Friday, July 2, 2010

Sourdough Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

I'm really bad about feeding my sourdough starter. Every Saturday at noon an alert pops up on my screen telling me to feed it; most of the time I press ignore. Being unemployed has caused me to press the ignore button on many an alert--why do it today when I can do it in my free time tomorrow?* I clearly need more structure in my life. This is kind of the reason I didn't want to get involved with growing my own starter from scratch and instead opted to steal it from Miss M. I'm actually quite surprised I haven't killed it yet, and very lucky my brother didn't throw it out when he thought it was rancid salad dressing (he just left it on the counter--I know, what the hell? He's 26.). So I finally got around to feeding it this evening, which left me with about 3/4 cups of discard.

I could very well claim that I hate wasting food, and thus didn't want to discard the discard. Truthfully,  it just pains me to throw away something I have managed to keep alive despite my negligence. Plus, it's more of a pet than any goldfish I ever had and I didn't throw those out when still alive. Although I never baked my goldfish...**  But that's not the point. The point is that it's kind of ridiculous to toss out all that flour, water and yeast only because I'm afraid it will otherwise multiply and take over the world. So I decided to make something. I didn't want pancakes or waffles. Or some sort of weird discard bread. I wanted muffins. Fluffy muffins. And oh my god did my muffins turn out Fluffy.

These Sourdough Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins are the product of an impromptu experiment and boast an unnecessarily long name. I poked around the 'net to check out liquid-to-dry ingredient ratios on different kinds of muffin recipes, but that's as far as I went. Then I just started measuring and adding and tasting the batter. And then I baked. And I have never seen muffins puff up this much in the oven. And I've never had such moist whole wheat muffins either. And I hate the word moist. The airiness provided by the starter really offsets that denseness whole wheat baked goods tend to have, making me feel like I was eating a muffin made of 100% white flour. I honestly couldn't ask for more from a boring Thursday night baking adventure.

*Everything does get done and on time, but the procrastination bug is running rampant over here.
**However, one did manage to commit suicide by flipping itself out of the bowl onto my play table. 

Sourdough Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Makes 8 Muffins

3/4 cup unfed 100%  hydration starter*
1 cup sifted white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 large apple, peeled, cored & cubed**

3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

*My starter had the consistency of a thick cake batter.
**I used a granny smith, but any will suffice.

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix together everything but the apples and topping ingredients. It should be somewhat thick and goopy. Add in apples by hand. Oil your muffin tin and spread batter into 8 parts. Mix topping and sprinkle over muffins. Bake for 20-24 minutes, rotating halfway through. Muffins will be done when they pass the toothpick test. Let cool on rack.


baking.serendipity said...

I love cinnamon muffins! These look like they've turned out really well. I've never done the sourdough sounds like a lot of work! And I totally know what you mean about structure. I'm on summer break from teaching and keep thinking I always have tomorrow!

Steve said...

What a great sounding combo.
I love apple/cinnamon but the sourdough takes it some place special.

Joy said...

That looks great. I never through of putting sourdough and muffins together.

Le's Little Cupcakes said...

yummy! I've never imagined having sourdough in muffins before but with that and apple together, it sounds super tasty!

Jessie -- The Messie Kitchen said...

I'd be very curious to try these. I can't imagine all these flavors together but I feel like it's a good combination! Looks tasty!

Lauren said...

I just realized I never commented on these, which is totally not okay, because I love apples and muffins and wheat and sourdough. Hooray.

They look wonderful and fluffy and substantial, and they have spunk, too!

The Duo Dishes said...

How does one feed sourdough???? Please explain! Then send some muffins over here.

Baking Barrister said...

@Everyone Thanks! The sourdough taste isn't pronounced mostly because of the sugar/cinnamon, but it brings a moistness and fluffiness to the table that is hard to recreate. Now...

@Duodishes - A sourdough starter is flour & water, that, when mixed together and left out on the counter, catches wild yeast spores. Over time, it catches more and more yeasties. But these yeasties need food to survive because flour & water without yeast is useless for making bread. So, in order to maintain your population of yeast-laced flour & water, you need to feed it every now and then. If left in the fridge, about every two weeks you take out your jar and mix in a 1:1 ratio flour and water by weight, which keeps the yeast happy, alive and growing. The thing is, every time you feed it, everything doubles in size, so if you don't discard some before feeding it to maintain the size, you're going to end up with a ton of starter. Some people throw it out, but it's perfectly good flour and water with a little oomph.

Now, if you let me know next time there is a blogger bakesale, I will happily send some over.

smilinggreenmom said...

These look so healthy and wonderful! Our kids would love it. I can't wait to try it using Kamut Wheat flour since it always bakes up so moist! Thanks!

The Duo Dishes said...

That's pretty awesome. Thanks for answering the question. Maybe it's time to try a sourdough starter. That would make for some fun bread recipes.

americanlass said...

I just made these and they turned out great! Only thing I tweaked was added an extra apple, grated, to the mix to give it a bit more moisture. Turns out they didn't need it! But they still taste fantastic. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I don't know how I found this site and this recipe but I had a whole lot of starter (like to make starter in the summer as the warm weather helps get it going) and I was looking for something interesting to make. I made these muffins exactly as this recipe states. Yum. They are great beccause they aren't too sweet, and they aren't heavy due to the whole wheat flour. Love this blog, great pictures. Look forward to experimenting with other recipes from here!

December NineRoad said...

These come out perfect when I add 1/4 cup milk to it.

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