Maple Oat Scone

Maple Oat Scone

So, more renewed focus on whole grains in this house, but this time because of recent talk about diabetes, both in our family and in our culture. A bit of a downer. But, fantastically, there are so many great recipes out there that have pioneered modern baking with a more wholesome bent, and I’m making my own tweaks and turns to some favorites, and they are turning out great. I don’t think this is going to be much of a headache at all. Next project: to see if I can get the elementary school to stop handing out so much sugar . . . I’m aware this will be traveling down the path of most unpopular mom, but I think it’s worth a shot. In the meantime, my kids did not balk at all at this terrific scone that’s a little bit sweet and light. I’ve slightly changed this recipe from The New Best Recipe, by ATK.

Maple Oat Scones

1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1/4 c. whole milk
1/4 c. sour cream or cream
1 egg
3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour or spelt flour (or just use all-purpose if you want)
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. table salt
10 T. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 c. additional dried fruit or nut, if desired (apricots, raisins, currants, pecans)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread the oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven for about 7-9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, but reserve 2 T. for rolling the dough out (if doing). Increase oven to 450 degrees. [If you’re in a time crunch, don’t worry about this. It makes the flavor of the oats nuttier, but it’s not necessary.]

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Whisk milk, sour cream, egg, and maple syrup together in a measuring cup.

4. Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. [Or do this step by hand using a pastry blender, or even your fingers!]

5. Transfer the flour mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the cooled oats. Then, with a spatula, fold in 3/4 of the liquid ingredients. Gently the dough by hand until everything comes together, adding more liquid as needed to not have any dry bits at the bottom of the bowl.

6. Dust the work surface with a tablespoon of the reserved oats. Add the dough. Then dust the top with the remaining one tablespoon of oats. Pat into a 7-inch circle about one inch thick. Using a bench scraper cut dough into eight wedges. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Or, use a tablespoon scoop, and simply scoop the scones onto the sheet, flattening a bit for a wider shape.

6.  Bake for about 12-14 minutes. Let cool, and if desired, make a simple glaze of 3 T. maple and 1/3 c. powdered sugar to drizzle over the top.

Chocolate Coconut Bread

Choc Coconut Bread2I know the title of this recipe sounds so ho-hum, but I think this recipe was given as a heavenly gift to us all. I have had to restrain myself from making it every single night (which is partly because of Katie Couric’s documentary about childhood obesity in America, Fed Up. Very good information. Glad I watched it. Can’t wait till my ten-day sugar fast is over, because I will be making this the first minute I can!) I usually stir this together right before bed and bake it in the morning (the weekend is a perfect time for this, of course), and then eat it all day long. My favorite story about this bread: I gave a loaf to my aunt, and she had a polite amount after dinner, and we left. Later that week, she told me she had woken up at 3:30 a.m. the next morning and thought, “is it irrational to get out of bed at this hour to go have another slice of this bread?” and decided it was. She went back to sleep, and then at 6:30 decided it was acceptable behavior to get out of bed. For bread. I love it. This recipe comes from Jim Lahey’s My Bread (thank you, thank you!).

Chocolate Coconut Bread

2 c. plus 2 T.  (280 grams) bread flour
2 c., loosely packed (100 grams)  large flake unsweetened coconut [I actually prefer the smallest shred possible. It disappears in the bread but gives it great chew.]
1 c. (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate chunks
3/4 t. (4 grams) salt
1/4 t. instant yeast or 1/2 c. sourdough starter
1 1/4 c. (280 grams) room temperature water

  1. [The night before you bake] In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, half of the coconut, the chocolate, salt, and yeast [If you use the smallest shred coconut, you can add it all at once, which I prefer]. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is puffy and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.
  2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece.  Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.
  3. Place a tea towel surface and generously dust it with wheat bran or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Lightly sprinkle the surface with the remaining ½ cup coconut. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.
  4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third, and place a covered 4 ½ -to 5 ½ -quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.
  5. Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up.  Cover the pot and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 20 to 25 minutes more.
  7. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.

