Wheat flour is the new experimental ingredient in the kitchen. It has a bit of a heartier and earthier taste. It’s unusually made with a rich sweetener, such as molasses or maple syrup; to tame it’s coarseness. Since this blog has started, the purchase of white flour is more frequent. Ordinarily, I should try to reduce the amount of baked recipes, but the thought of experimenting with other types of grainier flours was intriguing. Then, quickly baked goods could be part of a healthy breakfast on a weekday morning.
A few weeks ago, I approached a bread vendor at a farmer’s market. Along with an assortment of bread on the table, various types of wheat flour were displayed. The representative was patient in answering my baking questions. I learned to substitute the white for the wheat flour in most recipes, and increase the liquid if the batter is too dry. Feeling more confident about experimenting with baking, a two-pound bag of whole wheat bread flour was purchased. The first experiment was used on Blackberry Muffins, but the addition of wheat flour made them tasteless and tough. In baking, wheat flour begs for more sugar, but I have a preference for lightly sweet baked goods. The next time the muffins were made, a wild risk of adding a quarter cup of maple syrup was poured into the batter. The sweetness and the liquid factor would hopefully improve the second batch. Walnuts were also added to give the muffins more crunch.
The second batch was softer. My worry of having muffins that were too sweet was placed aside. What I like about this recipe is its simplicity. Any berry or nut can be used, and the wheat flour increases the health factor, too. Try it with a smoothie on a quick weekday morning.
1-1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar, to taste
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for greasing the muffin tin
The zest of one lemon
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk; unsweetened soy milk is fine
1/4 dark maple syrup
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
3/4 to 1 cup blackberries, roughly chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Use olive oil to grease a muffin pan.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
3. Mix all wet ingredients together, including the lemon zest.
4. Add wet and dry ingredients together. Midway through mixing the batter, add the blackberries and walnuts. A few lumps in the batter are okay. Do not over mix the batter.
5. Spoon batter into each compartment of the muffin pan to two-thirds full.
6. Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Remove muffins and cool for five minutes before removing them from the muffin pan.
8. Serve warm.