These ultra-light, whole-grain muffins are perfect for people who think they don't have time to make muffins. In fact, they whisk together in about 5 minutes, and bake in about 10—all thanks to a boost from a joyful ingredient I'd never thought to use in baking. Thank goodness Jerrelle Guy did.
Jerrelle writes in her cookbook Black Girl Baking, “I’m obsessed with kombucha, the fermented tea drink. I drink it like I used to drink soda as a kid: at least once a day. I crave the feeling of that cold, carbonated liquid hitting my chest, giving me the sensation it’s opening my lungs for the first time that day…it’s addicting. I love watching the agitated bubbles rise to the lip of the bottle, too. I can tell it’s going to be a gusher when the cap is bulging before I even open the bottle. I thought I could use the carbonation and acid to make some kind of quick bread or breakfast muffin. So this is my tea-twist on the Irish soda bread I come across so often here in Boston.”
A few more tips: If you choose honey, the warm, sweet flavor of honey will come through most prominently. If you use agave, the flavor will be more neutral and you may be able to taste the baking soda more—a flavor I don't mind at all (think: pretzels!), but some people are more sensitive to. Whatever size your muffin cups are, don’t fill them much more than three-quarters full, and adjust the baking time accordingly. (For example, in my small muffin cups, I got 23 muffins and they baked in under 10 minutes.) Jerrelle notes that, to make these muffins vegan, you can use melted dairy-free butter or a neutral oil like grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, or canola oil, and use the agave option rather than the honey.
Recipe adapted very slightly from Black Girl Baking (Page Street Publishing, February 2018).
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Kombucha Muffins From Jerrelle Guy
12 muffins (see author notes)
(360 grams) white whole-wheat flour or spelt flour
(10 grams) baking soda
(112 grams) unsalted butter, melted, or neutral oil, plus more for greasing the pan
Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C or gas mark 7). Oil the wells of a muffin tin and have it nearby.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour the melted butter and agave over the dry ingredients, and then pour in the kombucha. Whisk the mixture until just combined. Don’t mix beyond this point or your muffins will be tough.
Immediately scoop the mixture into the muffin wells, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C or gas mark 5) and finish cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. The initial high heat of the oven will make sure the muffins pop out over the edges of the pan. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm with more softened butter, if you like.