Muffin batter overnight?
I was too ambitious in my baking plans for the night. I've got some pound cakes in the oven baking now and I'd planned to put in some muffins when the cakes came out but I think I'll be too tired. I'd love to just make the batter tonight and bake them off in the morning but will the muffins suffer if the batter is left in the fridge until morning? I have a feeling they might. Anyone tried this before?
If you want to do a make-ahead, mix the wet ingredients in one bowl (stick this one in the fridge), the dry in another, and combine them in the morning. A group of friends often come over for a weekend of eating, drinking and general merriment, and this helps when it comes to no-fuss breakfast making.
Thanks for all the responses! I'm in the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy and finding that I get tired a lot faster than usual. Last night I pre-measured my dry ingredients, finished baking the pound cakes and went to bed. I'll take care of the muffins today. I had a feeling that letting the batter sit overnight was a bad idea but couldn't remember why. Thanks for filling in the blanks!
To speed things along in the morning, just meausre all out your dry ingredients and leave them in a bowl. You could also have all your liquid ingredients measured and ready to go. To me, the most time-consuming part of making a muffin recipe is the measuring of ingredients. Since you never want to mix muffins too much anyway, the combining of the the wet and dry ingredients should take just a minute. You would be ready to bake long before the oven gets up to temperature.
I agree with everyone. That said, I have one muffin recipe that is specifically designed to either bake now or later. The batter will keep, covered in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks. I've made it for years. Here it is:
Sunset Magazine's Bran Muffins:
3 C. whole bran cereal (like All-Bran)
1 C boiling water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 C buttermilk
1/2 C vegetable oil
1 C. raisins, currants, chopped pitted dates or chopped pitted prunes
2 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 C. sugar
2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
Mix the bran with the boiling water in a large bowl to evenly moisten. Set aside to cool completely.
Add eggs, liquids and dried fruit. Mix well.
In another bowl, stir dry ingredients till thoroughly blended. Then stir into bran mixtures. You can bake all or some now or cover tightly and put in fridge for up to two weeks. When you get ready to bake, be sure to stir to make sure the fruit is distributed evenly.
To bake, spoon into greased 2 1/2" muffin cups. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or till tops spring back when lightly touched. Serve hot.
Yiel: 2 to 2 1/2 dozen.
the longer muffin batter sits, the more the baked muffins decrease in volume...this occurs more rapidly and noticeably in recipes with baking soda, recipes with double-acting baking powder fare a little better (you can usually store those in the fridge for a few days). however, all batters are best if baked within 24 hours.
you do have another option - freeze the batter. it may be too late for you to do it tonight, but i'll give you the instructions in case there's a next time...
line your muffin tin with foil or paper baking cups/liners, and fill with the appropriate amount of batter. give them a quick freeze in the tin, then remove from tin and transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag labeled with the info. when you're ready to bake the muffins, put the frozen, filled cups/liners back into the muffing pan & bake according to the recipe, adding anywhere from 5-10 minutes (depending on muffin size) to the baking time.
ETA: i should have read the OP more closely - i thought the batter had already been made. as Kelli2006 and rtms said, if possible, it's best to prepare wet & dry portions separately, then combine just before baking.
I'm curious... why is it that it's okay (and even sometimes recommended) for cookie dough to rest/chill for several hours? The NYT chocolate chip cookie recipe, for example, calls for chilling the dough for 36 hours: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/din...
In the accompanying article, a commentator says that the resting time allows "the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid — in this case, the eggs — in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency." The article also talks about the differences in cookies baked 12, 24 and 36 hours after the dough was mixed. Since these cookies do contain leavening, why is it that they still rise after resting so long? (Or do they not rise so well? I haven't actually made the recipe.)
Sorry for going so OT!
"the dough and other ingredients to fully soak up the liquid — in this case, the eggs — in order to get a drier and firmer dough, which bakes to a better consistency."
You just answered your own question.
Think about the difference in texture between a muffin (moist and pillow-y) versus that of a cookie (chewy and dense).