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home > food & wine dictionary > muffin

Food and Wine Dictionary


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 muffin 

A small, cakelike bread that can be made with a variety of flours and often contains fruits and nuts. Most American-style muffins fall into the QUICK BREAD category and are LEAVENED with either baking powder or baking soda. The yeast-raised type, such as the ENGLISH MUFFIN, is generally finer in texture. These small breads are usually made in a muffin pan (also called muffin tin ), a special baking pan with 6 or 12 cup-shaped depressions that hold the muffin batter. Each standard muffin cup is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. There are also giant muffin pans with 3 1/4-inch cups, miniature muffin pans (GEM PANS) in which the diameter of each indentation is 1 1/4 to 2 inches and muffin top pans, which are about 4 inches in diameter and only 1/2 inch deep. Muffins can be sweet or savory and, though they were once considered breakfast or tea fare, are now also served with lunch and dinner.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.


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