Friday, January 14, 2011

Carrot Muffins

Recipe adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

Streusel Topping:
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour
2 tablespoons oat bran
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt (recipe calls for 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt but I found the topping to be too salty with those bigger grains of kosher salt)
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
Dry Mix:
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I think the kosher salt is fine here as it is dissolved into the batter; if you do substitute table salt, be sure to use less than a teaspoon; it is not a 1:1 substitution)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots, about 2 medium
Wet Mix:
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  Grease 8 muffin cups and the outer area with 1/3 cup capacity with butter.  If possible, fill alternate cups as these muffins bake out of the cup.

For the streusel topping, measure the flour, oat bran, sugars and salt into a mixing bowl.  Add the butter to the dry mixture.  Rub the butter between your fingers, breaking it into smaller bits.  Continue rubbing until the mixture feels coarse, like cornmeal.  The more quickly you do this, the more the butter will stay solid.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, puring back into the bowl any bits of grain and other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.  I also sometimes just use a whisk to mix up dry ingredients instead of putting through the sifter.  Stir the carrots into the dry ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk and egg and whisk until thoroughly combined.  Using a spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Scoop the batter into 8 muffin cups, using a spoon or an ice cream scoop.  The batter should be slightly mounded above the edge.  Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the mounds of batter and press it into the batter slightly.

Bake for 32 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.  The muffins are ready to come out when they smell nutty and their bottoms are a dark golden-brown.  Remove the pans from the oven, twist each muffin out, and place it on its side in the cup to cool.  This ensures that the muffin stays crusty instead of getting soggy.  I think I'll use a cooling rack next time instead.

Also, the book says that these muffins are best when warm from the oven or later that day.  Although they did taste the best that first day, they still tasted good 2-3 days later.  They can also be frozen and reheated.

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