A perfect recipe for breadmaking newbies

Lahey Bread 1
I’ve been trying just about every no-knead and sourdough start recipe I can find for the last year, and I know this is one of the most famous, but it’s also really, really good. The appearance isn’t quite as impressive as some of the others (I usually don’t get good wings on the loaf, and it doesn’t sit up high), but the crumb is fantastic. It usually has a good amount of holes and a great chew to it–and never seems dry. It’s also, amazingly, just as fresh the second day as it is the first, especially when using a start. I love this recipe and would encourage anyone, especially new-comers to bread baking, to try this. There’s really no reason not to! Interesting to note: the recipe I’ve found online has a different ratio of water than the one from Jim Lahey’s book. I’m sticking to the one in his book here, but I do occasionally have to add more water to work in the arid climate I live in.

Jim Lahey’s No-Knead Crusty Bread (with option for a start)

  • 3 cups  flour
  • 1 1/3 cups water ( or up to 1 1/2 c.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon yeast OR 1/2 c. sourdough start
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Nonstick spray

* special equipment – a 6-8 quart pot with lid, such as an enameled cast iron dutch oven (I have both a cloche and an old dutch oven without legs and they both work great, but do lend to different characteristics in the appearance.)

  1.  Mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add water and incorporate by hand or with a wooden spoon or spatula for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Lightly coat the inside of another medium bowl with nonstick spray and place the dough in the bowl (I actually mix mine in a large food-grade bucket, then I just cover it with the lid).  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 hours at room temperature ( 65-72 ℉).
  2. Remove the dough from the bowl and fold once or twice.  Let the dough rest 15 minutes in the bowl or on the work surface.  Next, shape the dough into a ball.  Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; place the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with flour.  [Instead, I always shape it and then place it on a piece of parchment paper, which I have set in a small (8″) skillet. I then spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and cover the loaf.] Cover the dough with a cotton towel and let rise 1-2 hours, until more than doubled in size.
  3. Place the dutch oven onto a middle or lower rack in the oven, and heat the oven to 450-500℉.  Once the dough has more than doubled in volume, remove the pot from the oven and place the dough inside, seam side up.  Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake another 15-30 minutes until the loaf is nicely browned. The bread slices the best if it sits an hour or so before serving it.Lahey Bread 2

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Bun

I know it’s past Easter, but I’m sure I’ll forget which recipe I liked so much if I wait until next year to think about these great rolls we made this year. Plus, I need to share this with a few friends! This bake was inspired by an early morning lament of my good friend that Easter just wasn’t right without Hot Cross Buns. I wholeheartedly agreed, having never had one before, but seeing them many times in some of my favorite Italian bakeries in Rhode Island.  Besides, I love the idea of metaphor and meaning in our food, especially around holy times of the year. Well, at least metaphors that my husband and I can enjoy. This is a great recipe from King Arthur Flour, although I did change things just a little. Can’t wait to bring them out of the oven again next year!

Hot Cross Buns

  • 1/4 c. apple juice
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1/4 c. dried currants
  • 1/4 c. candied orange peel (or another 1/4 c. currants or other dried fruit)
  • 1 1/4 c. milk, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, 1 separated
  • 6 T. butter, room temperature
  • 2 t. instant yeast
  • 1/4 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/4 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 4 1/2 c.  Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

topping

  • 1 large egg white, reserved from above
  • 1 T. milk

icing [Instead, I used Cream Cheese frosting. Perfect!]

  • 1 c. + 2 T. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 t. milk, or enough to make a thick, pipeable icing

Lightly grease a 10″ square pan or 9″ x 13″ pan.

Mix the apple juice with the dried fruit and raisins, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave briefly, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm, and the plastic starts to “shrink wrap” itself over the top of the bowl. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Note: If you worry about using plastic wrap in your microwave, simply cover the bowl with a glass lid.

When the fruit is cool, mix together all of the dough ingredients except the fruit, and knead, using an electric mixer or bread machine, till the dough is soft and elastic. Mix in the fruit and any liquid not absorbed.

Let the dough rise for 1 hour, covered. It should become puffy, though may not double in bulk.

