Tuesday, February 1, 2011

{TWD} Honey Maple Great Grain Muffins



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.

the verdict:

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!

19 comments:

Cakelaw said...

I thought these were fabulous too - they surprised me, because I had thought they would be rather plain.

chocolatechic said...

These muffins were great. I loved the maple flavor in mine

Mary said...

I loved these too! I only baked a half batch, but they disappeared just like yours did. I'm glad I've got the other half of the batter in the freezer, ready to go!

TeaLady said...

these were so good and yours look light and tasty. I like the subs you had. Next time I bake, will try your ingredient list.

Stay warm with the storm coming.

Pamela said...

As you know, your positive review gave me he push I needed to make these muffins. Thanks for that!! Your version sounds wonderful, especially the honey crystals.

Kayte said...

I have to say, these are probably the best muffins we have ever made as well...definitely going to visit these regularly for the muffin loving guys here. I was happy to see that you didn't get much of a dome either, I made them twice thinking that I was doing something wrong, but they just never domed. No matter...we loved them just the way they were. I am going to try your combination next time, the cherries sound so good. Mary put apricots in hers and I want to try those as well. No end to the goodness! Yours look so pretty, too.

Jessica said...

Pecans and cherries sound amazing! I'm going to have try these again because everyone seemed to LOVE them. I must have done something wrong! Beautiful muffins!

Flourchild said...

Woah the best muffins you ever baked..that is so cool! Im glad you liked them. They look great! I liked this recipe too!

spike. said...

these muffins were great, right? I've eaten quite a few myself

Mary said...

I liked these too and am a big whole-grain fan too. Hooray for a new healthy recipe!

Jodie said...

They look great. Glad you liked them so much!

alvarosa said...

First thing I thought: they have a great colour! Really - for me they look just right.

Tracey said...

I wish I felt the same way about whole grains that you do Nancy. They just usually don't do it for me, especially in my baked goods (except bread). I loved these too, right up there with my other favorite of Dorie's - the corn muffins!

Amber Marie said...

Glad they were such a hit! I really like whole grains too, and it made me excited about this week! So good. :)

cindy said...

I haven't made these yet but I can't wait to try them. I think I might add toasted walnuts and dates. Yours look beautiful. Have a great day.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

mmm! i know what you mean about the flavor of whole grains. i like it, too, and am usually trying to sneak a little into all AP recipes.

Karen said...

I always think that whole grains will be terrible but they seem to be growing on me. :) Nice substitutions for these. They look delicious!

Anne said...

The best muffins you've made, huh? I'm going to have to make these! I think dried cherries would be so perfect, too. I need to buy some more (my kids seem to walk away with mine!)

Jessica said...

I liked these much more than I expected to - and even I thought I could have used more whole grains (I usually like about 50/50). Grade B is the way to go with maple syrup - why is it so hard to find?