How to Measure Dry Ingredients for Blueberry Lemon Muffins

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,148
    Chef Karen Stiegler demonstrates how to measure dry ingredients for blueberry lemon muffins.

    Karen Stiegler: Hi I am Karen Stiegler and I am here today talking to you about healthy baking and also showing you how to make Lemon Blueberry Muffins. Now first of all I need to talk to you about your flour. When you get your flour at the store it's in a paper bag, like this paper bag here. And you want to take the flour and dump it out into another container ideally if you can, because this allows you to get air into the flour. What happens is at the factory, they are filling the bags and the flour is compacting down in the bag and then during shipping and moving and stacking its getting more and more compacted. So you really want to have a light and fluffy flour for your baked goods .

    So what's you want to do if you can is go ahead and take it out and put it in another container.

    Now once you get ready to measure it you want to use measuring cups like these. These are for dry ingredients like sugar and flour and what not. So the best thing to do is when you have your container of flour which, I am just using the bag today, but remember to take it out of the bag. You want to avoid using a scooping method like this with your flour, because what happens is when you scoop with your measuring cup, the flour packs into the measuring cup and you actually will get more flour and you also getting rid of that air that you have got in flour.

    So you want to instead use a spoon and lightly spoon, spoon your flour into your measuring cup. And then level it off with something flat with a knife or with a plastic scraper or spatula or something like that. So you get a nice even measurement. And this way you are using that lightness of the flour and getting that into your measuring cup as well, because you are spooning it in. So that is the best way to measure your flour, okay.

    Now today we have two different types of flour that we are using. We have our all purpose flour and we have our whole wheat flour and the whole wheat is just a little bit healthier for you, it's going to have more fiber. It's your choice, you can use white whole wheat flour which is available in some grocery stores now or you can use regular whole wheat flour.

    The white whole wheat flour just gives a little bit lighter texture and it's may be a little bit finer. But the regular whole wheat flour has a nuttier texture so some people prefer that. Whatever you prefer, it's nice in this recipe because we are using half and half, okay. So those are your flours. I want to mention to you about eggs. Generally in baking your egg should be at room temperature when you are going to use them, because this will make it easier to make a smoother dough and to be everything together.

    So you want to take it out of the fridge a few minutes in advance. Here the thing is you can use egg substitute. I know a lot of people who are trying to be more healthy, use egg substitute that you can get in the grocery store and I haven't tried that. But if you look on the package on the ingredient list, it does sometime say onion powder or spices and you might not want that flavor in your baked goods, so you can try it. If it works for you, that's great.

    The other thing I will tell you is there is only one egg in this entire recipe and you are making 12 muffins so there is not a lot of egg in each muffin and this one egg have one and a half grams of fat. So that's divided over 12. So it's really not that much fat in this recipe. So you might to just go ahead and use a whole egg.

    Just a few other ingredients, the blueberries. Today we have one cup of fresh blueberries which is great but sometimes you might not be able to get them at the store or they are expensive or they are out of season. So you can substitute frozen fruit, that's absolutely no problem. What you want to do is keep the blueberries frozen until you ready to use them.

    Then at the last minute take them out of the freezer, measure them in a dry measuring cup like this and then go ahead and mix them into the batter at the last moment which we will do in a few minutes. And mix them in their frozen state, do not boil the blueberries. That's very important. And you might get a little bit of bleeding, but in general they were just like fresh blueberry. The one other thing is you will have to bake them a few minutes longer because those frozen berries are going to bring down the temperature of the batter just a little bit, so don't forget about that.

    And just to finish we have our Canola oil which is a very healthy oil, it's very neutral tasting. You can use that, I suggest that, I think that's one of the best things to use or you can use any kind of other vegetable oil that's neutral. And we also have our skimmed or non-fat milk. If you choose to, you can use 1%, 2%, low-fat milk or even whole milk. But just remember that those will have more fat in them than the skimmed milk. So that's why I am using that here today.

    So that is all of our discussion about preparing the oven, the pan and the ingredients and now we are going to talk about zesting the lemon.