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My vegan muffins are crumbly, and sort of dry even though i put in heaps of freshly grated apples. Any suggestions or reasons why this might be?
Wednesday, May 16 2012, 09:58 PM
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Accepted Answer

Thursday, May 24 2012, 07:13 PM - #Permalink
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Hi Embones,

Without the recipe its difficult for me to tell what's causing the dry crumbly issues. Are they no or low fat? What is the texture of the batter? Is it thick or thin? It sounds like there's not enough water in the recipe. Water is essential in a baking recipe for two reasons:

It allows the glutenin and gliadin proteins contained in the wheat flour to hydrate, unravel and bind together into gluten. Since vegan baking doesn't use eggs, think of gluten as your primary structure builder, like rebar in concrete. Gluten also holds onto moisture which allows the baked item to retain water longer than it would normally.

Water also allows the starches to become hydrated so they can gelatinize when they reach about 180F. This starch gelatinization (think of creamy oatmeal vs oats that have just been mixed with cold water) is essential for structure building in a baked item. These gelatinized starches bind together, cool and actually recrystallize into a fine grained structure once the baked item has cooled. This is why it's important to let cakes and muffins rest for a bit before you remove them from their molds- if you remove them too fast, they'll fall apart.

I'd recommend experimenting with a bit more water and see how it effects texture. But go on the easy side- too much water can cause it's own issues such as cakes and breads rising and crashing due to the water excessively spacing out the ingredients, among other things. Let me know how it works out and good luck!
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