I have tried many, many, many muffin recipes over the years, but I can say I’ve never come across a recipe that really truly turns out consistently well no matter whether you use, say pumpkin or bananas; lots of fruit and nuts, or none. I have made many iterations, and I really don’t know which one is my favourite! I tend to use what I have around and/or what I’m in the mood for seasonally.
Mix wet ingredients in bowl:
1 cup active sourdough starter*
2 cups pureed or mashed fruit, such as: pumpkin (one small can is about 2 cups) or mashed overripe bananas (4-6 bananas) or applesauce
¼ cup applesauce or one mashed overripe banana or ¼ cup fruit juice. (This is in addition to the mashed fruit. If you’re using, say, all applesauce, it’ll be 2¼ cups of applesauce total.)
½ cup granulated or brown sugar
½ cup honey (or ½ cup more sugar)
Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl:
3 cups all-purpose flour (can use half whole-wheat and half white if you like. I use organic flour.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
Optional: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or other spices to your taste – anywhere from a couple teaspoons to a couple tablespoons.
Optional: Fold in chopped nuts, berries, fruit pieces, plumped raisins, hemp hearts, coconut, chocolate chips, etc once batter is mixed. Use one thing or a combo – up to a cup or two total.
Spoon/pour batter into greased muffin tins. Every muffin recipe on earth recommends filling ¾ of the way, I fill almost to the top of the cups. This way you get a nice shape. I’ve found this recipe makes exactly two “regular” cup tins (12 muffins) PLUS one “jumbo” tin (6 more big muffins).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Let the muffins sit on the counter in their tins for about 30 min while the oven comes to temp. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Let cool and enjoy! I actually find that these muffins taste best a day or two after they’re baked, though they are delicious right out of the oven, too.
These muffins freeze really well, which is good seeing as the yield is so high and the fact that they do start molding pretty quickly given their moist texture. (They’ll likely not last a week at room temperature.) Let cool completely before putting in freezer bags. Defrost at room temp for a bit when you’re ready for them. My boyfriend eats them straight out of the freezer, which I find a bit weird, but he says he likes them like that.
*The sourdough starter gives a depth of flavor and spring to the texture, as well as lending some healthful things not present in flour alone. The baking soda and powder in this recipe probably do most of the leavening, but the starter is still an important ingredient. Don’t have a sourdough starter? Check out my Pinterest board for articles, tips, and more recipes for making/maintaining/using a sourdough starter: www.pinterest.com/manteega/yeastsourdoughbrewing/.
If you’re feeling adventurous you could try making the recipe without the starter. I have not tried this yet, but you might be able to substitute the starter with buttermilk or yogurt, or maybe just leave it out completely. I don’t know about doing a straight substitution, maybe a half cup of buttermilk instead of the starter, perhaps ¾ to the full cup if you use yogurt. I’d be interested in hearing how it goes. I might try it one day, but I like the muffins so much as they are, and I’ve always got a lot of starter around!