The other morning I found myself gushing to this guy about some muffins I baked. Josey is my neighbor (ladies, don't hate), and he's super inspiring - fully geeked out on all things flour, seed, and grain. As a side note, when I get him to show me how to make his Dark Mountain Rye Bread, you'll be the first to know. I see Josey around a lot, and sometimes we chat about what we're baking. So, there I was, telling him about a batch of muffins I was particularly into, they were just GOOD. Berry-streaked with sugar-sparkled tops, big flavor, buttermilk tender texture, I kept going on and on. On the way home it occurred to me that I should probably write them up. Here goes.
I used whole wheat pastry flour, huckleberries from last summer (frozen), and topped them with crushed rose cinnamon sugar. They're not overly sweet, and they're nice and moist from a the buttermilk and a of couple bananas worked into the extra-thick batter. Although, it's worth noting that after baking the banana flavor didn't overwhelm the berries.
To make them extra-special I decided to top them. I love the combination of berry and rose, and that's part of what inspired the rose & spice sugar-dusted tops. The next time around I might even spritz the muffins, in the last few minutes of baking, with rose water (or rose sugar water), or something along those lines, to heighten the floral aspect.
Buttermilk Berry Muffins
I used frozen huckleberries here, but you can substitute blueberries, mixed berries, toasted seeds, dried fruit, etc, etc. I make a rose cinnamon sugar* for the topping, but you can do a straight-forward cinnamon sugar if dried rose petals are hard for you to come by.
1 1/4 cups / 5 1/2 oz / 160 g whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/4 cups / 10 1/2 oz / 295 g unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup / 3 1/2 oz / 100 g firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
5 1/2 oz mashed, ripe banana (~2 med.)
240 ml buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup / 4 oz / 115 g unsalted butter, barely melted
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g berries, plus more for topping
rose cinnamon sugar*
Preheat the oven to 400F / 205C, with a rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with papers. I used baking cups here, with those you can skip the tin.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
In another bowl combine the banana, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and butter. Stir until blended and uniform.
Gently stir the berries into the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over dry, and mix until just combined. For tender muffins, do your best to avoid over-blending.
Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full (maybe a bit more than that), sprinkle with more berries and a generous dusting of cinnamon rose sugar.
Bake for 25-40 minutes (larger muffins on the long side), or until golden-topped, and a tester/toothpick comes out just clean.
Makes 1 - 1 1/2 dozen, depending on size.
*Make rose cinnamon sugar by combining 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon crushed, dried rose petals.
Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes