I’m not usually a morning person. Since I’d rather sleep in, I also usually never have time for breakfast. At least not the balanced breakfast that we were taught to have in elementary school that touched every major food group and was based on some triangle.
The breakfast I have usually involves coffee in some shape or form, depending on my mood or the weather. If it’s raining and cold and miserable, I drown myself in a hot mug of coffee with just a little milk and sugar. If there’s a hint of a cool breeze in the air with a touch of excitement, then I turn to a spiced chai or latte. If it’s sweltering and humid and I am berating myself once again, “Why do we still live in this awful city??” then it’s a (very) large glass of iced coffee with a shot of some flavoring. But this post isn’t about coffee, it’s about the disappointing / sugar rush inducing pastry that nearly always goes with it.
Now I may be too tired when I first wake up to get breakfast, but by the time I stumble off the train near work, I’m starving and need something to go with my coffee of choice that morning. This usually leads to a donut, or muffin, or apple tart, or a bagel, or whatever is available. And no matter how many times I’ve been disappointed in the past with the hum drum, nearly tasteless, why-does-it-turn-to-mush-in-my-mouth muffins, I still go back. Something is seriously wrong with me. Until now.
I’ve had Smitten Kitchen’s blueberry muffin recipe tucked away for some time now, and decided to give it a whirl over the weekend. Since I’m weary of white flour muffins, I thought I’d try the recipe out in three batches – 1) all purpose flour 2) a mix of all purpose and wheat 3) full force wheat pastry flour. My favorite? The wheat. Without a doubt. Not that any of them were bad. Let’s just say that out of the nearly 30 muffins that were made as part of this test, less than a handful are left. I felt that the wheat test case had a grainy-ness that appealed to me. It tasted hearty and substantial.
(left) whole wheat pastry flour (upper right) half all purpose and half whole wheat pastry (lower right) all purpose flour
Give them a try and let me know what you think. Happy baking.
Perfect Blueberry Muffins adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted them from Cook’s Illustrated)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (all I had at home was banana flavored yogurt so that’s what I used. Gave it a nice underlying flavor)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional. I couldn’t find my zester so I skipped it.)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (you can use all purpose, or half all purpose and half whole wheat pastry. Up to you.)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 – 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, don’t bother defrosting. I used frozen this time just to test.)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Line a muffin tin with 10 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray.
- Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes.
- Add egg and beat well, then yogurt and zest.
- Put flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a sifter and sift half of dry ingredients over batter. Mix until combined. Sift remaining dry ingredients into batter and mix just until the flour disappears.
- If using frozen berries, toss with some flour so they are just coated. Gently fold in your blueberries.
- The dough will be quite thick, closer to a cookie dough, which is why an ice cream scoop is a great tool to fill your muffin cups. Or just spoon out a large chunk, adding more as you see fit. Fill each up about 3/4 of the way.
- Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean.
UPDATE – I just wanted to post a note that whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour are not the same thing. I used whole wheat PASTRY flour for this recipe. Specifically the Whole Foods 365 brand. Hope that helps.