My family has been enjoying muffins over the past year, for snacks, breakfast, on the go lunches- thanks largely to a "Quickbreads formula" that my sister shared with me! Using a formula allows me to bake without needing a recipe, fit whatever allergy needs we have, use whatever I have on hand, and have a nice variety of muffins! It has been freeing, exciting, and empowering!
You can use the structure to meet your needs and use endless creativity!
Learn the core formula for quickbreads and what role the ingredients play.
Do this with practice; have fun experimenting! So much of baking is preference, and you can tweak ingredients. How sweet do you want, how much oil, what flavors do you want to come through? Texture more hearty or lighter? Don't be afraid to change ingredients and amounts. The quickbread formula allows this flexibility. Do know that baking is chemistry as well as an art. The more you understand the roles the ingredients play and how they interact, the more creativity you can have! Expect that not every item will measure up to your top nicely, risen, tender favorite! Regardless, have joy in the learning of using and enjoying what you have available(and what you can have)! Enjoy each item for what you like about it. : ) Kind of dense? Well, maybe it still has good flavor. Not much flavor? Maybe you can add something that boosts it. It's so nice to learn to make your own variations. You can control so many preferences(including nutrition) that you do not get in a mix. Experiment and take notes on what you like. Find out what happened on things that didn't work so well. Involve your kids so they can learn too! Some things may merely be edible; others very satisfactory! Just keep baking! You will become more flexible and able to produce satisfying, wholesome food for your family!
Basic Quickbread Formula for Muffins:
as much liquid as flour
one egg per cup flour*
up to 4 T. oil /melted butter
*Note: I find, when substituting eggs with applesauce, flaxseed, coconut yogurt- works better to just substitute amount of one egg per 2 c. flour. May add 1 tsp extra baking powder for lightening, if using baking soda already. I don't like more than 1 T. total baking powder with 2 c. flour.
Simple syrup: 1 c. water, 2 c. brown or white sugar. Boil until sugar dissolved. Store in fridge. Flavor variations: 1-2 capfuls of maple flavor, 1 tsp of coconut, almond, or lemon flavor.
Spices and flavorings: includes vanilla or other flavorings, zest, powdered herbs and spices, fresh chopped herbs. Use three times as much fresh herb as you would of dried. Try the ‘sniff test’ before adding something: smell what you’re mixing, then smell the flavor you’re thinking of adding. If they smell good together, they’ll taste good together. Start with less; you can always add more.
Toppings to add after baking:
Each of these flour blends I grind and mix in large quantities, and store in gallon bags in freezer. Whole grain flour loses flavor and nutrition more quickly at room temperature.
Here are the blends in easy to use formula to multiply and make large quantities:
A good all-purpose blend without oats:
Adapting recipes for a wheat-free diet
*Note: I am aware that oats can be purchased with gluten-free certified seal if needed; however I understand that some who cannot have gluten do not tolerate oats. www.livingwithout.com has lots of ideas for more flour blends.