Tag Archives: baking

Punkin’ Muffins

Punkin' Muffins

I am not a particular fan of pumpkin beers.  They are fine and all, I just think most of the character comes from spices, not pumpkin.  However I find pumpkin makes a very nice breakfast muffin, and this morning I decided to whip up a quick batch.  If you want to read about beer, skip to another post.

One skill I have developed to a degree, after years of brewing and baking, is the ability to create my own recipes.  Sure I may peruse a few for ideas, but in this case I sat down and imagined my own.  It started with of pumpkin puree.  We usually have some home roasted pumpkin in the freezer.  It is pretty easy to do, just slice open the pumpkin and remove the seeds (roasted pumpkin seeds, yum!) and then roast until nice and tender.  We put measure ours into 2 cup increments and freeze for future occasions.

When baking quick breads, Alton Brown always talks about the wet team and the dry team.  The nice thing about pumpkin is that it is a little of both.  I used it on the wet team, as it allows you to mix it up and disperse it in the liquid.  Here is the wet team I came up with:

Pumpkin puree 1 cup
Buttermilk 1 cup
Skim Milk 1/4 cup
Butter 3/4 stick
1 Large Egg 75 ppm
Light Brown Sugar 3/4 cup packed
Vanilla 1 tsp

The dry team:

All Purpose Flour 1 cup
Whole Wheat Flour 1/2 cup
Brown Rice Flour 1/2 cup
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Baking Soda 1/4 tsp
Salt 1 tsp

I found the brown rice flour in the cupboard. I am not sure what we bought it for or when we bought it, but I saw this as an excuse to use it up.  I expect it would not contribute gluten, which is something you don’t really want in a quick bread.

The thing we have not talked about was spices and other additives.  I actually made a double batch, adding chocolate chips to one batch and raisins to the other.   Both batches got some chopped pecans, though I wish I would have lightly roasted them first. Of course the heart of pumpkin is the spices: cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice, nutmeg.  Here is where I wish I had a do-over.  I mixed a quarter teaspoon of fresh ground cloves, ginger, and allspice.  I grated some fresh nutmeg and added about 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.  I split this between the two batches.  It was not enough, really.  The next time I make these I will need to revisit this.

Despite the lack of bold spice goodness, enjoying a warm, freshly baked bread on a fall weekend morning is a real pleasure.