I love to keep several different kinds on hand. I display them in a glass cake container on my kitchen counter. Muffins and other quick breads freeze wonderfully. Just tightly wrap them in plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer bag. They should keep for several months.
Quick breads (I'm going to only deal with the sweet breads - not to be confused with veal) are made without yeast. So there's no waiting for dough to rise. Most quick breads are prepared the same way:
- Preheat the oven.
- Grease the pan.
- I prefer to use shortening. Butter or cooking spray can also be used. Remember butter does have a tendency to burn, so watch your cooking times. Muffin cups can also be lined with paper cups. Use two cups if you plan to freeze the muffins.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- If shortening is used, cut into the dry ingredients.
- Use a pastry blender or two knives in scissor fashion to mix in the shortening.
- Mix the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir only until combined.
- This is the most important information for successful quick breads: DO NOT OVER MIX. Mix only until combined. The mixture will contain some lumps. An over mixed batter creates tough and rubbery muffins/quick breads.
- Put batter into pans or muffin cups.
- For 12 small muffins: Fill the cups only 2/3 full.
- For 9 medium muffins: Fill almost to the top.
- For 6 huge muffins: Completely fill muffin cups. Be sure to also grease top of pan as muffins will expand making large tops.
- Very important: Fill any empty muffin cups 1/2 way with water. Muffins tend to burn faster in a pan with empty cups.
- Test for doneness with a toothpick.
- Immediately remove from pan and cool on racks.
- Muffins can be eaten warm. Most other quick breads taste better the next day.