Author Notes: Stuck inside with a bunch of great ingredients, I decided that I ought to make some muffins to use up the homemade buttermilk, bit of sugar, 2 egg yolks, whole grain flour, and other great ingredients that make my pantry always seem so magical. These are not too sweet, and due to my oven not being able to regulate temperature, I discovered that baking muffins hotter than recommended lends to a great crusty exterior that traps moisture within the muffin. Definitely improvise by swapping a different whole grain flour (keep it low-gluten, like whole wheat pastry) or changing up the juice to orange, using raisins instead of dried plums, etc. This is how it happened, and so how I'll write it--but your pantry will choose your serendipity (I give some more reasonable alternatives throughout...the worst thing to do would be to force you to go out for these random ingredients)!
Don't be intimidated by the ingredients list--getting stuff out of your pantry is the hardest part and the purpose of the activity. - Raquelita
Makes 11 tall muffins
- 1 cup kamut flour (125 grams, and use whole wheat pastry or other low-gluten flour, even all purpose)
- 1 cup all purpose flour (125 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or your favorite dried sweet spice, to taste)
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- 1 tablespoon organic orange zest (remember to wash and dry your citrus first)
- handful green pumpkin seeds (or chopped nuts, or seeds, or no crunchy things at all)
- handful chopped dried plums (dried from local plums in the summer time, use any dark, sweet dried fruit)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (50g)
- scant 1/2 cups natural white sugar (90g)
- 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (the pure stuff only, or else just up the sugar to a hefty half cup)
- 2 egg yolks (ok, ok, use one egg or two egg whites, just match the volume)
- 3 tablespoons apricot juice (orange is more likely in your fridge, use it!)
- Set your oven for 425F (or go for 400, but my oven decided to hang at 425 the day these were made, and I think it's part of their great texture and moisture). Line or grease a standard 12-muffin pan.
- Got all your ingredients gathered? Good! Discover anything interesting to add or substitute? Even better!
- Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground ginger together into a large bowl.
- Add in the flax (this is probably optional but I'm flax-obsessive), whisk to distribute evenly.
- Mix the wet ingredients together: first the oil and sugar, then add the maple syrup, then the egg yolks, then the buttermilk, then the juice. Try to get the sugar to dissolve a bit with some strong stirring.
- Mix the nuts, citrus zest and dried fruit into the wet ingredients.
- Add the WET (stir again immediately before pouring) into the DRY, combine in as few strokes as you can manage, but you shouldn't see any streaks of flour.
- Spoon batter into muffin cups--2/3 or 3/4 full.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes and let cool. To eat, I'd recommend using your thumbs to press the top of the muffin until it splits, revealing a thicker crust than you'd expect with a gloriously soft and light interior. Have fun!