Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Savory supper muffins

I have a confession: I fell off the whole-grains wagon this month.

For the past few months, I have been featuring recipes from Liana Krissoff's Whole Grains for a New Generation, from which I am cooking as part of the From Scratch Club's virtual book club. Every two weeks, the group is assigned a different grain or set of grains from which we can choose a recipe or two to make, then share our results with the rest of the group.

I've had a love-hate relationship with this book. Well, hate is too strong a word: more like a love-annoyance relationship. Love, because I have found many great new recipes (the roasted butternut squash with quinoa and greens is seriously amazing) and annoyance because some of the grains are just too obscure: I don't want to have to visit three natural foods stores to find one cup's worth of a grain I'll never use again. Which is why I wound up skipping one of our last assignments. Just plain skipped: didn't even ask for an extension or an incomplete.

This recipe for supper muffins is reason alone, however, why it is good to embrace new things and cook outside of your comfort zone (sometimes necessitated by a book club assignment!). I don't like rye bread so was not thrilled with the idea of rye flour in a muffin but decided to give it a try -- largely because I found a very small, noncommittal bag of rye flour.

Oddly, it was nice. The hint of rye complemented the sharpness of the cheese, creating a nice, basic savory muffin or baby loaf, since I love my mini loaf pan.

These muffins are a refreshing alternative to cornbread alongside soup and chili but are also delicious served with roasted chicken or pork.

I used parmesan cheese, as suggested by the original recipe, but feel free to experiment with other kinds of hard, sharp cheeses. I also think you could add some thyme or other herbs to give the muffins a little extra flavor.

Do you have a favorite savory bread or muffin recipe? Do you have much experience cooking with less mainstream grains or flours? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

(Incidentally, this is the last assignment for this book; I can't wait to see what our next book will be!)

Savory Supper Muffins (adapted from Whole Grains for a New Generation)

1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup plus two tablespoons rye flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk
1 egg
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first four (dry) ingredients. In another, smaller bowl, whisk the milk, egg and oil until combined; stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese. Add the wet mixture to the dry and combine, taking care not to overmix. Pour the batter into prepared muffin or mini loaf cups/tins and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.


  1. Man those look good. My experience cooking with unusual grains is very limited, but I do like the idea of using a savory muffin with a meal in lieu of a dinner roll or corn bread, which are our 2 mainstays. While I'm at the store I'll look for rye flour; if I can't find that, can you suggest a substitute?

    1. You should be able to find rye flour in the "natural foods" section of most major supermarkets (in your case, the Publix) or often in the bulk foods section of natural markets. If you can't find it, you could easily just use 2 cups of the white whole wheat flour instead, but be sure to add dried herbs to the mix to give it a little extra flavor.

  2. I've got a jar of rye flour left from...?...something I made but can't remember what and must not have liked all that much to not remember. Perfect opportunity to use it up!

  3. This sound really interesting. I have to admit, I'm reluctant to buy a specialty flour that I wouldn't use very often, but your review is kind of making me think that even if I just made these muffins repeatedly it'd be a good use of rye flour. :)
    So far these butternut squash muffins are my favorite savory muffin. Super delicious! http://seatatthetable.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/butternut-squash-and-feta-muffins/