A Good Day for MuffinsPosted: August 31, 2011
Muffins are not the done thing in Europe, it seems. In London, fairy cakes abound, sure, and you can readily find English muffins or crumpets, but an old-fashioned American-style muffin can be much more elusive. And then, of course, when you find them, as I often did at work (naturally–it was a workplace full of Canadians!), they’re filled with white chocolate or topped with streusel. I don’t know, that’s more of a cake to me! When I eat breakfast, I’m–usually, not always–looking for something a little bit more bread-like. And that’s where wholemeal muffins come in, I suppose. One of my favourite food memories of Toronto was getting to this around-the-corner vegan joint, Urban Herbivore, right when they opened, when their muffins were just out of the oven. They had these incredibly delicious sweet potato-date-spelt muffins for $2.50 that were enormous and definitely got you through a morning. The muffins below are not exactly those (though I must concoct something spelty soon), but they have the same graininess and texture I crave, and serve as a perfect antidote to those rainy days when all you really need is the smell of baked goods in the oven.
Oatmeal Raisin Muffins (adapted from Canadian Living)
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) wholemeal flour
1-1/4 cups (300 ml) quick-cooking rolled oats (I used the full-sized ones, which may have been a little large given the small size of these muffins)
1 cup (250 ml) raisins
1/2 cup (125 ml) wheat bran
1-1/2 tsp (7 ml) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1-1/2 cups (375 ml) buttermilk (this I did not have, but you can make soured milk by adding 1 tbsp lemon juice to 1 cup milk)
1/2 cup (125 ml) liquid honey
1/4 cup (50 ml) vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp (7 ml) vanilla (sometime last year I bought vanilla paste at The Natural Kitchen here in London. Not cheap, but it works a treat)
In large bowl, combine flour, 1 cup of the oats, raisins, bran, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, honey, egg, oil and vanilla; pour over dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Easy!
Spoon into 12 greased or waxed paper-lined muffin cups (I suggest–from personal experience–the greasing method!). Sprinkle with remaining oats.
Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and tops are firm to the touch. (Mine became a little too firm, so I’d err on the side of 20 minutes next time.) Eat with jam.