Divide the dough into billiard ball-sized pieces, about 3 3/4 ounces each. A heaped muffin scoop (about 1/3 cup) makes about the right portion. You’ll make 12 to 14 buns. Use your greased hands to round them into balls. Arrange them in the prepared pan.

Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 1 hour, or until they’ve puffed up and are touching one another. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it over the buns.

Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove from the oven, and transfer to a rack to cool.

Mix together the icing ingredients, and when the buns are completely cool, pipe it in a cross shape atop each bun.

 

Provencal Fougasse

Fougasse 2
So, I’m actually not quite sure how to pronounce this word, despite my eight years of French, but this easy-to-make bread was so fun! By adding a little garlic and herbs at the beginning, it transformed the bread, and then it baked up simply, and was such a great accompaniment to soup. In fact, it was kind-of like making breadsticks, but much simpler. So, I hope my friend Debby, who I got to share this with, and many others enjoy this recipe! This recipe comes from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking.

Provencal Fougasse

3 cloves garlic, chopped
1T. chopped fresh rosemary
1 T. chopped fresh oregano (I used 1 t. dried, since I didn’t have any fresh)
1 T. chopped fresh thyme (Ditto the oregano here)
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 package (2 1/2 t.) active dry yeast 
1 3/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. salt
Semolina flour for dusting
 
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and olive oil. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
 
 In the 5-qt bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the oil mixture, flour, and salt. Place the bowl on the mixer, attach the dough hook, and knead on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, 5-7 minutes.Remove the dough from the bowl.
 
Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, 1 1/2-2 hours. 
 
Punch down the dough and turn it onto a clean work surface. Cut the dough in half with a sharp knife or a bench scraper. Shape each piece into a loose ball, cover with a dry kitchen towel, and let rest for 5 minutes.
 
Liberally dust 2 half-sheet pans or rimless baking sheets with semolina flour (or line the sheet with parchment paper). On a lightly floured work surface, roll out each portion of the dough into a rectangle with about the same dimensions as the prepared pan. Transfer each rectangle to the prepared pan, spreading it out with your hands if it shrinks when you pick up. Facing the narrow end of a rectangle, and eyeing the vertical center of it, use a sharp knife or a pizza wheel to cut 3 slits at an angle down the left side of the center, and 3 slits down the right side of the center. Gently pull on the dough to open the slits up slightly so that they widen into ovals. 
 
Cover the dough loosely with a dry kitchen towel and let the breads rise again until they double in size, 20-30 minutes.
 
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees. Bake the breads until they are lightly browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, 15-20 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely in the pans. Store tightly wrapped in aluminum foil at room temperature for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 2 weeks. Reheat at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
Yield: 2 large flatbreads
Fougasse from WS

On the Go Morning Muffins

Good Morning Muffins from Flour

My jaw kind-of dropped the first time I read this recipe: zucchini, apples, coconut, pecans, raisins, oats and wheat bran! What wasn’t in this muffin? And could it really taste okay? And would any of my kids eat it? Well, I was pleasantly surprised by this success–it’s feels so satisfying to place all of these powerhouse ingredients together, and then for it to turn out beautifully. I enjoy them, and so do, well, two of my kids. That’s not bad success around here. The other great plus to these muffins: they stay soft for days, even though they tend to shrink down into their wrappers a bit. I wish I had the wherewithal to bake a batch of these every week! This recipe comes from the Flour cookbook. The recipe says it yields 12 muffins, but it works out to be more like 18 for me.

Good Morning Muffins

1/4 c. wheat bran
1/2 c. hot water
1 small zucchini, grated (about 1-1/2 c. packed)
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. pecan halves, roughly chopped, toasted
1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1 c.)
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
3/4 c. canola oil
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin, cot with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, stir together the wheat bran and hot water until the bran is completely moistened. Add the zucchini, raisins, pecans, coconut, and apple and stir until well mixed.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and lightens. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take 6 to 8 minutes.) On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil and then the vanilla. Don’t pour the oil in all at once. Add it slowly so it has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn’t deflate the air you have just beaten into the batter. Adding it should take about 1 minute. When the oil and vanilla are incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer stand.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well mixed. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold carefully just until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined. Then add the bran mixture and fold again just until well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups to the rim (almost overflowing.)

