Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sue Gregg's Banana (Nutless) Muffins

A couple of weeks ago, in an attempt to find more Einkorn recipes, I searched the interwebs and found Sue Gregg and her blender batter recipes (though nothing was specifically written for Einkorn). I was intrigued by her waffle/pancake recipe, started it that evening, and received rave reviews for the pancakes I served the next morning. Such success warranted ordering one of Sue's cookbooks and I chose her Introduction to Whole Grain Baking With Batter Blender Baking and the Two Stage Process because it mentioned incorporating traditional foods techniques.

(As an aside, Sue Gregg's name sounded very familiar to me, and then I remembered Evelyn Gibson of Gibson's Healthful Living which was a shop/cafe we used to go to when we were first married. I'm pretty sure my friend's mom knew both Sue and Evelyn through her sales of Bosch Mixers and also grain mills. Sue lives in Riverside which is pretty close to me.)

Yesterday I had two bread flops. Not failures, as they rose and are edible, but nothing I would invite others to break with us. The first was my fault; I misread the salt measurement and it tasted flat. The second was yet another attempt to bake the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day master recipe (using Einkorn) in the boule shape, this time employing a cast iron pot as a baking vessel.  It still spread and we ended up with a 1.5 - 2" high loaf of bread. I'm starting to think that Einkorn, with its lower gluten content, doesn't work well in the high moisture, no-knead recipes.

I decided to take a break from bread baking today in the hopes that I would regain my bread baking mojo and knowing that we had enough bread to eat, even if it wasn't the most delicious bread. Still, before bed I stopped to think what food I should be preparing and I realized that J-Baby didn't have much for breakfast (he doesn't like to eat oatmeal day after day). I could have made him a smoothie, but I decided to try Sue Gregg's blender batter muffins instead.

I'm finding the blender batters easy to make and I love that they incorporate freshly ground grain. Even better, the grain grinds with the soaking medium (in this case, buttermilk). Into the Vitamix went the buttermilk, melted butter, warmed honey, and Einkorn grain. After a minute I added the banana, then once it was well-blended I poured it all into a mixing bowl, covered it, and left it to soak overnight. I prepped the leavening/seasonings and headed to bed.

Sue Gregg mentions adding 1/2 cup flour to your muffin batter in the morning if you prefer rounded tops. We do, and I have 80% extraction Einkorn flour so I added it to the batter, mixed in a beaten egg, and finally gently folded in the leavening/seasonings before filling my muffin tin and putting the muffins into the oven to bake.

Papa and I really liked the muffins! The boys were slightly less enthusiastic, and their reasons for rating these muffins lower than the muffins from Moosewood Cooks At Home were the reasons that Papa and I loved them so: they were less sweet and had a bread-like texture rather than being sweet and cake-y. But these are muffins I can serve at breakfast with fruit without feeling guilty; those other muffins are very much a dessert.

So far Einkorn has performed better in the recipes for doughs and batters that include fat, dairy, and a small amount of sweetener, although it could be the hydration that is an issue. Next up I plan to try Sue Gregg's yeasted whole wheat bread, using Einkorn, of course.

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