The derivation of the word muffin comes from the French word moufflet which is often times applied to bread and means soft.
The two main types of muffins are: English muffins and American style muffins. They vary in style as well as flavor and history.
English muffins are a flat yeast raised muffin with nooks and crannies that are cooked on a hot griddle.
English muffin history dates all the way back to the 10th and 11th centuries in Wales. Early English muffins were cooked in muffin rings which were hooplike and placed directly on a stove or the bottom of a skillet. American style muffins on the other hand are more of a quick bread that is made in individual molds.
The molds are necessary due to the mixture being a batter rather than dough. These muffins were originally leavened with potash which produces carbon dioxide gas in the batter.
When baking powder was developed around 1857 it put an end to the use of potash as well as to the profitable potash exports to the old country.
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