Question on muffin mixing method. Some muffin top outcomes


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Hey bakers,

Muffin mixing method - so straightforward... so easy... ;) ;):):)
Combine the wet, combine the dry.
Then, combine the wet & dry!
BUT do not overmix, just combine will no flour is visible and lumps are okay.

Version 1A
I sift my flour & leavening. Whisked them using a balloon whisk.
Combined all the wet (and the sugar), whisked them till uniform looking.
Poured the wet into dry.
used the balloon whisk to combine until no flour visible.

Version 1B
I sift my flour & leavening. Whisked them using a balloon whisk.
Combined all the wet (and the sugar), whisked them till uniform looking.
Poured the wet into dry.
used the spatula to combine until no flour visible.

Version 2
I sift my flour & leavening. Whisked them using a balloon whisk.
Combined all the wet (and the sugar), whisked them till uniform looking.
Poured the dry into wet.
used the Danish Dough whisk to combine until no flour visible. *that cute 2D whisk with loops

Help: Why are there tiny lumps of flour balls in my batter in all versions?

Is it because I didn't make a well in the dry before pouring the liquid?
Or my liquids are not at room temp, I use cold eggs, cold milk etc.
Or I am not dealt with beginner's baking luck? :rolleyes:
Or should I be using my stand mixer?

I have creaming phobia, please help me troubleshoot this.

Thanks a lot!
 
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Sharing my muffin tops outcomes:

TL;DR
  1. For batter of 12-18 muffins, one hour chilling gave muffins more prominent domes. overnight chilling gave domes shape, but not much rise. texture compacted)
  2. Muffins without liners had more prominent domes.

Background
Batter for 12-18 muffins.
My batter tends to be a little thick. I use a muffin scoop. the muffins have the same weight.
starting temp at 210C for 5 mins, then 190C until cooked.

Muffin with nothing added in.
3.3% leavening to AP flour.

Muffin 1 & 2 from same batch of Batter A made on Day 1.
Muffin 3 is a new batch made on Day 2. Batter B is same recipe as A.

Muffin 1 baked immediately on Day 1.
Muffin 3 baked immediately on Day 2.
Muffin 2 is baked in same tray as muffin 3.

Muffins 1 & 3 have a souffle-like rise. Muffin 2 is more dome like (but undercooked as it was chilled overnight. I did not thaw batter)
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-19 at 7.47.45 PM.jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-19 at 7.47.45 PM (1).jpeg


Muffins 4 & 5.
Another day. Identical batter to early batches. Baked immediately.
I baked my muffins in liner in a nordicware muffin pan.
Leftover batter in disposable metal cup. Doming is obvious.
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-19 at 7.47.45 PM (2).jpeg


Blueberry muffins
4% leavening to AP flour.

Muffin 1 & 2 from same batch of Batter A made on Day 1.
one was baked immediately. the other from chilled batter (about 30mins - 1 hour)
(oven too small to bake all the batter)
Chilled batter needed extra 1-2mins of bake time.

WhatsApp Image 2021-03-19 at 7.47.45 PM (3).jpeg



WhatsApp Image 2021-03-19 at 7.47.45 PM (4).jpeg


Happy doming!
 
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Hey bakers,

Muffin mixing method - so straightforward... so easy... ;) ;):):)
Combine the wet, combine the dry.
Then, combine the wet & dry!
BUT do not overmix, just combine will no flour is visible and lumps are okay.

Version 1A
I sift my flour & leavening. Whisked them using a balloon whisk.
Combined all the wet (and the sugar), whisked them till uniform looking.
Poured the wet into dry.
used the balloon whisk to combine until no flour visible.

Version 1B
I sift my flour & leavening. Whisked them using a balloon whisk.
Combined all the wet (and the sugar), whisked them till uniform looking.
Poured the wet into dry.
used the spatula to combine until no flour visible.

Version 2
I sift my flour & leavening. Whisked them using a balloon whisk.
Combined all the wet (and the sugar), whisked them till uniform looking.
Poured the dry into wet.
used the Danish Dough whisk to combine until no flour visible. *that cute 2D whisk with loops

Help: Why are there tiny lumps of flour balls in my batter in all versions?

Is it because I didn't make a well in the dry before pouring the liquid?
Or my liquids are not at room temp, I use cold eggs, cold milk etc.
Or I am not dealt with beginner's baking luck? :rolleyes:
Or should I be using my stand mixer?

I have creaming phobia, please help me troubleshoot this.

Thanks a lot!
I don't sift anything for creamed batter, it has never been necessary in the past but I do notice retail flour has lumps I never saw in a bakery, except maybe in cake flour. I've been using a 50lb bag of full strength bread flour and the last 10 lbs of the bag is lumpy, I'm guessing its humidity and the weight packing it down to where it clumped. And I still don't sift for muffins.
As I always chill the batter and use at least 3 times more fruit than yours appear to have, the stiffness of the cold batter and the frozen fruit eliminate any possible lumps.

