- The Muffin Method
- The Biscuit Method
- The Creaming Method
- The Straight Dough Method
- The Egg Foam Method
- The Custards
Today we will be exploring the MUFFIN method. The MUFFIN method basically breaks down like this - mix all the wet ingredients (eggs, water, butter, milk, etc.) and separately mix all the dry ingredients (flour, leavening agents, salt, etc.). After the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients are mixed in their own bowls THEN you mix them together. AB cautions us repeatedly not to over mix. AB makes this distinction by showing you that a good muffin is light and airy and a dense muffin is a cake. You don't want a cake here you want a muffin.
The muffin method is also used for several other quick breads and of course muffins. What AB wants to get across to us is that the name does not necessarily denote the product so much as the process.
So back to our banana bread. I personally prefer a banana nut muffin over a slice of banana nut bread. Call it a personal preference of delivery structures but I like just being able to pop into the kitchen and grab a muffin and run!
Before we jump into the recipe I also want to add that AB likes to distinguish the ingredients as: WET WORKS and DRY WORKS. If more than one exists than they get numbered: WET WORKS 1, WET WORKS 2... So the recipe will say 'Combine Wet Works 1 with Wet Works 2, then combine Wet Works with Dry works' - get it? Very simple. So here we go:
BANANA BREAD - ALTON BROWN STYLE:
WET WORKS 1
|Overripe bananas||340 g||3 - 4|
|Sugar||210 g||1 cup|
|AP Flour||220 g||1 2/3 cup|
|Oat Flour||35 g||1/3 cup|
|Baking Soda||6 g||1 tsp|
|Salt||6 g||1 tsp|
WET WORKS 2
|Unsalted Butter||113 g||8 tbs||1 stick||melted and cooled|
|Eggs||100 g||2 large|
|Almond Extract||6 g||1 tsp|
|Nuts (walnuts,pecans, or almonds)||1 cup||chopped|
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Grease a loaf pan and line with wax paper
- Combine the bananas and sugar and mix with a potato masher until smooth
- Combine the WET WORKS 1 and the WET WORKS 2 in separate bowls, then combine them together.
- Combine the DRY GOODS with the WET WORKS
- If using THE OPTIONS then fold them into the batter now
- Pour batter into the pan
- Bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour or until center registers 210F and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on stove top for 15 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.
- Tightly wrapped the bread will keep at room temp for about 5 days.
Prepare a standard 12 hole muffin pan use a scooper to fill the holes. Bake for 30 minutes (210F inside) or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove immediately to a cooling rack.
LEWIS NOTES ON THE MUFFIN VARIATION:
- I overfilled the muffin tin to get big muffins (who wants wimpy muffins?) so I actually only yielded about 10 muffins and they were wonderful!
LEWIS NOTES ON AB'S BANANA BREAD/MUFFINS:
- I made two batches of this recipe. On the first batch I made muffins and was out of Almond Extract so I just skipped this. IMHO they were better without it. (Please AB don't hate me for this but by God they were better without it!)
- I made the loaf form for the second batch with the Almond extract and it was still pretty darn good but the muffins were better
- I used pecans in both versions
- I used my mixer with the paddle attachment to mix the WET WORKS 1 this not only made it easier than a potato masher but let's face it - it was just plain easier.
- I almost made this bread several times because I was worried about how safe the bananas would be. They were looking pretty rough but I stayed strong and it paid off. The bananas, although VERY BLACK, were perfectly fine when I peeled them open - so STAY STRONG!
Banana Bread Loaf:
Banana Nut Muffins (sorry there aren't more but well, what can I say they were good...):
Of course I am already a huge AB fan, let's face he's the best, but I LOVE the way he writes his books. I cannot tell you how many times I hear a "Chef" or cookbook author say over and over and over to weigh everything and then all the recipes are in cups and tablespoons. Not a weight to be found. SO ANNOYING! AB gives you all the weights AND the cups/tablespoons just in case you don't have scale (but you should get one it will truly change your life! Well, maybe not your life but it's cool.)