Baking

A Lighter Muffin
February 22, 2010 • Posted by Jennifer Perillo

I’m not one for whole-wheat flour. There’s something about the earthy flavor and it tends to make denser baked goods. Luckily I found a nice compromise at my local farmers’ market a few weekends ago: organic “half-white” flour. According to the producer, Farmer Ground Flour, this type is common in Europe, and is a blend of white and whole-wheat flours. The label describes it as a “medium protein bread flour that retains some of the bran and germ”. The texture is lighter than both whole-wheat and regular all-purpose white flour, without a discernible earthy aroma. Sounds like a win-win to me.

I used it to make a lemon-glazed raspberry cake for my mother-in-law’s birthday and then decided to tinker with my blueberry muffin recipe a few days later. I’m happy to report the result is a lighter, more delicate crumb and delicious with a smear of homemade butter. The only problem is it’s quite expensive at $5 for a two pound bag ($10 for five pounds). A more economical substitute can be made by sifting equal parts whole-wheat pastry flour and white flour.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins
Makes 18 standard size muffins

1 cup plus 1 Tbsp all-purpose white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
1 stick butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups frozen wild blueberries

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line one 12-cup and 6-cup muffin tin with recycled paper liner, or coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the whole-wheat flour and 1 cup of the white flour. Add the baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and lemon zest and whisk to combine; set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs until well combined. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beating until just combined.
  4. Toss blueberries with remaining tablespoon of flour. Fold blueberries into batter. Evenly spoon batter into prepared muffin cups (it will be very thick) and bake until golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm or let cool completely in baking pan.

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