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Basic P.D.Q. Muffin and Quick Bread Batter

Contributed by: NAPSA

Simple Suggestions For P.D.Q. Muffins And Quick Breads (NAPSA) - Today's families are so busy that baking is often reserved for holidays or weekends. This P.D.Q., "pretty darn quick," recipe allows bakers to enjoy hot, fresh muffins or quick breads any day of the week.

Robyn Sargent, Baking Instructor for The Baking Education Center at King Arthur Flour, often uses it to create delicious treats for her family. "It is so easy to alter this recipe by adding any variety of fruit, nuts, chocolate or flavorings," she says. "My daughter particularly likes when I add chocolate chips and orange flavoring."

Quick bread batters are easy to make since they do not require kneading and shaping. The ratio of flour to liquid is about 3 to 2, creating a mixture that will "pour" into muffin tins or bread pans. Easier to put together than scones or biscuits, muffins and quick breads are richer and sweeter. Because they have more moisture in them and because they are leavened more frequently with baking powder, their texture is moister, finer and more cake-like.

The King Arthur Flour Anniversary Cookbook suggests trying to memorize this recipe. The ingredients are so quickly combined that knowing how it's done, without having to look it up every time, gives you the freedom to make every batch an inspiration of your own.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or softened butter (optional) ,li> 2 eggs

Directions:

Mixing dry ing2edients: Blend together the dry ingredients as long and vigorously as you want.

Mixing liquid ingredients: Beat milk, vegetable oil and eggs together until they are light and well-mixed.

Mixing liquid and dry: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Take a fork or wire whisk and blend the two for 20 seconds and no more. It's okay if you've left some lumps. No matter how hard it is, resist the impulse to stir longer.

Baking:

Fill the cups of a lightly greased 12 cup muffin tin two-thirds full and bake at 400 for 20 minutes or pour batter into a 9x5 bread pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Additions and Variations

  • Flavoring extracts and oils-1 tsp. for extracts, 1/2 tsp. for oils.
  • Dried fruit-up to 1 cup
  • Fresh fruit-up to 1 cup
  • Nuts-up to 1 cup
  • Chocolate Chips-up to 1 cup
  • Seeds-up to 1/2 cup
  • When you add 1 cup or more of "extras," add an extra teaspoon of baking powder. When adding extras, add them to the dry ingredients before you mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
  • You may substitute buttermilk, yogurt, pumpkin or applesauce for the milk, but will need to replace 1 teaspoon of the baking powder with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to counteract the acidity of these ingredients.

Muffin Tips

  • Use a 1/4 cup measure to scoop batter into the cups for less mess and greater accuracy.
  • Muffins bake best in the middle of the oven.
  • Freeze baked muffins in double bags for up to three months. To reheat, bake at 350 on a baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes.


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