Muffins are small quickbread or cupcake like breakfast items baked in individual portions. The term muffin has been derived from either a German word ‘muffe’ means portion of cake or the French word ‘Moufflet’ which means a soft bread. They are of two types: American and English. American muffins are either savory or sweet cake-like portions made by using chemical raising agent. English muffin are made from yeast leavened dough.
A good American muffin is symmetrically dome shaped whereas a good English muffin is disk shaped.
American muffins and their recipes date back to the 19th century whereas English muffins were first made in Wales during the 10th century. During the 1970’s, home cooking began to decline. This led to the emergence of food shops and coffee shops which started serving muffins for breakfast.
Ingredients and Preparation
Traditionally, American muffin is made with eggs, flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and flavor. Inclusion like banana, carrot, pumpkin, blueberries, chocolate chips, cranberries, almonds and walnut are used. Oatmeal, cornmeal and bran are added to enhance the texture. Yogurt, buttermilk and sour cream can also be used to enhance the mouth feel and make the muffin moist.
Eggs, butter, sugar are whipped together and the other ingredients are just folded into the mixture and poured in paper cup lined muffin pan and baked till double in size.
English muffins are made with flour, milk, sugar, yeast and fat. A dough like bread dough is made and left to ferment. It is knock backed and then rolled into a ½ inch thick sheet. Round cut outs are made and they are left to rise on a lined baking sheet for about 30 minutes. These muffins are cooked on a pan on slow flame.
American muffins are served with tea or coffee for breakfast. They can also be served as tiffin or high tea snacks.
English muffins are served with butter or some fillings like cheese, strawberries, berries, etc. They are served or breakfast.
Health and Nutrition Facts
Serving size – 1 muffin
American classic muffin
Calories – 210 cal, Fat – 10g, Protein – 3 g, Sodium – 175 mg
American muffins are high in calories and fat. Not more than one muffin should be eaten in a day.
Calories – 140 cal, Fat – 1 g, Protein – 4 g, Sodium – 185 mg
English muffins are low in calories and fat. 2 muffins can be eaten for breakfast.
- Whole wheat flour can be used instead of refined flour to incorporate fiber and make it healthier. Bran and oat meal should be added as it enhances the roughage and has cholesterol lowering properties.
- Fat can be reduced and yogurt or sour cream can be used as partial replacement.
- Numerous bakeries commercially make and serve muffins all over the world.
Three American states have adopted state muffins:
New York - Apple
Minnesota - Blueberry
Massachusetts - Corn