Friday, September 05, 2008

Muffin Mishaps

Ok so I have another confession... this "expert baker" (I laughed when I read that in the newspaper writeup) is having muffin problems. It all started when I read Nourishing Traditions that my dear friend Amber sent me.

I have never been extremely satisfied with my muffin recipes that I've used in the past. Why:
  1. They are really more like cakes
  2. They are too dense
  3. I want to find a good basic recipe that I can use with different add-ins
So in NT there are several recipes where you soak the flour overnight in a cultured dairy product (kefir, buttermilk, or yogurt). On that note my poor husband is terrified that I'm trying to bake up some of my scary kefir to feed him. Have no fear, I have used buttermilk and yogurt. I have found that the buttermilk is far thinner than yogurt and I haven't had as good of results with this. If I were going to use buttermilk in the future I think I would use less and then increase the fat called for in the recipe. So I have had flop after flop with these recipes.

After researching my muffin mishaps on the internet it seems that there are real flaws with her recipe. This is my fourth or fifth week to tinker with the recipes and I may have a success, we'll see if my peach cakes make it to the market or if Daniel gets to eat fallen cakes all week!

Why would I continue working on this recipe? Because I have noticed in my failures wonderful flavor, soft (not harsh, dense) textures, and according to several scientific studies presoaking grains in an acidic medium will increase the nutritional value.

One reason I wanted to relay my disasters is to encourage my friends and customers out there to keep on trying to bake on your own despite the difficulties. I have people come up to me and express that they have trouble trying to "bake outside the mix box" well who doesn't. For almost a whole year most of my bread loaves were bricks. It took me a long time to get to a point where I think I can make a pretty good loaf of bread. Cooking from scratch is more work, but it is healthier and more satisfying that opening a box. So if you have time get your bake on:)

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