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

The muffins taste best the day you bake them, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you keep them for longer than 1 day, refresh them in a 300 degree F oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Or, you can freeze them, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week, reheat, directly from the freezer, in a 300 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Ciabatta

ciabatta paul hollywood
I’ve been watching PBS’s Best British Baking Show, and I was surprised to learn that I have a baking book from one of the host’s, Paul Hollywood. I got this book years ago, and I’ve actually not used it much, but decided to pull it out and take a look. On the show, the contestants made Hollywood’s ciabatta, but it certainly wasn’t the recipe I have, since I think they only gave them 4 hours to complete it. Four hours to get good rise and develop flavor and nicely sized air-pockets? Doesn’t seem possible to me. On the other hand, the recipe in his cookbook seemed way more legit: nice rise times, time to develop flavor, etc. Plus, it works so perfectly for my day’s schedule and it doesn’t take long to bake. It’s also a great bread for mingles and parties, because it’s quite short and squatty (think, bruschetta). The timeline for me is that I start it at 7:30 a.m., and it’s usually done about 5:00, right in time for dinner. I think I’ve made it 8 times in the last 3 weeks, and usually all four loaves are gone by the next morning! This recipe comes from 100 Great Breads. 

Ciabatta

4 c. flour, divided
1 1/2 c. tepid water, divided
1/2 c. sourdough starter or  2 1/4 t. instant yeast (I think. I’ve only tried this with my starter, so this might need a little adjusting, but this is the amount Hollywood suggests in his book)
1 T. salt
2 T. olive oil

1.(7:30 a.m.) In a bowl, combine a scant 2 c. flour with a generous 3/4 c. water and the yeast or starter. Whisk for five minutes. The wetter, the better, so add a tablespoon or two of water if the dough is dry. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 4 hours.

2. (11:30 a.m.) Add the remaining 2 c. flour, 3/4 c. water, salt and olive oil. Whisk again for five minutes. Cover and set aside for 2 hours.

3. (1:30 p.m.) Gently tip the dough onto a floured surface and cut it in half with a sharp knife or pastry cutter. Loosely shape each half into a long rectangle. Dust with flour, then spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and place loosely on top of the two rectangles. Let rest for 1 hour.

4. (2:30 p.m.) Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut each rectangle into 2 pieces again (so you now have 4 rectangles), and gently pull them, and then place two of the loaves onto each of the prepared baking sheets. They should be approximately 8 inches long by 3-4 inches wide. Don’t shape any more than necessary to keep the air inside the dough. Cover again with greased plastic wrap and let rest another hour.

5. (3:30-4:00 p.m.) Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove plastic and dust the loaves with flour. Bake for about 30 minutes on the upper and lower thirds of the oven, switching halfway through. Remove when browned on top and bottom and let cool on a rack before serving.

Pumpkin Ginger Braid Bread

Ginger Pumpkin Bread
This bread isn’t nearly as sweet as I thought it was going to be, which actually made me like it better than I thought I would. I was expecting a yeasted version of the traditional pumpkin quick bread, but this loaf was quite different. The texture is light, and the bits of ginger are a surprise–I thought they might cause my kids to not eat it, but they didn’t seem to mind (or maybe didn’t notice?). I really liked this bread, and see it taking a nice role in my fall inventory of great bread for toast, french toast, and afternoon snacks. It might also make an interesting Thanksgiving Day roll! I got the recipe from a King Arthur Flour Magazine (you can also find it on their website). 

Pumpkin Ginger Braid Bread

4 1/2 c. King Arthur Unbleached Special Bread Flour
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves (optional)
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. diced candied ginger
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. instant yeast
1 3/4 c. pumpkin
2 eggs
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 c. raisins (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, spices, sugar, ginger, salt and yeast, mixing till everything is well-distributed. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, eggs and melted butter till well-combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough with an electric mixer for 2 minutes; allow it to rest for 15 minutes, then continue kneading it for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, or until it’s smooth. Add the raisins, and continue kneading just until they’re incorporated.

