Q: I want to lighten up my morning muffins, but all the healthier recipes I’ve tried (whole-wheat or lowfat) have turned out depressingly dense. Are my attempts futile?
A: Not anymore. After some recipe testing, we discovered the crucial steps in fixing the tough and chewy textures that typically plague whole-wheat and lowfat muffins.
We swap the traditional “quick-bread” mixing method (stirring wet ingredients, such as melted butter, into dry ingredients) for the creaming method (which beats softened butter and the sugar together before adding the drying ingredients). Using softened, rather than melted, butter makes the muffins less chewy, and beating the butter into the sugar makes a lighter and more airy batter. We also combine the whole-wheat flour with lower protein cake flour.
The result? Moist muffins with a tender, delicate crumb.