Here’s a Tip: Don’t Talk on the Phone While Baking

It’s no wonder why they’ve banned cell phone use while driving, I’m learning just how hard it is to concentrate in the kitchen while chatting away on the phone let alone driving! You think I would have learned the first time I strained black beans all over my kitchen counter that I shouldn’t talk on the phone while trying to cook. But no, I have done it countless times since then from forgetting the baking soda in my cookies, to today forgetting the egg in my blueberry bran muffins. I was talking on the phone with my friend triple checking my recipe to make sure I had all of the ingredients and I had just filled the last muffin tin, when I realized I forgot the egg in my recipe…I managed to scoop all of the batter back into the bowl, quickly whipped up the egg and threw it into my batter. Thinking I had maybe salvaged my muffins.

When I looked at them baking in the oven I could see that they had already formed peaks (not what you want in your muffins). Although they didn’t look that great they were pretty tasty at least.

My Peaked muffins, looks more like a smurf hat

muffins

Why didn’t my muffins turn out with the beautiful golden domed tops that you expect? Well forgetting the egg was only the first bit.

The Muffin Method is a very delicate mixing technique for making muffins. The gist of it is that you add wet ingredients (milk, oil, EGG), into your dry ingredients (flour, leavening agents, spices). This requires a gentle hand when mixing because you don’t want to form too much gluten, this will result in muffins with large peaks and a tunneled interior. You should only mix until the ingredients are just combined and you see no pockets of flour. Best is to sift the dry ingredients together, make a well in the dry ingredients and fold the wet ingredients in. Because I added my egg at the end after my liquid ingredients were already tossed in, I ended up having to mix pretty vigorously to ensure that all of the egg was well incorporated.

Despite my mistake and my sabotaging the muffin method, my muffins were pretty tasty and I would recommend you trying to make them.

So I will provide the recipe here:

Blueberry Bran Muffins
(adapted from Joy of Baking)

Ingredients

1 1/3 cup flour (can mix white and whole wheat, I only had white)
3/4 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup + 1tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp oil
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice)
1 cup fresh blueberries

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, wheat bran, salt, baking powder and baking soda, sugar)
3. In a separate bowl whisk together the wet ingredients (egg, vanilla, oil and buttermilk)
4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, fold until just combined
5. Fold in the blueberries and line a muffin tin (3/4 full)
6. Bake 18-20min

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