Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bread Baking Day-Birdseed Muffins

This month's theme for the Bread Baking Day is Quick Breads and is hosted by Mansi at Fun and Food Blog. I love making all sorts of quick breads, and always look for new recipes, so this challenge was the perfect excuse to try something new. I have been wanting to make these muffins for the longest time, the recipe comes from the lovely book Nancy Silverton's Pastries from La Brea Bakery. If you don't know Nancy Silverton, she is one of the people responsible for bringing back artisan bread in this country when she opened La Brea Bakery in 1989, in Los Angeles. Nancy and her ex-husband Mark Peel also opened Campanile, a restaurant located in the 1929 building where Charlie Chaplin had his office, on La Brea Avenue, in Los Angeles. Nancy is a bread encyclopedia, has written many books, and is a great source of inspiration.

I knew the recipe would be interesting, it has eight grains/seeds, is partially sweetened with honey and has buttermilk as the liquid, which adds a nice tang to the muffins. The recipe is not exactly quick as it requires a toasting and a grinding step, which add about 10 minutes to the execution.

The recipe is not a traditional muffin recipe but rather a cup cake/cake recipe. The butter is first creamed with the sugar, the eggs are then added, the liquid and the flour go in last. After noticing the batter separating after adding the honey, I modified the recipe by adding the flours and the buttermilk in the more traditional 3:2 additions. If you have the book there is a probable mistake in the amount of sunflower seeds, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of seeds, but in parenthesis it says 6 ounces which is more than a cup.

I had to add this photo because it reminds of a well known leaning tower. I am not even sure how the muffin on top didn't fall.

The muffins came out perfect and very pretty. They are not very sweet, so if you like your muffins sweet add 1/4 cup of sugar. They were perfect with a dollop of butter on top, YUM!

Birdseed Muffins
adapted from Pastries from La Brea Bakery

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sunflower seed
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
4 ounces of butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup mild-flavored honey. such as clover
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

For the topping:
2 tablespoons millet
2 tablespoons flax seeds
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Spread all the top 6 ingredients in rows on a baking pan, and toast for 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool. Turn the oven up to 350F.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the sunflower seeds, wheat germ, flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Process until the seeds have the consistency of the flours. Add the rest of the toasted grains and the poppy seeds, pulsing on and off a few times, just to combine.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, mixing well between each addition.

Add the honey and mix well. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk in 3:2 additions, mixing only until incorporated, scraping the bottom of the bowl after each addition.

To prepare the topping: mix the four seeds together. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon on the topping into the bottom of each paper lined muffin cup. Fill the cups completely to the rim and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the topping over the surface of each muffin. Bake for about 25 minutes, until firm and golden. I made 24 mini muffins and 8 regular muffins.

Buon Appetito!


lisa is cooking said...

These muffins look delicious! I'm working my way through her Breads from La Brea Bakery. Now, I want the Pastries book!

Y said...

What great looking muffins. I love anything with lots of grains in/on them!

Arundathi said...

those sound awesome! and lovely photos.

Anonymous said...

These muffins are really unusual, but they look really healthy and delicious!

kellypea said...

These muffins sound fabulous. Love whole grains and always looking for a way to make muffins more healthy. Thanks for sharing it.

CM said...

MMmmm! I've been looking for a few good not-too-sweet muffin recipes. These look great, and I love the fact that they have all those seeds and grains in them! Thanks for sharing!

Laura said...

Lisa, they look and they are delicious, not too sweet and full of great grains, glad you like Nancy Silverton, she is awsome.

Y, you can change the grains in the recipes, even adding some more aromatic seeds, like fennel and such.

Arundathi, thanks, try them, maybe adding some Indian spices.

Elissa, yes they are healthy, not fat-free though.

Kelly, thanks for stopping by, let me know what you think.

Hi Charity, you are welcom, let me know how they turn out

Justin said...

tell the truth... you skewered that leaning muffin stack, right? nice pics, btw.

Lien said...

Wonderful those muffins, love things with birdseed in or on them!

zorra said...

I like the name, and they look just awesome, too.

Gaia said...

ciao Laura,
ecco, si' diciamo che se mi traduci almeno i nomi dei vari semi, mi risparmieresti una grande fatica.
Per il procedimento penso di riuscire a cavarmela!

Miranda said...

Thank you so much!! I made these for a birthday party and they were delicious! I couldn't find millet, so I used Quinoa instead - just an even substitution - and it worked out great!

I linked to the recipe in my blog post:



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