Muffins are, without a doubt in my mind, the easiest and most joyful breakfast item possible. They are practically instantaneous, and kids love them regardless of their bran content.
A few years back, we stayed at a fabulous bed and breakfast in the Bruce Peninsula where the owner and chef– a fabulous lady named Ruth– made fresh muffins for her guests every morning. At the time I was agog. Who makes muffins on this scale so early in the morning? To say the experience was revelatory is an understatement.
Upon recently recalling this trip I was inspired to conjure an easy muffin recipe to which I could apply any flavour I should desire. As with my daily bread recipe, the formula had to be pretty much idiot-proof. I am happy to note that this is perhaps the most successful of my back pocket recipes, and I regularly perform this operation nothing but 2 bowls (1 largish and one small), a tablespoon, a 1/2 cup measuring spoon and a muffin tin. On a good night, muffins are in the oven and dishes are done in under 10 minutes.
Easiest of easy muffin recipes
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
~1 cup “stuff” *
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In the larger bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine.
- In the smaller bowl combine milk, oil, egg and stuff *. Stir to combine (make sure the egg is well incorporated).
- Pour mixture from smaller bowl into larger bowl and mix, counting slowly down from 10. When you get to zero, stop.
- Prep your muffin pan if required.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Yields a dozen normal muffins, or 12 mini muffins and a mini loaf, or 2 regular loafs, or 1 loaf and a half dozen muffins…
* Stuff = flavourants and fillings. Some favorites include:
- a mashed banana and some walnuts with a hit of vanilla extract
- the juice and zest of one lemon (or a good hit of lemon extract) and a tablespoon of poppy seeds
- oatmeal and raisins in equal amounts
- a finely grated carrot
- shredded apple and cinnamon
- frozen blueberries and a hit of lemon extract
- frozen strawberries and finely chopped chocolate