But you're sifting and still getting lumps, I wonder why you don't use the mixer to blend the flour in with the paddle, theres no need to switch bowls or tools or introduce unrelated techniques.
The batter base should be stiff enough to rub out any flour clumping without using a whip.

It looks like you scooped the #2 muffin, then chilled it.
Can't do that. It will cause stunting.
I use a lot more fruit, preferably frozen and I scoop more batter, mine are bigger before baking than yours are after they're baked.
If muffin top is what you want , get more batter in the mold and don't forget to grease the top of the mold whether you use liners or not.

Its not genoise where you need to fold ingredients, there is no sponge to protect from collapse.
 
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@ShuBunny

1. The clumps in a bag of flour are not caused by humidity. When flour is milled, the wheat kernel is separated into bran, germ, and endosperm. Then the separately milled flours are blended to make cake, all purpose, and bread flours. The more bran and germ blended with the endosperm flour, the higher the protein and ash.

Whole wheat flour has all the milled bran, germ, and endosperm blended together.
All purpose flour has about 73% of milled endosperm, then the remaining is the bran and germ.

The endosperm is pure starch, so when a flour is blended with a majority of milled endosperm flour and very little bran and germ, it is cake flour.

The starchy endosperm flour clumps when it is compressed. If you have flour in a bin, and you are not sure the type, just put a handful in the palm of your hand and squeeze it tight. If it clumps, it is a low protein and ash flour like cake or pastry flour. If it does not clump, it his a higher protein and ash flour like all purpose or bread flour.



2. It is important to understand the difference between proper baking technique and un-necessary tasks. An example of un-necessary task is blooming instant yeast. It is an un-necessary task because the yeast strain is developed to add directly into dry ingredients. Sifting is not an un-necessary task. The amount of chemical leavening in proportion to the flour is miniscule. The only way to proportionately disperse that tiny amount of leavening into that large amount of flour is to sift it through the flour. So sifting is not an un-necessary task.


3. Understanding the types of batters and doughs, and the mixing methods are the fundamentals of baking. The creaming method is to aid the chemical leavening in a batter. The mixing of the flour into the batter also builds some gluten to provide strength. That strength is necessary because of the expansion that is going to happen from the leavening action of the creaming and the chemical leavening. The creaming method is designed to give cakes and cupcakes high rise and light and airy texture. And building some gluten is fine in a cake and cupcake batter because these batters are made with a flour milled of soft wheat. These flours are usually bleached. These cake and pastry flours are low extraction, so contain mostly endosperm (patent stream) flours, so they are low 8% - 9% protein and a very low 0.8% ash content. As such, they will develop very little gluten when mixed. The creaming method is usually used for muffins with no add-in, like a tea cake, and with a low protein flour. It is used when a muffin with a higher dome and a lighter airy texture that is more like a cupcake is desired.

When muffins and quick breads are made with fruit, nuts, and vegetables (zucchini and carrots), a stronger flour is needed to support the added weight of heavy ingredients. The hard red winter wheat with higher extraction contain 10% - 11.7% protein and up to a 60% ash content also enhances the flavor and color of the muffin and quick bread.

So these muffins and quick breads are mixed using the muffin mixing method. This method ensures very little gluten is developed, but is sufficient to mix the batter.


The dry and wet ingredients are mixed separately. Then the dry and wet ingredients are combined. It is perfectly NORMAL for muffin batter to be lumpy. The lumps will dissolve during baking. The lumps are caused from a lack of agitation in mixing.


But if over mixed it will develop too much gluten. The stronger batter holds too much CO2 bubbles, and tunneling (big holes) form in the muffins or quick bread. The muffin top forms more of a point. The bite is chewier, tough, and it has a rubbery texture.


Humidity has nothing to do with clumping. This cake flour is from a freshly open box, sealed in a cello pack. It clumps when compressed because the flour is milled from the endosperm
C7C3CDDA-40FB-4EBC-AF37-39EF13C4CCC3.jpeg


This all purpose flour has more bran and germ, so compresses slightly, but not nearly as much as the cake flour
061E9D1E-F668-499A-9E75-F9EB4C08AC78.jpeg


This is Type 110 flour has a lot more bran and germ than an all purpose flour so barely compresses
DFF6296F-B773-48F9-A457-4128878E7BA1.jpeg
 
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Help: Why are there tiny lumps of flour balls in my batter in all versions?
I made a batch today, no lumps because I'm into a new bag now, the old 50lb bag was left open all winter and lumped up.
It took 5 minutes to make the batter. 5 more minutes to scoop.
Try not to be shocked.

 
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I made a batch today, no lumps because I'm into a new bag now, the old 50lb bag was left open all winter and lumped up.
It took 5 minutes to make the batter. 5 more minutes to scoop.
Try not to be shocked.


If your muffin batter is smooth, you over-mixed. I recommend you take a basic baking class to learn the fundamentals of baking.

