I know, I sound like a complete knob asking people to use organic stoneground unbleached freshly milled plain flour but the reason for that is that I accidently purchased some online, thinking it was just regular old plain flour.
Anyway, if you manage to get your hands on it, it’s a lovely, healthy flour which I recommend for rustic muffins/loaf/cake type things (you wouldn’t make a sponge cake or cuppies with it). These autumn inspired muffins turned out soft and fluffy, gorgeous with butter and a cup of tea for breakfast this morning.
In saying all that, you can use whatever flour you like but I’d replace around 1/2 a cup of it with wheat germ or oat bran just to up the health factor a bit.
Recipe for spicy pumpkin & date muffins:
2 cups flour
2 tspns baking powder
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
1 tspn mixed spice + 1/2 tspn ground nutmeg + 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon + 1/2 tspn ground ginger + 1/4 tspn ground cloves (OR 1 3/4 tspns pumpkin spice + 1 tspn granola spice)
A couple of grinds of sea salt
1/2 cup raw caster sugar or brown sugar
80g dates, finely chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt, sour cream or buttermilk
80g unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 tspn maple or vanilla essence
1 slightly rounded cup of steamed, mashed and cooled pumpkin (about 340g raw, peeled pumpkin) OR 250g canned pumpkin
1 tblspn melted butter
Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 6 cup Texas sized non-stick muffin tin (or 12 cup standard sized muffin tin) with baking paper.
Sift flour, raising agents and spices into a bowl. Add salt, sugar and dates then whisk to combine. In a separate bowl combine eggs, maple syrup, yoghurt, melted butter, essence and mashed pumpkin and whisk until fairly smooth. If using brown sugar, I find it easier to stir that into the wet ingredients as this type of sugar tends to clump.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, folding until combined but do not over-mix.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 27-30 minutes (for large muffins) or 18-20 (for standard sized), or until tops spring back when gently pressed.
Remove from the oven, brush melted butter over the tops and sprinkle over cinnamon sugar. Sit in tin for 5 minutes before placing on cooling rack.
Serve warm with butter.
Makes: 6 large or 12 standard sized
Note: pumpkin can be made the day before and stored in the fridge. Cut into 3cm cubes, steam for 15 minutes, or until tender, mash well and cool. Before using, allow it to come to room temperature.
Note 2: Muffins can be frozen and reheated in the microwave.