The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baker's Math?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Baker's Math?

Getting home an hour earlier than expected + The best blueberries I've had in years in the fridge = 



The recipe is from "The Best Recipe" by the "Cooks Illustrated" folks. These are "Lemon-Blueberry Muffins." I made 3/4 of a recipe. (That's the real "math.")



And for the rest of the "crumb shot" obsessed:



It was hard to decide what to have for dessert - fresh out of the oven muffin or a slice of ....



My wife's Plum Cake (inspired by the recent postings about this).


I went with the muffin. There's always bedtime snack.


David

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

David! Lovely Blueberry Muffins and the Plum Cake looks Divine!  The photos are mouthwatering!  Muffins are so much fun to make and eat!  We had scones tonight after dinner!  My husband loves muffins and blueberry is his favorite.  Last order I received from KAflours I got their Texas size muffin pan.  I have been enjoying it and a new book 'Williams-Sonoma Muffins' recipes by Beth Hensperger.  It's full of wonderful fruit filled cakes and muffins with lovely photos of each recipe.


Sylvia

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Jumbo muffins look cool, but the outside is the best part, so I sometimes go the other way. I have a "muffin top" pan that makes these discus-like things that are mostly surface. The only problem is they get stale faster than regular muffins.


David

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Have you seen the funny Muffin Top Video from the Seinfeld show on Youtube?  Someone posted the link on here not to long ago.


Sylvia 

Salome's picture
Salome

I'm not much of a cake eater or baker, but I must admit that your two fruity deserts look very appealing to me. I would pick the muffin, just because my mom's plum cake is set as the best for me. ;)


Salome

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

You just obligated yourself to providing us with your mother's plum cake recipe!


We're waiting .... Plum season won't last much longer .... ;-)


David

Salome's picture
Salome

Well, it's very simple. I haven't got the exact formula on hand, but I know the "pattern".


You make a yeasted enriched dough (mostly white flour, some milk and butter, no sugar - "Zopf"-style), then cut the plums in halves and pit them. You roll the fermented dough to a square of about 1 cm height and place the plums with their ends tightly on the dough.


You bake it and then you simply have it with whipped cream and sugar. The plums release liquid and the yeasted dough soaks it up, which ends up in a very delicious baking good of my taste. Not overly heavy (depending on how much cream you take ;)), very fruity.


Salome

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Thanks!


It looks like your mom's plum cake is much less rich than either Mini's or Gosia's in this topic:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/10900/plum-cake-pflaumenkuchen-got-recipe


David

ehanner's picture
ehanner

David,


These both look wonderful. I see you subscribe to the "more is better" philosophy in regard to blueberries.


Eric

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of blueberries for 12 cups of batter. I just might have used a "generous" measure. Probably not much more than 20% extra blueberries.


My wife's comment was "the fruit's the best part of a muffin." When the fruit is this good, I can't disagree.


David

Marni's picture
Marni

Your title had me thinking you were going to explain the "real" baker's math and I can always use a tip or two regarding math, so I clicked -


This is SO much better than math!  Great treat.  I'd choose as you did - have both.  Nothing like a fresh blueberry muffin!


Marni


 


 

wally's picture
wally

David-


I'd settle for either (or probably both) as my main course!  Beautiful looking pastries!


Larry

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Well, the main course was applewood smoked bacon and heirloom tomato BLT's on my own 100% WW bread. Lot's of competition for the muffins. Fortunately, I didn't have to choose between them.


I skipped the Deschutes Brewery "Black Butte Porter" in favor of orange juice though, so I can feel virtuous about some part of the meal!


David

audra36274's picture
audra36274

  David, your muffins look very yummy! I made those ( the Cook's Ill. recipe)  for the first time  back in August. Ever since then that muffin has become a staple at our house. I gave it to my friend Linda, and now they are hooked as well. I apparently have never had good blueberries till this year. I always just passed them by with a sniff. They just tasted "blue" , but this year they were bursting with sweetness. I am a new fan. I also do blueberry bread, like cinnamon raisin,but with blueberries instead.  Eric suggested I do a blueberry filled cinnamon roll, but unfortunately we ate all the berries before I got to try it, but I left it on the list of "to-do's)  ;- )


                                                                                             Audra 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Audra.


The wonderful blueberries I used were from Oregon. They were more tart than what we usually get, which I like, and had a wonderful flavor when cooked.


The Cook's Illustrated recipe is good. My favorite muffins using this recipe have been the cherry-almond one (which has some almond paste in the batter) and the lemon-poppy seed. I only make the blueberry muffins when I can get really excellent fresh berries. The others use ingredients that are less seasonal.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

and did I say LOTS of fruit! We are berry fools in this house and during season eat them daily. If you can get good ones now, pick up a flat and freeze them. There is nothing better in the dead of winter than sourdough blueberry pancakes or a blueberry strata with blueberry syrup.


In the meantime, enjoy those awesome muffins and plum clafouti that David is making us drool over.


Betty

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Betty.


Those wonderful berries were from your neighborhood! Unfortunately, they are priced as a luxury item by time they get here - not suitable for freezing in mass, just an occasional treat. However, the markets do sell frozen blueberries. Some might be okay, I suppose. I should try them. I do like blueberry pancakes a lot.


David

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

We have blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, strawberries (which we are still picking a pint every other day, perfect for 2), figs and just starting, young concord grape vines. I wish I could find an economical way to send some to you. I still have a few bags left from last year and they are still very, very good.


Betty 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Betty.


Actually, we get wonderful berries here, but our peak season is May-June. As far as figs go, I'm in the County that historically produces most of the commercially grown figs in the US. In fact, my neighborhood is call "The Fig Garden," because until about 25 years ago it was part of one huge (like 20, 000 acres) fig orchard. It's mostly subdivided now.


And, if you go to your local groceries, you will find the best melons all come from Fresno County. Look for cantaloups from Mendota and Honeydew from Sanger for the best of the best. Unfortunately, what you get in the groceries was picked before it was ripe to increase shelf-life. As everywhere, the best produce is to be had direct from the farmers.


Not to take anything from Oregon. I've a bag of Hood River cherries in the fridge right now that are pretty darn good.


David

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

I've made the muffin recipe several times and love it (which is why I keep making it!) but have found the mixing to be a tricky balance.  With a hand mixer and all of the alternations of ingredient additions that the recipe calls for you can wind up with a pretty dense muffin.  On the other hand I kind of like a little pound cake-like texture, but just shy of over developing the gluten.  How did you mix yours?  They look nice and moist, but tender.  What kind of flour did you use?  I've thought about using some pastry flour but haven't tried it yet.


Summer

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Summer.


I mixed in a KitchenAid. I used an AP flour - either Whole Foods brand or Giusto's Baker's Choice. I can't recall right now. They were moist and tender. Not as dense as pound cake, but then they don't have nearly as much butter, and the eggs - if well creamed with the sugar - make them light.


David

summerbaker's picture
summerbaker

Thanks David.  I think I'll try the KitchenAid next time because the lowest speed on my hand mixer is still really high and probably over does it especially in the final few ingredient additions.


Summer