I began baking with whole grains years ago because of their touted health benefits. Somewhere along the way I realized that I liked the flavor of whole grains. A lot. In fact, in most basic breads I prefer those with some whole grain to the plain white flour varieties. I've even gotten used to the dense heavy texture that can come with whole grain baking.
When it came time to bake this week's Tuesdays With Dorie baking assignment, the Great Grain Muffins, I was curious to see how Dorie Greespan would handle a recipe with significant whole grain presence.
n.o.e.'s notes:- The recipe this week was chosen by Christine of the blog Happy Tummy. You can find the recipe by checking out her muffin post.
- Dorie's recipe has all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, corn meal, and rolled oats. I played with it a little bit and substituted 1/3 cup of oat flour for an equal amount of the white flour in the recipe. My final grain amounts were 2/3 whole grain and 1/3 white flour.
- As if there weren't enough ingredients and flavors going on in these muffins, I used half honey crystals, half sugar for the white sugar specified in the recipe
- To emphasize the maple flavor I used Grade B syrup.
- Dorie gives a lot of latitude to stir in any nut or dried fruit - or none, if that's what we choose. I added some chopped toasted pecans and chopped dried cherries
- I baked the muffins in 12 individual silicone muffin molds. The batter filled the muffin cups. I was a little concerned that I'd have overflow issues, but the muffins crested the edges of the molds without running over. They were just the slightest bit rounded on top, or maybe that was my wishful thinking.
- Even when fully baked my muffins were a bit pale, maybe because I lowered the oven temperature 25 degrees to compensate for dark silicone muffin molds.
There were just two of us at home the morning I baked these muffins, so I pulled out a container to freeze most of the muffins. Over the course of breakfast, however, the dozen quickly dwindled as we popped one after another of the still-warm fresh muffins onto our plates. By the time the meal was over, there weren't enough muffins left to freeze. I knew that we'd be excited to see them for breakfast the next morning, and that they would then be gone!
I'd venture to say that these were the best muffins I've ever baked. Despite the quantitiy of whole grains, the muffins were light and tender, and were filled with the kind of flavor that's just right with a cup of coffee, tea, or even orange juice. A perfect breakfast muffin!