Baker’s Notes – Scratch Baking Co. Muffins with a Twist

One of my new favorite publications is Baker’s Notes put out by Scratch Baking Co. and designed by MORE & Co., the same group that designed Sugar & Salt, my new cookbook.  The layout is a playful mix of daily snipets that allow a peak through the window of a baker’s life and serious tutorials on everything from simple muffins to laminated dough, one of the apexes of the baking world.

After an early morning start (What you thought I’d just go back to sleeping in after summers of waking up at 4:30am every morning?  Yeah, not so much.) while leisurely sipping my coffee, I alternately watched the sky turn from inky to gloamy to sparkly and read my latest copy of Baker’s Notes.  Even though I don’t run a bakery, but more an inn on the water, I felt a collegial sense of connection with those who wake up very early in the morning to serve others coffee and breakfast.

It’s only natural that I would, then need to start the day by baking something inspired by this crew.  English muffins was the first round and then Cranberry Strawberry Muffins the second.

Cranberry Strawberry Muffins

Cranberry Strawberry Muffins
Inspired by Baker’s Notes Issue No. 3, Nance’s Muffins.  Using frozen strawberries will make it easier to stir the berries into the batter without having it turn bright pink.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for the topping
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin (or line with muffin liners).  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into a large bowl.  Using a pasty knife, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes a fine crumble.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla.  Stir until just combined.  Gently add the cranberries and strawberries.  Fill the muffin tins two-thirds full of batter and sprinkle extra sugar over the top with a spoon.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges come away from the tins and the center is cooked through.

Serves 12

Annie
Another happy morning

Baker’s Notes – Scratch Baking Co. Muffins with a Twist

One of my new favorite publications is Baker’s Notes put out by Scratch Baking Co. and designed by MORE & Co., the same group that designed Sugar & Salt, my new cookbook.  The layout is a playful mix of daily snipets that allow a peak through the window of a baker’s life and serious tutorials on everything from simple muffins to laminated dough, one of the apexes of the baking world.

After an early morning start (What you thought I’d just go back to sleeping in after summers of waking up at 4:30am every morning?  Yeah, not so much.) while leisurely sipping my coffee, I alternately watched the sky turn from inky to gloamy to sparkly and read my latest copy of Baker’s Notes.  Even though I don’t run a bakery, but more an inn on the water, I felt a collegial sense of connection with those who wake up very early in the morning to serve others coffee and breakfast.

It’s only natural that I would, then need to start the day by baking something inspired by this crew.  English muffins was the first round and then Cranberry Strawberry Muffins the second.

Cranberry Strawberry Muffins

Cranberry Strawberry Muffins
Inspired by Baker’s Notes Issue No. 3, Nance’s Muffins.  Using frozen strawberries will make it easier to stir the berries into the batter without having it turn bright pink.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus extra for the topping
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin (or line with muffin liners).  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into a large bowl.  Using a pasty knife, cut in the butter until the mixture becomes a fine crumble.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla.  Stir until just combined.  Gently add the cranberries and strawberries.  Fill the muffin tins two-thirds full of batter and sprinkle extra sugar over the top with a spoon.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the edges come away from the tins and the center is cooked through.

Serves 12

Annie
Another happy morning

Cook the Book – Blueberry Orange Muffins

I use this recipe as a base for many different kinds of muffins.  The recipe below is as written in the cookbook, but as I’ve proven to myself many times before, I’m not capable of following a recipe, so I mess with it.  One change that I especially like is adding 1 teaspoon orange extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon orange zest and substituting sour milk for the milk.  Sour milk is something that is always hanging around our fridge now that we buy unpasteurized milk.  It only lasts a week and when it goes sour, it adds a mild, rounded, tang to all baked goods.

It’s summer now and therefore easy to find fresh blueberries, but if you hang on to this recipe for the fall and winter months, frozen blueberries may be your only option.  If that’s the case, add them very last and only stir until just mixed.  This will stave off the gray, greenish color that comes from even just a few extra turns of the spoon.

Blueberry Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cups milk
1 1/3 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease (or line with muffin papers) muffin pans.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Add oil, egg, and milk. Stir until just mixed.  Gently fold in the blueberries; then fill the muffin cups two-thirds full.   Bake for 20 minutes, until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed in the center.  Makes 12 muffins

I also make pumpkin, honey and walnut muffins with this recipe.  Reduce the milk to 1/3 cup; add 2 tablespoons honey and 1 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin with the other liquid ingredients, then stir in ¾ cup chopped walnuts instead of the blueberries.

Other favorite variations: replace the blueberries with
Dried cranberries
Raisins
Dried apricots
Chocolate chips

Annie
And then go brush your teeth because your whole mouth will be happy, but blue!

Blueberry Muffins

I use this recipe as a base for many different kinds of muffins.  It’s very forgiving and tasty too.

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs, beaten

2/3 cups milk

1 1/3 cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°.

Grease (or line with muffin papers) muffin pans.

Sift together dry ingredients.

Add oil, egg, and milk. Stir until just mixed.

Gently fold in the blueberries; then fill the muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed in the center.

Makes 12 muffins

I also make pumpkin, honey and walnut muffins with this recipe.  Reduce the milk to 1/3 cup; add 2 tablespoons honey and 1 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin with the other liquid ingredients, then stir in ¾ cup chopped walnuts instead of the blueberries.

Other favorite variations: replace the blueberries with

Dried cranberries

Raisins

Dried apricots

Chocolate chips

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