This is a page from a baking science textbook. it is not a recipe to practice muffins per se, rather it is to run experiments to learn about the role of egg. Since it is a science book, students start experiments with recipes that are properly prepared. If you look at step 5, it states “Pour liquids into dry ingredient and mix just until flour is moistened. Batter will look lumpy”

F8A19133-688A-4A32-B18C-A3CC77EA4FD4.jpeg
 
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It is very important for readers here to understand the only thing that indicates is one person liked one muffin.

That does not explain or proof proper baking method. That does not explain or proof proper baking science.

Don’t confuse personal opinion with baking science and proper baking methods.

Further, that’s not even coming from a food critic. Someone who is even trained to evaluate food properly.

So someone, somewhere likes a muffins with so so quality ingredients. I saw your recipe. Nothing of quality went in the bowl. So some anonymous blurb was posted somewhere. That doesn’t say much.

That’s like me saying there is always a line at Starbucks. Yet Starbucks makes really crappy coffee.

But in my case that is not just a personal opinion. I also have a SCA barista certification. My brother’s a certified roaster. He owns coffee farms. My bother’s coffee had been independently sampled and rated by some of the top roasters in the industry. We have a business. So I am qualified to make an professional assessment of Starbucks’ coffee.

Finally, the notion that Culinary Institute of America, San Francisco Baking Institute, The San Francisco Baking School (Nicole Plue), and The French Pastry School and food scientists don’t know how to make muffins correctly just because the bakery you worked at over mixed it’s muffin batter and someone happen to like it is absurd.
 
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It is very important for readers here to understand the only thing that indicates is one person liked one muffin.

That does not explain or proof proper baking method. That does not explain or proof proper baking science.

Don’t confuse personal opinion with baking science and proper baking methods.

Further, that’s not even coming from a food critic. Someone who is even trained to evaluate food properly.

So someone, somewhere likes a muffins with so so quality ingredients. I saw your recipe. Nothing of quality went in the bowl. So some anonymous blurb was posted somewhere. That doesn’t say much.

That’s like me saying there is always a line at Starbucks. Yet Starbucks makes really crappy coffee.

But in my case that is not just a personal opinion. I also have a SCA barista certification. My brother’s a certified roaster. He owns coffee farms. My bother’s coffee had been independently sampled and rated by some of the top roasters in the industry. We have a business. So I am qualified to make an professional assessment of Starbucks’ coffee.

Finally, the notion that Culinary Institute of America, San Francisco Baking Institute, The San Francisco Baking School (Nicole Plue), and The French Pastry School and food scientists don’t know how to make muffins correctly just because the bakery you worked at over mixed it’s muffin batter and someone happen to like it is absurd.
still trying to beat success eh?
 

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still trying to beat success eh?

Seriously, it’s an anonymous two sentence blurb. That is not a food magazine. That’s not even a paragraph about the bakery, let alone a food review. A food critic has credentials and writes a full review about the establishment they review. Trying to pass that off as some kind of Bon Appétit Dessert of the Year award is just embarrassing.

But more than that, you are trying to use that as proof that over-mixing using the muffin mixing method until the batter has no lumps is proper mixing. And that is simply wrong.

Go check your over-inflated ego some where else. I am not intimidated by you. When you post incorrect information I will simply correct it.

Simple as that. You don’t like it too bad.
 
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Seriously, it’s an anonymous two sentence blurb. That is not a food magazine. That’s not even a paragraph about the bakery, let alone a food review. A food critic has credentials and writes a full review about the establishment they review. Trying to pass that off as some kind of Bon Appétit Dessert of the Year award is just embarrassing.

But more than that, you are trying to use that as proof that over-mixing using the muffin mixing method until the batter has no lumps is proper mixing. And that is simply wrong.

Go check your over-inflated ego some where else. I am not intimidated by you. When you post incorrect information I will simply correct it.

Simple as that. You don’t like it too bad.
What about sheryl Julian , food editor Boston Globe.
20210323_190544.jpg
 
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It is very important for readers here to understand the only thing that indicates is one person liked one muffin.

That does not explain or proof proper baking method. That does not explain or proof proper baking science.

Don’t confuse personal opinion with baking science and proper baking methods.

Further, that’s not even coming from a food critic. Someone who is even trained to evaluate food properly.

So someone, somewhere likes a muffins with so so quality ingredients. I saw your recipe. Nothing of quality went in the bowl. So some anonymous blurb was posted somewhere. That doesn’t say much.

That’s like me saying there is always a line at Starbucks. Yet Starbucks makes really crappy coffee.

But in my case that is not just a personal opinion. I also have a SCA barista certification. My brother’s a certified roaster. He owns coffee farms. My bother’s coffee had been independently sampled and rated by some of the top roasters in the industry. We have a business. So I am qualified to make an professional assessment of Starbucks’ coffee.

Finally, the notion that Culinary Institute of America, San Francisco Baking Institute, The San Francisco Baking School (Nicole Plue), and The French Pastry School and food scientists don’t know how to make muffins correctly just because the bakery you worked at over mixed it’s muffin batter and someone happen to like it is absurd.
"food scientists"....hehehehe.

But what about chocolatier magazine ?
20210323_185932.jpg
 
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