Most quick-bread, muffin, and batter recipes advise stirring together dry ingredients (flour) and wet ingredients until “just combined”. That’s a loaded phrase that shouldn’t be overlooked. Overmixing can yield a tough, dense crumb. The more you work the flour, the more the gluten develops. Reserve that method for yeasted breads. Fight your intuition, and stir until just combined, borderline undermixed.
I love that you’ve stated this. I knew this phrase from studying food science in college but many people do overlook this phrase as well as “folding.” I ought to emphasize this more with my readers. This is an important message. Thanks for the reminder!
Sooo true! You can end up with little tunnels in the muffins etc.. if you mix it too much. I remember my mother once mixing blueberry muffins so much that the whole batter turned purple !
This is clearly a good tip for me, then. (I knew that anyway, but your comment hammers it home. I have never made blueberry muffins that didn’t have purple batter haha).
Now you tell me… he he! J/k 🙂
I wanted to try making a pizza a while ago and that was a disaster! I definitely know I overmixed the though. I like Jill’s explanation (above) as well. Thanks Melissa!
That’s such a great tip! My friends little girl helps her bake and just loves over stirring the batter, she always apologizes that they’re tough, but I think it’s the cutest thing!
Sometimes with a cake recipe, there’s a different instruction for the same reason–you “alternate adding the wet and the dry ingredients” because, overall, it takes less mixing to incorporate them than if you dumped them in one at a time. Less mixing=lighter, more tender cake!