The term muffin typically refers to a small type of bread which can be sweet or savory. The typical American muffin is similar to a cupcake in size and cooking methods. These can come in both savory varieties, such as corn or cheese muffins, or sweeter varieties such as blueberry or banana.
Quick bread muffins Edit
American muffins Edit
Recipes for quick bread muffins are common in 19th-century American cookbooks. Recipes for yeast-based muffins, which were sometimes called "common muffins" or "wheat muffins" in 19th-century American cookbooks, can be found in much older cookbooks. In her Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Fannie Farmer gave recipes for both types of muffins, both those that used yeast to raise the dough and those that used a quick bread method, using muffin rings to shape the English muffins. Farmer indicated that stove top "baking", as is done with yeast dough, was a useful method when baking in an oven was not practical.
English muffin Edit
The English muffin is a type of yeast-leavened bread. Rather than being oven-baked, they are cooked in a griddle on the stove top and flipped from side-to-side, which results in their typical flattened shape rather than the rounded top seen in baked rolls or cake-type muffins.
The name is first found in print in 1703, spelled moofin, it is of uncertain origin but possibly derived from the Low German Muffen, the plural of Muffe meaning a small cake, or possibly with some connection to the Old French moufflet meaning soft as said of bread.
Muffin cups or cases are usually round sheets of paper, foil, or silicone with scallop-pressed edges, giving the muffin a round cup shape. They are used in the baking of muffins to line the bottoms of muffin tins, to facilitate the easy removal of the finished muffin from the tin.
The advantage to cooks is easier removal and clean up, more precise form, and moister muffins. However, using them will prevent a crust from forming.