It is commonly said that baking is a precise science. In school science was not one of my best subjects, so when it comes to baking I’m not exactly surprised with my countless failures. Baking is about precise or accurate measurements, then there is the whole chemical reaction thing. If that’s not enough you have to consider temperature, yeast, baking soda, baking powder, not over mixing, or not under mixing, developing gluten, no wait, that’s too much gluten. It’s enough to make you dizzy.
When it comes to regular cooking, I’m your woman. I love the wide flexibility of cooking, something not really allowed in baking. On days when I’m cooking just for us, and not sharing it on the blog, I don’t ever measure ingredients. I cook by feel, I let my mood and senses guide me. I taste as I go, and adjust or correct as I go too. (If I am sharing the recipe here, then I stop and measure ingredients as I go and choose them.) When I cook I feel comfortable in letting my imagination go wild. I know that if I accidentally add too much or too little of something, it won’t be detrimental to the end result, usually that is. But in baking, the end result is not as forgiving or as easy to correct. We all know how disappointing it can be to see our efforts end up in the garbage bin.
Recently I finally came to terms with my baking weakness. It’s not something I am proud of or happy about, but it is what it is. I accept it, I’m not a very good baker. There I said it… I’m feeling a bit embarrassed now. Unfortunately you won’t see elaborate breads or fancy cakes here on Spicie Foodie. I’m not saying never, because I don’t give up easily and I refuse to fail. But don’t hold your breath, because it may be a while before you see anything more complicated than a simple quick bread from me. Instead of giving up entirely on baking I have chosen to focus on the simple baking that I do know. That simple baking means muffins, quick breads, scones, simple cookies, biscuits, and hassle free yeast breads. Usually all starting from a basic recipe that has worked for me.
Perhaps my problem lies in my unwillingness to stick to a written and precise baking recipe. Maybe if I stick to it, instead of trying to improvise, then my results will be better. My new goal is to learn baking basics and improve. One way I’ll be “going back to basics” is from your recipes and from my new favorite cookbook, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I’ll be reporting on my progress when I feel it is something worthy of a blog post. But for now I leave you with a very simple, and easy muffin recipe.
(If you would like to publish my recipe on your website please quote Spicie Foodie as the recipe creator, and place a link back to the recipe. Please do not copy and paste recipe on Pinterest, Google+, or Facebook. Thank you!)
- 1 cup a.p. flour
- ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
- ¼ cup white sugar or light brown
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- pinch salt
- ½ cup (100 g) raisins
- 1 medium egg
- 3 tbsp. sunflower oil or melted butter
- ½ cup oat milk, or milk of choice
- cinnamon sugar to top, optional
- Preheat oven to 375f/190c and prepare muffin tray. In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients and raisins, stir until well combined then set aside. In a separate large bowl mix the milk, oil/butter and egg, lightly whisk ingredients until well combined.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until well incorporated. The batter will be thick. Pour batter into muffin tray, filling ¾ of the ways. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top of each muffin. Bake in center of oven for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.
By now you may be wondering why you should bake muffins from a self-proclaimed bad baker. I’ll tell you why, because I only share my baking recipes that are true and tried, and ones I’ve had great results with. These muffins were really good! They were fluffy, moist and just sweet enough without being too sweet. My husband, who is always honest with me, really liked these muffins too. So I hope you’ll give them a try. If you improve on the recipe, please come back and let me know. After all, I’m still learning and I’d appreciate your input.