The best muffins should be golden brown, slightly rounded with bumpy tops, tender, moist, even textured and easy to remove from the pan. Here are some things that can happen, with solutions to help:
-Pale: the oven was not hot enough.
-Peaked or smooth on top – too much mixing.
-Tough and heavy – too much flour or mixing.
-Dry: too much flour, oven too hot or baked too long.
-Tunnels – too much mixing.
-Sticks to pan – pan not greased correctly.
Pans for baking muffin tops often have a dark nonstick surface; check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if reducing the oven temperature by 25°F is recommended.
The traditional bread basket lined with a clean paper or cloth napkin is still the ideal way to serve warm-from-the-oven muffins. The napkin holds in some warmth while the open weave of the basket lets steam escape, which could otherwise condense and make the muffins soggy.