Muffins are generally classified as quick breads - quickly made and quickly eaten. They can be served for breakfast or lunch, with morning coffee or tea. Try them with soup or cheese and fruit for a light evening meal. Muffins can be sweet or savoury, high-fibre and healthy. Muffins are surprisingly easy to make, even easier than scones. Simply follow the " muffin method" : add the combined liquid ingredients to combined dry ingredients with a few quick strokes. Use a fork for best results. The mixture should in fact still be lumpy and the result with be light, finetextured muffins. Overmixing causes muffins to rise into a peak, producing long tunnels and a tough texture. If you are using fruit, cheese or bacon in a basic muffin mixture stir them into flour to avoid overmixing. For baking use deep American - style muffin tins. Buy the deepest straight- sided tins with a non-stick finish. Drop the muffin mixture fron the metal spoon only evenly into the oiled tins. Brush oil into bottoms only, as unoiled sides allow batter to climb and form rounded tops while baking. Remember not to stir the muffin mixture again as you fill the tins. After baking, leave the muffins to cool in their tins for 3 - 4 minutes, and then carefully remove them to finish cooling on a wire rack. Muffins are best eaten on the day they are made, served warm with butter. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days. Muffins freeze well for up to three months. Frozen muffins can be wrapped in foil and heated in a moderate oven for 10 - 12 minutes.