Well, I missed sconeday again, with no good excuse this week. Monday just slipped by; don't think I wasn't thinking about scones, I just didn't quite get it together to actually make them. Plus I still had the molasses scones from last week left over.
So, since it isn't sconeday, I decided this week not to make scones, and go a little apostate here and try muffins. I used a recipe from my favorite cook book, inherited from my mother. The Woman's Home Companion cookbook is one of those teaching cookbooks so common in the 40s and 50s-- (I have stacks of them from my mother). It tells you all the things you need to know about each type of food-- what it should look like at each step of the way, what will happen if you do it wrong, and how to fix it.
Here's the muffin recipe, verbatim, in hideous violation of copyright. Seriously, if you can get your hands on this book, buy it.
Muffin Technique (edited)
"Good muffins are symmetrical in shape, with straight sides and a slightly rounded top. The crust is a rich golden brown and rough pebbly texture, slightly glazed in appearance. The grian is uniform and slightly coarse, with medium-sized air cells and a moist tender crumb.
"The first and foremost secret of success is in the mixing. The batter must be stirred never beaten, only until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. At this stage the mixutre will appear rough and lumpy, and will break easily when lifted with the spoon. The small lumps which remain will take care of themselves during baking.
"Immediately after mixing the batter should be transferred to the pans in order to avoid the loss of leavening gas. Muffin pans should be well reased on the bottom but just lightly greased or not at all ont he sides. This allows the batter to cling more tenaciously to the sides of the pan during rising and makes for better volume.
Whole Wheat Muffins
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar (I used maple sugar)
1 cup whole milk
1 egg lightly beaten
3 T melted shortening (I used butter, but this is a post war book so they probably used lard, or eek, Crisco)
Sift white flour (not necessary with most modern flours); add baking powder, salt and sugar, sift or whisk together, add wheat flour, mix. Mix in raisins. Combine egg, milk and melted shortening and add to flour mixture. Mix until just moistened. Batter will be thick.
Fill greased muffin pans about 2/3 full and bake in a hot oven 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 to 15 medium sized muffins. That's a little homemade blueberry preserves on there, by the by.