Updated: Jan 12
Keeping a stock of healthy snacks in the freezer is a great way to ensure you have something good to eat when hunger strikes or to add to the lunch box of a hungry child or adult. These muffins have a lot of ingredients, but once you have everything prepared they come together quickly and because they are made with oil they stay fresh longer and freeze well.
What is the Best Mode for Baking Muffins? Convection or Traditional Bake
Because foods cooked in Convection have more moisture retention, I use Convection for most of my cooking; however, when it comes to baking there are times when traditional Bake actually results in a drier crumb. It all depends on how liquid the batter is. For example, I find I get better results baking Blueberry muffins in Traditional Bake because those blueberries just burst open and give off so much juice during baking, and if I bake them in Convection the muffins have a tendency to fall apart.
This recipe includes shredded carrots and apples. The carrots don’t give off much moisture but some apples, especially Granny Smith’s can give off more juice than some other varieties. Overall once all the ingredients are added, it’s a fairly stiff batter that does well baked in either Convection or Traditional Bake.
Recipes for Baked Items are Usually Written for Traditional Bake
As a rule of thumb when I bake a recipe for the first time I bake it in the Traditional Bake mode because I know that is the mode the recipe writer used. Once I get a sense of the results, I can decide if I feel it would work better in Convection.
It's also very important to pay attention to timing. Because I know my 24” oven is a fast oven, when I bake a new recipe I always set the timer in advance of the stated recipe time to ensure I don’t overcook the item. So you see it’s not just the recipe, you need to learn how your oven cooks and which mode is best suited to the food you are cooking to achieve success.
Traditional Bake vs Convection, Which is Best for Baking
When you use the Traditional Bake mode the heat is directed at the food from the bottom and top heating elements that is why recipes direct you to place the food in the center of the oven. This direct heat has a drying effect on food and can create a nice dry crumb.
If your oven has a Convection Bake mode the Top and Bottom heating elements will be engaged and the fan will circulate the heated air around the oven. In this mode you can bake on two racks at the same time with even results without having to change the position of the pans but it’s important to reduce the recipe temperature by 25 degrees.
If you oven has a True Convection mode the heated air circulates around the oven cooking the food from the edge to the center but there is no direct heat involved. This mode is idea for baking multiple racks of cookies but may result in a more moist crumb with some baked goods.
Always reduce recipes temperatures by 25 degrees when baking in this mode.
Baking is a Great Way to Get Children Cooking
I began baking these muffins to make sure I always had something healthy on hand to feed my young grandsons, and they loved helping prepare them as much as eating them.
When baking it’s best to assemble all the ingredients and equipment before you begin so nothing gets left out or added twice by mistake. Weighing and measuring ingredients and following the logic of the preparation is a great way for children to develop good organizational skills and learn to think through the process from start to finish.
Remember the great thing about making your own baked items is that you can pronounce every ingredient used and you can substitute items such as sugar with alternatives that suit your dietary needs.
In my next post, I will demonstrate how to poach eggs in the Steam oven.
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast