Baking Quick Breads (by ratio) & Orange-Saffron Muffins [Gluten-Free]

17 Fri, 2011 § 10 Comments

Early mornings are meant for the kitchen.  Flours dust the counter tops as the sun slowly reaches its way across bowls & bamboo mixing spoons.  Sometimes, 4am (or even 5am) feels too early to be awake & baking breads; but often, I relish this unique perspective of our home as the house fills with light & sweet aromas.

While I enjoy this intimate time with myself, it’s not purely selfish.  Dave doesn’t seem to mind waking to smells of freshly baked millet muffins or Summer-infused quick breads.  I look forward to sending him to work with a scone, a fresh slice of sweet bread or a muffin.

I have taken to creating more baked goods rather than buying bread from the store, especially as I am delving into gluten-free varieties.  Baking my own is less expensive, but more than that, it’s rewarding & sparks creativity.  Experimenting with gluten-free flours is becoming more interesting than sticking to whole wheat, though I still rotate in batches made with kamut.  There is much more variance & diversity of flavors & textures when you explore what lies beyond all-purpose & wheat flour.  Corn. Oat. Rice. Buckwheat. Amaranth. Almond.  Each is distinct in its nuances & offers something different to your baking.

I am becoming very partial to the combination of almond & oat.

Orange & saffron as well.

I have just started baking with a scale & following weight ratios rather than measuring by volume (ie measuring cups), which immediately amped up my confidence in creating rather than simply following recipes.  Baked goods each have a ratio of flours to liquids to eggs to fats.  What makes bread different from pancakes — & these different from pizza dough or a croissant — is not just the ingredients, but how those ingredients work in proportion to each other.  Of course, there are still many recipes out there I have fallen in love with which need little to no adapting; but baking by ratio gives me the freedom to make these recipes my own by more easily swapping flours or the type of liquid or fat I use.

Try it.  My kitchen scale set us back only $20 & is more than worth it.

To ease you into this, I did translate my recipe back into approximate volume measurements.  These will only be useful if you use the exact ingredients I did though, because each flour, oil, etc has its own specific weight.  I’m a newby just playing around, having fun & certainly no expert.  This is a great post if you are interested in learning more about cooking with ratios.

The ratio for baking quick bread is 2 parts flour: 2 parts liquid: 1 part egg: 1 part fat.  To fill a 9 x 5 loaf pan, you would need 227 grams of flours, 227 grams of liquid of any kind, 113 grams egg (2 of them) or egg substitute & 113 grams of fats.   This ratio also works for making muffins.

Almond Meal Muffins with Orange Zest & Saffron

makes 12 muffins

or slightly fewer if you want a higher muffin top

  • 110 g almond flour (~heaping 3/4 cup)
  • 117 g oat flour (~heaping 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 131 g orange blossom honey (~1/2 cup)
  • 63 g coconut milk (~1/4 cup)
  • 34 g fresh orange juice (4T) & zest from one orange
  • 2 eggs (113 g)
  • 113 g coconut oil, melted (~1/2 cup)
  • tiny pinch of saffron, seriously only a few strands

Preheat oven to 350*F.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Combine wet ingredients separately.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients & mix.  Fold in zest & saffron.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling to the rim. Bake for 13 – 15 minutes until muffin tops are lightly golden & a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are crumby & moist, best eaten with a fork, fresh & warm from the oven.

~

Do you bake using ratios?

p.s. The first bread is my vegan variation of Marla’s Strawberry Snack Cakes.

Millet Muffins

2 Mon, 2011 § 8 Comments

Make these.

Heidi’s Millet Muffins.

They are slightly crunchy, still fluffy & smooth on the inside, not overly sweet & have the perfect kiss of lemon.  They are reminiscent of poppy seed muffins, which are my absolute favorite.  Next time, I just might toss in a few poppy seeds for fun.

I adapted her recipe slightly to create a vegan version but left the major components untouched; & though they might not be as pretty as hers, I would wager they are just as delicious.  We also made the Tinto de Verano from her recipe sampler over the weekend…& plan to enjoy her Avocado with Mustard Seeds later this week.  Yes, I really want her new cookbook.  I will be swinging by B&N very soon to take a closer peek.

Millet Muffins

Adapted from Super Natural Every Day

makes 12 muffins

Preheat oven to 400*F.  Prep a muffin pan with oil or butter or line with paper liners.  I like my silicone baking cups, which I place on a regular baking sheet.

  • 2 & 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup raw millet (Heidi’s recipe calls for 1/3 cup, but I like the extra crunch from the millet)
  • 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used dairy-free coconut Amande yogurt made with cultured almond milk)
  • 2 flax “eggs” (whisk together 2 T freshly ground flaxseeds with 6 T warm water & let thicken ~10 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/2 cup agave or honey
  • grated zest from 1 lemon & 2 T juice from half the lemon

Combine flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda & salt in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, flax”eggs”, butter, agave, zest & lemon juice until smooth.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients & mix until flour is just incorporated.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling just to the rim.

Bake for 15 minutes until muffin tops are golden brown & just beginning to crack.  Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

~

Have you ever baked with millet?  What do you think of Amande yogurt?

We Ate Like Kings

29 Thu, 2010 § 5 Comments

Because we didn’t have any climbing gear to pack, we had ample room for food & cookware.

A mere sampling of our car camping eats:

Angela’s In A Jiffy Curry Chickpea Burgers

The first time we had these, they kind of fell apart in the oven, but I loved the flavor.  I do not know if it was the freezing before hand or the pan frying method, but they were an awesome arrival dinner our first night.  The outside browned & crisped up just slightly.  I’ll be making them like this at home.  SO GOOD!

Process until smooth:

  • ½ C Oats
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 ½ tsp Curry
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Tumeric
  • ¼-½ tsp Sea Salt, to taste
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Parsley flakes [optional–did not use]

Add:

  • 1 ½ C cooked chickpeas  [add these as 1/2C increments]
  • 1T coconut oil, melted

Stir in:

  • 3T Sunflower seeds
  • ¼ C Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Wet hands & shape into patties.  Angela suggests baking at 375* for about 20 minutes.  Like I mentioned, freezing “raw”, then pan-frying seems to be the way to go though or at least finish them off on the grill if you bake them.

~

Flax & Oat Breakfast Power Muffins.  Another treat from Angela [can you tell I have a blog crush on her yet?]

I love how I feel after eating these — not heavy & gross like many muffins leave me — but I will probably tweak this a bit, because I’m not completely loving the flavor & texture yet. If I discover a tweaking trick, I’ll share.

~

Veggie & Black Soy Bean Scramble in Rice Tortillas


Campfire Salmon with Blackberry Sauce

~

Scape & White Bean Dip via Ashley, who is amazingly creative in the kitchen.

We love hummus, but it’s nice to switch it up a bit; white beans are usually our next go-to.  The garlic scapes give this a nice, pale shade of green & make me think this would be an excellent dip to sneak in some spinach [no one will ever know] & make it even greener & more fun!  We devoured this with raw cauliflower & Olive chips.

Process until fine:

  • 4 Garlic Scapes, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon

Add:

  • 2 C White Beans, cooked
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • Pepper, to taste

Stream in 1T EVOO at a time, alternating with 1T water until you reach the desired consistency.

  • ¼ C EVOO
  • 2-5T Water

Quinoa Granola

I wanted an afternoon-energy-boosting-snack that was not oat based [since the muffins were primarily oats].  This granola, with its complete protein quinoa, seemed the perfect fit.  It was lovely sprinkled over large lunch salads.  Mmm…strawberries & balsamic.

I checked midway through cooking & decided it needed dried cherries thrown in; I’m glad I did.  This simple granola is not super flavorful, so the cherries amped it up some.  This creative spin on granola is sure a party, but not exactly a party in my mouth.  Next time, I’ll follow Ashley’s suggestion & add coconut butter in the mix; I might also swap walnuts for cashews, which Dave will like more.  Even so, I can’t stop munching on it — it’s great with rice milk — so it must have something my body needs.

Wine

We never have wine — alcohol for that matter — while camping, because…well, I guess it’s just not our usual style.  For this trip though, we found this 2007 “earth friendly” Cabernet Sauvignon from California & even managed to safely pack the wine glasses.  Neither of us really cared for this particular bottle; we found it fairly acidic.  Dave & I enjoy saving & writing on some of our corks; we display them in a bowl at home: mini-journals of special occasions, friends, events, etc.  [Thanks for the awesome idea Julie!]

Tea

Essential for me while camping.  It warms me up on those cold, cold mornings & soothes my tummy in the evenings.  Camping seems to throw my digestive system for a loop; & next thing I know, it’s off & I feel less than terrific.  Ginger & Lemon Tea does wonders for calming my tummy, & I’m anxious to explore other blends that may help.  Though the weather was generally quite hot on this trip, I still enjoyed my tea by simply adding cold water or rice milk after it brewed.  In the future, I think I’ll take fresh lemon to add to water in the morning like I do at home.  This is an amazingly cleansing way to start off your day.

Raw Brownie Balls

Rich.  Decadent.  Glorious.  These are a favorite indulgent from TKD that do not feel indulgent; raw desserts are like that — they just seem clean & nourishing even — so I make these often.  These little beauties are even growing on Dave: from his first taste test came this reply: “kind of nutty” [not a lover of nuts in treats] ; this time: “mmm, chocolatey.”

Process until coarsely ground:

  • ½ C raw Walnuts

Add & pulse until well combined:

  • ½ C Pitted Dates
  • ½ C Carob Powder

Add:

  • ½ C Maple Syrup
  • ½ C Organic raw Almond Butter
  • ½ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract [I used half a Vanilla Bean]
  • ¼ tsp Sea Salt

Process until thick & smooth.

Add:

  • ½ C whole raw Almonds

-Pulse a few times until combined, keeping chunky for crunch.

-Form the mixture into golf-ball-sized balls in your hands.
-Roll in unsweetened, shredded coconut. [I leave some plain.]
-Place in a sealed container in the freezer until hardened.
-Allow to sit outside the freezer for a couple minutes before devouring 😉

To me they taste like heaven & brownies [hence the name alteration — she calls them Raw Balls, which just sounds weird to say to people].

I made about 17 balls [my “golf balls” are kind of small, so I can eat two at a time & not feel bad :P].  I could probably get 18 out of these by the time I scrape all the sticky batter & stop “taste testing” — did I mention — they taste like brownie batter!

~

What do you normally eat while camping?  I’m anxious to try other meals & make more of our camping experiences “gourmet”. 🙂

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with Muffins at ARoadMoreBalanced.