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I'm getting close to (my idea of) muffin heaven with this recipe which after trying a few others I've found to work consistently and well.

One small thing I don't understand is why my muffin tops, which are rising nicely to a delicious crust, are "leaning" or I should say pointing in a direction other than straight up.

It's not a problem since the muffins have good texture, taste, and a home-made look I find appealing, but I cannot explain why they lean.

Any ideas?

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Are they leaning becasuethe Muffin is rising larger than the tray and then collapsing back into a lean or are they rising in a lopsided manner? Each of these probably has a different source. –  Ian Turner Aug 4 '10 at 11:40
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Have you tried simply turning your muffins at some point in the baking process? –  hobodave Aug 4 '10 at 15:24
    
@Ian I haven't watched the entire rising process but from checking progress every few minutes or so it seems they rise lopsided rather than collapsing. –  Ed Guiness Aug 4 '10 at 15:30
    
@hobodave I will try that –  Ed Guiness Aug 4 '10 at 15:30

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Perhaps I'm stating the obvious, but is your oven rack perfectly level? Muffin mix initially has low enough viscosity that it can be influenced by gravity as it gradually rises. Even a small inclination of the tray/rack is likely to cause this.

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+1: This is exactly what does it at my house...One day I'll get around to fixing it. –  Satanicpuppy Aug 4 '10 at 13:47

If you are using a convection oven, the air current, blowing consistently in one direction over the tops of your muffins as they bake, could account for the lean.

Try turning down the fan speed, if you can. Otherwise position the muffins in the oven somewhere where they'll be blown on less, use another oven, or put something else in the oven to block the airflow.

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This seems like the most likely explanation to me. And kind of humorous to picture. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 4 '10 at 15:15
    
Unless the fan is particularly strong, I'm not inclined to attribute the leaning to airflow. Interesting suggestion though. Oh, and I say this purely in my capacity as a physicist! (hah) –  Noldorin Aug 4 '10 at 16:12

Gravity (as Noldorin), heat gradient in the oven, air movement, improper mixing of rising agent - all these are possible.

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The baking powder is thoroughly mixed into the dry bowl so I would hope it isn't improper mixing that causes it. It's a convection oven so the heat gradient should be limited (yes?), which leaves gravity... –  Ed Guiness Aug 4 '10 at 12:18
    
Well, yes, the heat gradient should be limited, but your airflow will be more of a factor than in a radiant oven. And yes, gravity is still a factor. –  Tobias Op Den Brouw Aug 4 '10 at 12:25

if your oven leaks more heat out of the door than anywhere else i would theorize that might have something to do with it. Try turning your muffins.

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