I would never even begin to consider myself a baker, but there is something wonderful about making a batter, putting it into an oven and watching it puff up into something sweet and delicious. I always feel such a sense of accomplishment after baking and I find it more magic than cooking. I know what will happen to a roast or a fish when I put it in the oven. It will cook and the meat will be flavorful and (hopefully) moist. When you take a trout or a duckling out of the oven, it looks browner, but not much different from when you put it in.
Baking is different. You have to measure everything exactly; no "a pinch of this and a spot of that." At least for me, I have to follow a recipe almost to the letter and not improvise as I go along. However, in some ways, the payback is greater. I'm never really sure what's going to happen, so when it works, it's even more exciting than cooking savory foods.
Sunday was a particularly unproductive day for work, so I decided the only way to fight my feeling of uselessness would be to bake. I had some strawberries languishing in the fridge from my Fruit Salad and a muffin tin that was just waiting to be used. So I decided to make Strawberry Muffins, using my newest cookbook (and as of then untested), Canyon Ranch Cooks. This cookbook has gorgeous pictures and has foods that remain more or less healthy, so the recipe called for half Whole Wheat Flour, half All-Purpose Flour and there was Non-Fat Yogurt and no Butter. Because I had no Whole Wheat Flour, I used only All-Purpose. Other than that, I remained very faithful to the recipe. The muffins came out delicious. While not sweet, they made a wonderful breakfast and would have been perfect with tea and a little cream. But I suppose that defeats the purpose of being Healthy Food.
Strawberry Muffins1 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Milk (I used 2 %)
1/3 cup Nonfat Plain Yogurt
2 tablespoons Canola Oil + for coating muffin tins
1/3 cup Turbinado Sugar
1 cup Strawberries, chopped and hulled
Preheat oven to 350 F. Dampen a paper towel with Canola Oil and coat cups of a 12-cup muffin tin.
In a large bowl, combine Flour, Baking Powder and Salt
In a medium bowl, combine Egg, Milk, Yogurt and Canola Oil, then add Sugar, mixing well.
Create a well in the dry ingredients, then slowly add the wet. Mix well until everything is combined well and there are no lumps. Add fruit and stir until evenly distributed throughout batter.
Place 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin tin and bake about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Remove muffin tin from oven and place on a rack to cool. If desired, sprinkle muffin tops with a pinch of Cinnamon and/or some Sugar for a burst of added flavor.
Makes 12 Muffins.
Recipe and Breakfast and Vegetarian and Dairy