If you’re kneading by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface; knead it for 3 minutes, allow it to rest for 15 minutes, then continue kneading till smooth, an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Add more flour sparingly, and only if the dough is absolutely impossible to work with by hand. Knead in the raisins right at the end.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours; it should be just about doubled in bulk.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface, divide it in half then divide each half into three pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch log.

Working with three logs at a time, place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Braid them together; be sure to pinch the ends together well, and tuck them under. Repeat with the remaining logs. Set the braids aside, covered with lightly greased plastic wrap or an acrylic dough-rising cover, to rise for 1 hour; they should look puffy, though not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the braids from oven, and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Serve them warm or at room temperature. If any is left over after a few days, use bread to make bread pudding (recipe follows).Yield: two 10-inch braids.

The Thanksgiving Roll Round-up

I usually make 2-3 kinds of rolls for Thanksgiving dinner: a crusty roll, a dried fruit, slightly sweet roll, and a soft buttery dinner roll. If you need any ideas for your own baking, here are some really great rolls.

Chewy Italian NEW 2
Chewy Italian Rolls
A non-fat, start-the-night before, yummy bread, especially good for the end of meal plate cleaning 🙂

KAFs Photo!

KAFs Photo!

Golden Pull-Apart Buns
These rolls have a great light texture, but not nearly as much butter as many other rolls of the same character have. This roll is great!

Crescent Roll 1
Crescent Rolls
This is the best roll. Sooo delicious and the best crumb. It also rivals pies in terms of the amount of butter, but it’s definitely worth it!

I hope this picture gives an idea of the great texture this roll has

I hope this picture gives an idea of the great texture this roll has

BA Poppyseed Buttermilk Bun
I love that this roll is made with cream, not butter, so it seems faster to make up. Bakes beautifully, but, like the roll before, not really the lightest calorie option! I also left off the poppyseeds in this photo, but they are also a beautiful addition.

thumb
Crusty European Roll
Another great nonfat, crusty roll from King Arthur Flour (as is this picture), that you have to start the night before, but is a lovely addition to the sweeter, more bodied options!

New Favorite Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Doughnut MuffinsA new favorite! I make a lot of blueberry muffins, because I love them, and this recipe is incredibly delicious, I would even say perfect. It has a delicate crumb (unlike ATK with the sour cream) and a beautiful appearance, even at high altitude–which is a little hard to do! I made two dozen of these the other morning, and all of them were gone within ten minutes. So, there’s seven of us, and I was a slow enough eater that I only got one (read: I was actually breathing while I ate), and my ten-year old confessed to eating 7! Incredible. Anyway, they are great, and delicious, and perhaps the best blueberry muffin I have made. I am using the rest of a flat of blueberries for this tomorrow. This recipe comes from Flo Braker’s Baking for Every Occasion. Many thanks to her for a perfect recipe! 

New Favorite Blueberry Muffins

  • 2 c. all purpose flour (can substitute with 1/2 whole wheat, too!)
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 c. well shaken cold buttermilk (or sour your milk with 1 T. lemon juice)
  • 6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 t. finely grated lemon zest or orange zest
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 11/2 c. blueberries

For Topping

  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon or a 1 t. of ground cinnamon and 1/2 t. of ground cardamom
  • 6 T. butter, melted

Center rack in the oven and preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray, then flour the cups, tapping out the excess flour. Or butter and flour the cups or line with fluted paper or foil liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk, butter, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla until combined.

Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Do not beat until smooth, or the muffins will have a coarse texture.

Using the spatula, fold in the blueberries just enough to incorporated them into the batter. Fill the muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake the muffins until they are golden, spring back when gently pressed in the centre, and are starting to pull away from the muffin cups, 18 to 23 minutes. Cool in pan until they can be handled, about 10 to 15 minutes.

TO MAKE THE DOUGHNUT TOPPING

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon. While the muffins are still warm, gently remove them from the pan one at a time. Dip the tops in melted butter, roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat, and then place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store at room temperature under a cake dome for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 10 days in a sturdy covered container. Thaw at room temperature 1 to 1 1/2 hours.