My love affair with America's Test Kitchen continues with a recipe for muffins. The basic recipe is plain with options for various flavors, and I chose the banana. A couple changes I made were to replace half of the flour with white whole wheat, not subbing brown sugar for the white, and not adding walnuts, though I used slightly more than the amount of finely diced banana called for to make up for it. That's right, the bananas weren't mashed, and I kind of like that.
Using yogurt as the liquid, along with eggs and melted butter, the recipe whips up quickly and even can be made a) ahead of time, and b) ahead of time and frozen in pre-portioned "cups" for future baking, which I'll be trying out later for the sake of testing.
The texture is moist, spongy, and soft. It didn't have a mouth-melting quality of a muffin made where the butter is beaten with sugar, it was light and good for what a muffin should be.
To make the crowns large and domed, the same Once Upon a Tart principle of filling the tins to just below the top is implemented with the ATK muffins. I still wasn't quite pleased with the overall height, though I figured I slightly overmixed the batter since didn't have the correct egg size and used 2 tablespoons less butter because I didn't want to cut into another stick, so I quickly beat a third medium size egg with a few tablespoons of milk and stirred that in. I wouldn't say it was really overmixed, but it probably was just by a bit. I also got 17 muffins instead of the 12 they said, most likely due again to the extra additions. I didn't see when they said to fold the extra ingredients into the batter, but I'm assuming it's before all the wet and dry ingredients have been folded together properly (a few light streaks of flour should remain).
One mistake I realized I made was that the recipe says to mix the wet ingredients with dry just until combined, then fold in melted butter. Obviously, I did not do this, and they make no explanation for why this method differs. This only means I'll have to make even more to see what happens.
I had a little ATL experiment of my own, one I've noticed in the past, too. Whenever there isn't enough batter to fill all of the cups in the muffin tin, I fill the empty cups halfway with water. I notice the muffins in the tin with water tend to have a higher crown than those in tins filled with all batter, even though the steam should hit all of them. Interesting.
Also, I notice that if the muffins come out at a certain height, after cooling they fall down a bit, even if cooked completely. Is this a steam being released thing going on?
Edit: These were delicious. Not too sweet, yet a perfectly accented banana flavor. I already noted the texture above. Here are some previously blogged banana bread recipes: black-and-white banana loaf, GT's banana bread, Mom's favorite banana bread.
Anyway, I have a few more recipes I've made that I need to blog about. If I don't, I certainly will talk about it. I may get them all out of the way in one sweet post. In the meantime, enjoy the recipe for muffins after the jump.
big beautiful banana muffins
Recipe from The America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk or low-fat yogurt
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups finely diced bananas
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 370 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
- Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt and eggs together until smooth. Gently fold the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined, then fold in the melted butter. This is where, maybe along with the butter, I'm guessing you also fold in the bananas.
- Using a greased 1/3-cup measure, portion the batter into each muffin cup. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then flip out onto a wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.