Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Non-Baker Bakes

That would be your cue to head for the hills, or the flatlands, or anywhere really. I do not bake. That is a well established fact in my house. After all, baking doesn't lend itself to my style of cooking: the recipe calls for oregano? Let's add parsley instead. Now, in baking, substitutions generally are ill-advised and rarely work for the baking novice. But still, my dear daughter has been wanting some nice blueberry muffins, and given her intolerance of food additives and preservatives, baking a batch at home seemed to be the sensible solution.

I searched Food Network's web site and found this recipe. Despite my problems with some of the programming on Food Network and their inane new web site design, this is often the first place I look online for recipes.

Here we have (from back left) milk, baking powder, table salt, flour, sugar (I followed one of the reviewer's advice and changed the amount to 3/4 cup), unsalted butter, eggs, blueberries and a lemon for zesting (I ended up adding 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest and that seemed to be the right amount for our tastes).

This is a good reason why a non-baker should not attempt to bake at 11 o' clock in the evening: instead of creaming the sugar with the butter as per recipe directions, I added the sugar to the dry ingredients. I really do know that sugar is considered a wet ingredient in baking, but apparently I didn't at 11 pm on a Saturday night.

Amazingly enough, the world did not end and the recipe seemed to not suffer - much.

One thing that the recipe did not specify was that you should set aside a bit of the flour so that you can coat the blueberries. This prevents the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the batter.

Gently fold the blueberries into the batter at the end. Remember to not over-mix a muffin batter. Mixing the batter any further than 'just combined' will result in a heavy, dense texture as the gluten in the flour will start to be developed. This is not what you want for a muffin.

I used the wrapper from the stick of butter to grease the muffin cups.

Part way through the baking process, I turned the pans 180 degrees so that they would bake evenly.

Let's find out if I have succeeded.

Oh yeah, these are moist and tender and have a nice bite from the lemon and blueberries. Two great tastes that taste great together, by the way. This recipe, as amended is a keeper.

And why, exactly, did I make these blueberry muffins? As I noted earlier, my daughter had requested them and as Friday was her 20th birthday, I decided to indulge her. The poor girl was barely home for her actual birthday, so we have been celebrating this weekend.

Happy 20th, dear!

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Happy Birthday, Kelley!!!!!!