One of the biggest questions muffin bakers face is what to do with muffin bottoms when they’re using nonstick muffins pans. The assumption here, of course, is that the nonstick pans would do such a tremendous job that the bottom of the muffins would come out intact. They would remain solid, there would be no chips, there would be no breaks. They would look amazing.
In that context, does it even make sense to use paper holders? Now, you probably might get all ecological and environmental on this because, let’s face it, paper holders are made of paper. Paper are, of course, the ground up carcasses of trees. It would be nice if we didn’t have to ground through so many trees. Trees, after all, make for great air. Rainforests made up of millions of trees function as the lungs of the Earth.
This is an important issue to consider because if you are baking on non-stick pans, you really cannot assume that your muffins will come out unscratched. I just want to get that out of the way. Why? Well, it all boils down to your recipe. If your recipe has really sticky ingredients in it, then it’s anybody’s bet whether the muffins that come out would have a smooth, clean bottom, regardless of how awesome your non-stick pans are.
While it does help to buy the very best muffin pan, you also have to pay attention to your actual muffin recipes. See if you can substitute ingredients. Maybe the really sticky ingredients are not deal killers. Maybe they’re not flavor killers. Maybe you would do just as well with less sticky ingredients.
Similarly, you might want to look into increasing the amount of fat content of your muffins. Now, this is not going to be embraced with open arms by many bakers. After all, we live in a culture that is deadly afraid of fat.
Thankfully, there are many new reports coming out of the Centers for Disease Control that have largely debunked a lot of people’s fears regarding fat sources like butter and oil. The truth is, cholesterol isn’t that big of a problem as people make it out to be. Still, if you would rather cut out the cholesterol by skipping the butter, then adding more fat to your muffin recipe might be an issue.
Well, the good news here is that you can sidestep it by substituting vegetable based oils. Vegetable based oils are monounsaturated. In other words, they are healthier forms of oil. Also, a little bit of oil can go a long way. Not like butter, which also has a flavor component so you would need more of it to fully benefit from its fat content, a little bit of oil can pack quite a bit of grease power.
You need to experiment with the amount of oil in your recipe if you want to make sure that you don’t want to use paper holders for your muffins. It all really ultimately depends on how environmentally conscious you are.
If you are assured that you can produce muffins with solid and clean bottoms, then, by all means, you can dispense with paper holders or paper bottoms for your muffins altogether. However, if it’s still a dice roll for you and there’s an equal chance that your muffins might get split at the bottom, you probably should opt for paper holders.
How to guarantee solid muffin bottoms
By simply adding ground up flaxseed to your muffin mix, you might actually get solid muffin bottoms each and every time you choose to bake muffins. Flaxseed has such legendary binding power that many vegans consider flaxseed as a great stand in for eggs in veganized recipes. Best of all, a little bit of ground up flaxseed is plenty in firming up most cupcake or muffin recipes. Besides this great texture-boosting property, you are also treated to an added benefit of baking with flaxseed that delivers a tremendous amount of dietary fiber to your muffins. This fiber is, mind you, not mealy or nasty tasting or has an ‘off’ texture.
If that’s not awesome enough, flaxseed-enhanced muffins also have a higher level of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to deliver cardiovascular health benefits. Not only do you get solid muffin bottoms but you also get greater fiber and Omega 3. What else could you possibly need? Talk about a solid recipe. Experiment with flaxseed today. You truly owe it to yourself. You not only boost the quality of your muffins’ bottom texture and shape but you also get a health boost.
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