Saturday, June 2, 2012

Carrot muffins (with spelt flour)

Carrot muffins (with spelt flour)

One of my favorite cookbooks is Kim Boyce’s wonderful “Good to the Grain” – I have baked delicious things from it (her rhubarb tartlets are unforgettable and so are the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies), but unfortunately I cannot find certain types of flour here in Brazil.

A dear friend of mine spent glorious days in Italy and brought me a bag of spelt flour; these tender muffins were my choice to first use the precious gift – the spelt flour is used both in the topping and in the batter. Delicious, but unlike other muffins I have baked I found these a little on the heavier side once they cooled down – a problem quickly solved by reheating the muffins in a preheated oven for a couple of minutes.

Carrot muffins (with spelt flour)
slightly adapted from the wonderful Good to the Grain: Baking with Whole-Grain Flours

Streusel topping:
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (55g) spelt flour
2 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons (42g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 6mm (¼in) pieces

1 cup (140g) spelt flour
¾ cup (105g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup (29g) rolled oats
1/3 cup (58g) dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 ½ cups coarsely grated carrots, about 2 medium
¼ cup (56g/½ stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk*
1 large egg

Make the streusel topping: place the flour, oats, sugars, and salt in a small bowl. Add the butter to the dry mixture. Rub the butter between your fingers, breaking it into smaller bits. Continue rubbing until the mixture feels coarse, like cornmeal. Place in the refrigerator while you make the muffin batter.

Muffins: preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a twelve cup muffin pan (1/3 cup capacity each cavity).
Sift the flours, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in the oats and sugars. Stir the carrots into the dry ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, egg and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly combined. Using a spatula, mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Scoop the batter into the muffin cups, using a spoon or an ice cream scoop. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the mounds of batter and press it into the batter slightly to adhere.
Bake the muffins for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. The muffins are ready to come out when they smell nutty and their bottoms are a dark golden-brown (twist a single muffin out of the pan to check). Cool the muffins in the pan for 5-8 minutes then carefully unmold and transfer to a wire rack.
These are best eaten warm from the oven or later that same day. They can also be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or frozen and reheated.

*homemade buttermilk: to make 1 cup buttermilk place 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a 240ml-capacity measuring cup and complete with whole milk (room temperature). Wait 10 minutes for it to thicken slightly, then use the whole mixture in your recipe

Makes 12


Angie's Recipes said...

Love spelt flour. These muffins look marvelous.

Cupcake and Talk said...

I look forward to trying this recipe, this will be my first time using spelt flour. Can't wait to see what I think. If I love it I'm sure I will use it more often. Thank you for the recipe.

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I haven't had the chance to use spelt flour, but these muffins look delicious with the warming spices and streusel topping!

martina said...

I had the same book and same problem... the chance to find some of the flours used is tricky for me, too. I ended up using very little of it (unfortunately). I have spelt flour though, so I can fix these muffin! :)

tanja said...

I also have trouble finding some of the "healthy" ingredients many recipes ask (I live in Greece. I was lucky to find spelt and there is quite a lot left and was wondering what I am going to make next.

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