Blank slate muffins
We have a lot of sour milk at our house. As in the literal kind, not the whinging kind. In our last post, we had lovely fresh milk delivered to our house each week. Literally, straight from the cow, milk could not be more fresh than this. Not pasteurized, not homogenized … good stuff. With three growing boys and a husband who loves all things dairy, we went through a lot of milk each week. Now, here we are in our new country, and finding acceptable milk has been a bit of a challenge. My boy herd pointedly refuses the UHT stuff, so I did find a fresh option but … it’s sold in bags. After numerous misstarts, we seem to have landed on a proper storage device (glass, sealing lid; I’ve dropped the darn thing and it didn’t break so … think it’ll last for a while). Still, we have a lot sour milk. So rather than throw out the milk and waste money, I’ve been making a lot of muffins and quick breads. I searched for a recipe that was a nice basic quick bread, which I can dress up with whatever additions I get inspired to include. I found it at www.kitchn.com (which is an amazing resource for recipes, kitchen know-how, etc.). The basic recipe I found is for quick bread, but as with most quick breads, a little bit of kitchen magic can yield perfect muffins from the same recipe…. And is a much more versatile breakfast.
From Kitchn’s amazing buttermilk bread, I’ve made a soured milk quick bread/muffin recipe that works with pretty much any mix-ins. (Little kitchen science: you can make your own sour milk by adding vinegar to milk and letting it sit. Otherwise sour milk can be subbed in for buttermilk in most recipes.). This one is awesome because it uses a lot of sour milk at once, and it freezes well, so then you can have a variety of muffins (or bread) on hand for quick breakfasts. Or snacks. Or whatever.
Blank slate muffins
Makes 12 muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white wheat flour 1/8 cup (4 oz) white or light brown sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup (8 oz) sour milk (or buttermilk, or yogurt thinned with a little milk) 1 large egg 1/4 cup (2 oz) unsalted butter, coconut oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease or spray a standard 12-cup muffin pan.
Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Melt the butter, if using. Whisk it in a separate bowl with the buttermilk and the egg.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients. Gently stir and fold the ingredients until all the flour has been incorporated and a shaggy, wet batter is formed. Be careful not to over-mix.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, evenly distributing between the cups. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes. When finished, the muffins should be nicely browned and bottoms toasty brown.
Baked muffins can be put in a freezer bag and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Coconut – add 2 T coconut milk powder, and use coconut oil. Add ½ cup dried coconut with the flour. Also great with shredded carrots added to the mix.
Fruit salad – add ½ to ¾ cup dried fruit like pineapple, mango and banana. Sprinkle the top before baking with a bit of sliced coconut.
Banana – Add 2 or 3 thinly sliced bananas to the batter. Sprinkle the top with a little cinnamon before baking.
Sun-dried Tomato and Cheese - reduce sugar to 1 T, 1/2 c. grated cheese, 2 T minced sun-dried tomatoes
Pesto - reduce sugar to 1 tablespoon, 1/4 c. pesto, 1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese. Also great to combine the sun-dried tomato with the pesto.
Zucchini Ginger – Add 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 cup shredded and drained zucchini to the moist ingredients.
Cranberry-Walnut - 1 c. dried cranberries, 1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts, 1 tsp vanilla, zest from one orange