I know it’s a random thought for the day, but ‘if a muffin went on a dating site, what do you think its profile would be, how would it describe itself and what kind of partner would it be looking for?’ I think it would be something like this –
I’m originally from the United States, and date back to the late part of the eighteenth-century, but after being in the UK for such a long time, I class this as my home as well.
I started off life similar to that of my UK namesake – the round, flat, English muffin – but over time, I adapted and grew to three or four times my normal size and started to showcase a bigger repertoire of flavours. I really came into my own in the 70 and 80s when people couldn’t get enough of me, and I’m now found in most cafes and supermarkets. I’m quite popular with the home-baking crowd too, I think it’s due to me being more substantial than the usual sponge fairy cakes, teamed with the fact I’m so versatile – I have a very natural savoury side, but can also be very sweet.
I’m actually a type of quick bread, as I use baking powder instead of yeast to leaven. My family is quite diverse and includes many cakes and breads such as brownies, scones, banana bread and cookies. Though I have to say I do look different from the rest of them and really have a unique shape of my own.
I am very distinguishable from my UK counterpart as I sit much taller, with good height and a raised dome top. I am baked, which gives me a wonderful golden appearance, though that’s dependant on my choice of filling. I could be an all-American blueberry type one day, or a healthy bran and raisin the next, so you will definitely never bore of me. If I’ve been baked well, I should have a delicate, sponge-like quality when I’m torn open.
I like margarine or vegetable oil rather than butter, as it really helps to make my crumbs lighter. A mixture of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda is my preference, as it really helps my batter to rise. I like it hot as well… the oven that is! Put me in an oven that’s hotter than normal and you will see me reach my full potential and avoid the flat-top look. Let my mixture stand first though – I really like to be at room temperature with my flour hydrated before I bake.
Dark brown sugar, as this can make my top quite flat – golden brown works better for me. I really dislike overfilling the muffin tin as well – I only need 2/3 of the tin and then I have room to rise properly when I bake.
I’m looking for someone who understands my needs. I can’t be overworked and if I am, then my gluten formation is higher and I become tough. I don’t want to be tough. I need someone who will treat me right, who’ll mix me up with both love and care, and won’t beat or stir me. My wet ingredients and dry ingredients need mixing up separately before being folded together – I just work better that way.
If you think you understand me and can give me 30 minutes of your time, then I am the right muffin for you.