Yet another delicious recipe created for us by Sarah Owens! One of the most beautiful things about collaborating with Sarah is her flour intuition. Yes, that’s a thing! I’d like to encourage you to pay attention to your own flour intuition.
Having a diversity of grain to mill and bake with is what allows us to even think about this. By flour intuition, I am referring to our ability to select the flour for any given recipe by taking into consideration its color, flavor, aroma, baking characteristics and texture. This recipe is the perfect example of doing just that. Of course, when Sarah sent the recipe and photos to me I saw all of the ingredients and thought – absolutely, this is going to be delicious! However, it wasn’t until I made the muffins for the first time that I was fully able to appreciate how well Sarah has woven some very complex flavors and aromatics together. They just fit. And delicate Chiddam Blanc de Mars not only fills in between the spaces, joining them all together, but makes its own important contributions enhancing the soft textures and subtle spices. Building and using your own flour intuition helps you create your own adventure, so to speak. This simply isn’t part of the equation when working with bland, industrial flour. White refined flour can only provide structure, while all of the remaining ingredients have to do all the heavy lifting in order to make something delicious.
Here’s where I’d like to give another shout out to the farmers responsible for growing these flavor bombs – the efforts in Oaxaca by Masienda https://masienda.com which gave us the stunning Conico Azul corn, and of course Mai Nguyen and that Chiddam Blanc de Mars that we just can’t get enough of. If you aren’t yet aware, we launched our first Flour Share pilot program in collaboration with Farmer Mai Nguyen. It just can’t be stated enough how important her work is, her farming practices, her commitment to building up heirloom seed resources. Supporting diversity is the key to flour intuition. You can read about it and learn how to buy into the program here:
And now, let’s bake!
Photos, Recipe and Recipe Text all by Sarah Owens
You can support Sarah’s work and find more delicious recipes at Patreon:
Or by following her on Instagram @sarah_c_owens
This whole grain muffin recipe is very adaptable to using different types of soft wheat flours, fresh or frozen fruits, and even fats, substituting the coconut oil with 120 g softened butter if you prefer. When using coconut oil, be especially careful to also use room temperature ingredients to ensure proper blending, otherwise the oil will seize and cause lumps in your batter. The starchy Cónico Azul is deliciously sweet and nutty in this recipe but necessitates using a bit more moisture than most cornmeal; once the batter is mixed, it will be thick and easily spoonable. For improved flavor, you may use buttermilk or a plant-based milk like oat or coconut instead of whole milk. This recipe works with any sourdough starter and if using berries other than blueberries, be sure to freeze them beforehand so they will maintain their shape when mixing into the batter. The result is a tender crumb and only a moderately sweet muffin that provides a wholesome breakfast treat without the glycemic spike! If you prefer a sweeter muffin, increase the sugar by 15-20 g.
Recipe: Blueberry Cónico Azul and Coconut Sourdough Muffins with Chiddam Blanc de Mars
Yield = 12 large muffins
150 g whole Chiddam Blanc de Mars flour
75 g Cónico Azul cornmeal
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
115 g unrefined cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, room temperature
110 g raw unrefined coconut sugar
108 g whole eggs, room temperature (about 2 large eggs)
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
75 g 100% hydration whole grain starter, room temperature
130 ml whole milk, room temperature
180 g fresh or frozen blueberries
20 g unsweetened sliced desiccated coconut
30 g chopped raw almonds
10 g raw turbinado sugar for sprinkling
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F and position a rack in the middle.
2. Grease a non-stick muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter. If you do not have a non-stick tin, line with paper cups, grease with non-stick spray or butter, and set aside.
3. Sift together the dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt and set aside.
4. Prepare the wet ingredients.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the coconut oil and sugar on medium to high speed until lightened in color and slightly fluffy in texture, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and almond extracts, and sourdough starter and beat on medium until smooth and just combined, about 2 minutes.
5. Make the muffin batter.
Sift in 1/3 of the dry ingredients and pour in 1/3 of the milk. Fold the batter using a spatula to gently combine. Repeat twice more until all of the dry ingredients and milk are used. Fold in about 170 g of the fruit, saving a few for gracing the top of the muffins. If using frozen fruit and coconut oil, the batter will stiffen considerably at this point. Scoop or spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each generously to the top and rounding in the middle. Sprinkle on the coconut and almonds and finish with the remaining fruit. Press the toppings gently into the batter to secure them while baking and sprinkle with the coarse turbinado sugar.
Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for about 24 to 26 minutes, rotating halfway through. The muffins will be done when they are a golden brown and a toothpick tests clean when inserted into the middle of a muffin. Allow to cool for 10-12 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Place the cooled muffins in a covered container and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.