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This is inspired by those bake-it-yourself items I see in shops which are e.g. quite pale baguettes they expect me to throw into the oven for 10 minutes to end up with a "freshly baked" good. I know it's not the same thing as actually freshly baked but it is still vastly better than a few days old chunk of bread sprinkled with water and reheated in the oven.

Is there anything specific I need to do to my muffins to do them like that? Would a similar procedure to par-baked breads work (i.e. baking them first at lower temperature and then finishing off later with a higher blast?) I'm curious about any thoughts.

BTW Those are going to be whole wheat breakfast muffins with freshly foraged bilberries :) This is also the reason I'm asking - I need to use them right now but I don't expect to have people around to consume them until later in the week...

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    Have you considered freezing your berries now and baking your muffins with them later? In my experience, you don't even need to thaw frozen blueberries before mixing them into the batter. Jul 27 at 10:14
  • Alternately, it's likely that you could freeze the batter prior to baking or the muffins after baking. What works best for you and this recipe will depend both on the recipe and what you're hoping to accomplish. Many breads and muffins do well when frozen after baking, which will dramatically extend their usable life. Thawing may or may not require anything special. Batters and doughs which are chemically leavened will commonly function reasonably well after being frozen, but some compensation should be done for the loss of the wet portion of the leavening from double-acting baking powder.
    – Makyen
    Jul 27 at 15:21
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There's a big difference between what's possible with bread and with muffins or cakes because bread is from a dough and the rest is a batter. Bread dough has a lot of structure to begin because of the gluten, so you can partially cook it to set that structure and then crisp it up later.

You can't do the same with a batter as there's no structure. When you bake a batter the heat turns water to steam, and the leavening agents react, causing air to form. At the same time a crystalline structure forms around the sugar and starch, which traps the expanding gases and the structure expands upwards, i.e. rises because the shape of the pan restricts it to one direction. Once the expansion is complete cooking then completes the crystallization of the structure, making it semi-rigid. If you interrupt that process before it's complete the cake/muffin won't have the strength to hold up its expansion and the whole thing collapses into a dense, undercooked mess.

Fortunately for you muffins keep their freshness longer than bread, and also freeze well. Some fruit muffins actually get better with a couple of days in the refrigerator, you may want to try it with yours.

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    I like to keep muffins in the fridge and zap them for 10 seconds before eating
    – RedSonja
    Jul 27 at 11:18
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    Zap, as in nuke @NooneAtAll.
    – GdD
    Jul 27 at 13:43
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    @GdD: clarifying one slang term for "microwave" with another slang term for "microwave" may not be the best way to do it. :-) (Particularly when not everyone speaks the same variety of English, or may not be native English speakers at all.) Jul 27 at 13:46
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    Note that traditionally one would extend the lifespan of cake-like baked goods with a sugar or honey glaze. Applied hot to fresh items it seals the moisture in and the mold out. But you do have to coat the whole thing.
    – Perkins
    Jul 27 at 14:21
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    @Perkins I just hate when I have to deal with a delicious honey glaze covering the entire muffin. The slight crunch from the drying honey adding a new texture and experience.. just awful
    – TCooper
    Jul 27 at 18:17
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We make the muffin batter, pour it into liners, and freeze in the trays. Thaw overnight, then bake as usual.

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