Saturday, March 16, 2013

Blueberry Muffins

The importance of Weighing Ingredients in Baking


Muffins.  A simple baked treasure where you mix all of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, scoop it into muffin tins and bake.  Easy, right?

I was at Rylees Ace Hardware in Grand Rapids, MI on March 16, 2013 with a group of my favorite customers, and I was showing them how to make muffins.  I may have driven a few of them crazy, because the recipe had no “normal” measurements to work from.  No cups, no teaspoons, no tablespoons, only weights.  And it is hard to take pictures while you work,  but I got the beginning and the finished product.  I hope you like!


I started out by asking two of favorites to measure out 1 cup of all porpoise flour.  The old saying “a pint a pound the world around “came to mind because a cup of flour should be about 8 ounces, right?  Well I got several different answers when I weighed them using the nifty digital scale that Rylees had.  an ounce difference between the two who scooped, sifted, spooned, etc.  See how little the digital scale is?  It's that white triangle shaped contraption.  I love it, and I gotta get one of those little ones!


So we weighed out the following ingredients:


1 lb 4 ounces all purpose flour

10 ounces sugar

1.25 ounces baking powder

Pinch of salt


Then we stirred it up really well.  If anything had been extremely lumpy I would have sifted the ingredients, but all purpose flour is pre-sifted, and the sugar wasn’t lumpy, then we set it aside and:


Measured out:


6 oz eggs, beaten

14 ounces milk (whole milk – unless otherwise suggested)

½ ounces vanilla extract

8 ounces butter – melted and slightly cooled:


Of course it was more than two 4 ounce sticks of butter.  The day before I was short ½ an ounce, so I melted 3 sticks, and we actually weighed it out.



We had a discussion on eggs – what kind of eggs?  If a recipe calls for 3 eggs, in the home cooking world, it usually doesn’t say medium, or large, or extra large.  I beat the eggs, and weighed it out!


Then someone asked me if we could use skim milk, and I said yes, but it would affect the muffin, and you wouldn’t have the same muffin.  It’s the fat content that we have in the milk that’s important.  Substituting ingredients will work, but the product will be slightly different.


We then mixed in


10 ounces of blueberries


And by hand with a wooden spoon, I mixed them together until it was slightly lumpy!



Then we placed the papers in the muffin tins and sprayed tem to get the muffins out easily.  You could just spray the muffin tins, but I wanted to make clean up easy.  I used a number 20 scoop. 


That led to the discussion on what was the yield?  And I said it depends.  Of course that got me some looks.  I explained how scoop numbers (there is a number on the inside half ring, or on the outside somewhere) that determines the number of scoops in a quart.  Depending on how big you want your muffins, would determine the yield.  With a number 20 scoop we got 36 muffins.  I could have taken them through the entire yield process, but they were looking hungry, and I needed to bake my muffins!


16 minutes later in a convection oven at 400 we got muffins!  And I did some mini muffins and left them at the paint counter!  It was free paint day, it was busy over there, and I thought the customers just might like it.


My friends learned a few tricks, like “tare”, what, when and why.  We discussed converting recipes (that’s a blog for another time, it involves math!) and why it’s important when you bake.


All In All we got some nice blueberry muffins (and a few chocolate chip ones to!)



Here’s the recipe.  Let me know if you like it.  Not to sweet, and they are not huge muffins.  Just good old fashioned blueberry muffins!

Chef Terri Rees

Here are the general rules for The Muffin Method:  It works for all muffins.  You can add blue berries, cherries, apples, etc. to the finished basic batter.


1.  Sift together the dry ingredients

2 combine all liquid ingredients, including melted fat in this case butter

Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix just until all of the flour is moistened.  The batter will look lumpy.  Do not over mix.


Pan and bake immediately!


1 lb 4 ounces all purpose flour

10 ounces sugar

1.25 ounces baking powder

Pinch of salt


6 oz eggs, beaten

14 ounces milk (whole milk – unless otherwise suggested)

½ ounces vanilla extract

8 ounces butter

10 ounces blueberries



Grease and flour muffin tins ( or use papers) fill tins one half to two thirds full.  Bake at 400 for about 20 – 30 minutes.



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