fruit, diced peaches, bananas, or nectarines in this recipe. Canned blueberries are fine, but drain them well first and make sure you have 1 3/4 cups of berries.
* Substitute a flavored yogurt, like vanilla or strawberry, in place of the sour cream
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