This section is from the book "Experimental Cookery From The Chemical And Physical Standpoint", by Belle Lowe. Also available from Amazon: Experimental cookery.
Fat, melted or oil
1 cup 1
224 grams 25 grams
Directions for combining.
Combine the milk, beaten egg, and melted fat. Since the batter is mixed very little after the dry ingredients are added, it is better to beat the egg enough so that it readily combines with the milk, or beat both egg and milk with the egg beater. Sift the baking powder with the flour twice. Mix the sugar and salt with the flour. Add the dry ingredients to the liquid, and stir. Bake the muffins in greased cups of the same size and the same material. The sides of the cups do not need greasing, but the bottoms should be well greased to facilitate removal of the muffins from the tins. Decrease the baking powder to 10 or less grams or increase to 14 or 16 grams, depending on the type of flour used and the altitude.
A. To determine the effect of the amount of mixing upon the texture and volume of muffins.
1. Prepare 1/2 the recipe. Use a tartrate baking powder. Notice the way the batter changes while mixing. Describe this change. Compare the volume of the batters for each muffin. Does the same weight of batter give the same volume after mixing different amounts?
Stir the batter. Combine with 25 strokes. For a medium-sized pan remove 60 grams of batter for one muffin. Stir the remaining batter a total of 60 strokes. Remove 60 grams for another muffin. Stir the remaining batter a total of 100 strokes. Remove 60 grams for a third muffin. Beat the remaining batter a total of 300 strokes and use 60 grams for the fourth muffin. Bake at 210°C. (410°F.).
2. Repeat A1, but use a phosphate baking powder.
3. Repeat A1, but use S.-P. powder. Brand of baking powder used:
Amount of mixing
Shape of top
B. To determine the effect upon the texture and the volume of muffins of adding the baking powder after the batter has been mixed.
1. Prepare 1/4 of the recipe. Reserve the baking powder to add later. Use a tartrate baking powder. Stir the batter, using 30 strokes. Sift the baking powder over the batter and stir into the batter with 15 strokes. Notice the consistency of the batter before adding the baking powder, while adding the powder, and after it has stood a few seconds. Divide into 2 muffins of 60 grams each.
2. Repeat B1, but use a phosphate baking powder.
3. Repeat B1, but use S.-P. baking powder.
What is the effect of increased mixing on the texture and the volume of muffins when the baking powder is in the mixture from the first? What amount of mixing produces the best texture in muffins? Does this vary with the different baking powders? May the baking powder be added after the batter is mixed? Is it the amount of mixing or the mixing when the baking powder is in the batter or both that has the greatest effect upon the volume and the texture of the muffins? Could the batter be beaten longer than 30 strokes before adding the baking powder and a good texture be obtained?
C. To determine the amount of mixing that gives a muffin of the best flavor, tenderness, texture, and volume.
1. Prepare 1/2 of the recipe. Use a tartrate baking powder. Stir a total of 25 strokes. Remove 60 grams of batter for one muffin. Stir the remaining batter a total of 30 strokes. Remove 60 grams of batter for a second muffin. Stir the remaining batter a total of 35 strokes. Remove 60 grams of batter for a third muffin. Stir the remaining batter a total of 40 strokes and bake 60 grams for a fourth muffin.
2. Repeat C1, but use a phosphate baking powder.
3. Repeat C1, but use S.-P. powder.
D. Varying the proportion of baking powder.
1. Repeat either or all of C1, C2, and C3 reducing the baking powder to 10 grams.
2. Repeat either or all of C1, C2, and C3 increasing the baking powder to 16 grams.
Considering tenderness, texture, volume, and flavor, which amount of mixing gives the most desirable muffin? Do 5 additional strokes in mixing produce a change in the muffins?
E. Variations in proportion of ingredients.
Use a tartrate baking powder and prepare 1/4 of the recipe. Mix with the number of strokes found best under C. Weigh 60 grams of batter into a baking cup. Beat the remaining batter 10 additional strokes. Bake 60 grams. If desired, the series may be repeated with phosphate and S.-P. powders.
1. Use the regular recipe for a control.
2. Increase the fat in the recipe to 3 tablespoons.
3. Increase the sugar in the recipe to 3 tablespoons.
4. Increase the fat to 3 tablespoons and the sugar to 3 tablespoons.
5. Increase the egg in the recipe to 2.
6. Omit the egg in the recipe.
Does variation of the proportion of the ingredients influence the amount of mixing required for the muffins? Which proportion of ingredients gives a muffin of the most desirable texture, flavor, and volume?