Ginger is a fantastic spice, warming, equally appealing in sweet or savory applications, and versatile for seasonal applications. Unlike the popular use of pumpkin spice during fall, (which I honestly don't mind), ginger can evoke a brilliant autumn feel without being limited to it. That's how these muffins taste to me. Warm and spicy, very fall friendly fare, but not "pumpkin spice" and perfectly welcome in other seasons. Not too sweet, and yet still like eating an oatmeal raisin cookie in muffin form. Plus, it's another fantastic way to use up sourdough discard and/or feed up the sourdough starter without having to waste it.
They were appreciated by the kids too; after school snack approved. One great thing about using sprouted grains is that I can make these whole grain muffins that don't really taste like whole grain. They taste a treat! Speaking of a treat, have you ever had a grilled muffin? Normally I will heat or toast a muffin and add some butter, but every so often, and this works amazingly well with pound and angel cake slices too, I will grill the muffin in a frying pan. Golden, crispy edges and soft middles, it really is a treat.
So if you have a love of ginger, an aversion to the stereotypical and ubiquitous fall pumpkin spice flavor, or just want to try a delicious muffin and use up some sourdough starter, do give these delicious muffins a try. The sugar topping is optional, but gives a delightful little sweet crunch to the muffin.
Makes about 10 standard muffins
½ cup (133g for my stiffer starter) unfed sourdough starter or starter of moderate ripeness
1 cup (115g) whole-wheat flour (I used freshly milled sprouted white wheat, lightly sifted)
½ cup (50g) rolled oats(I use sprouted rolled oats)
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1⁄3 cup (60g) packed muscovado sugar
¼ cup (60ml) oil
½-1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
¼ cup (60ml) milk
¾ cup (90g) dried cranberries
coarse sugar to top (optional)
Preheat oven to 350º F.
Combine flour, sugar, oats, salt, baking soda, and cranberries in a medium bowl. Measure oil and milk in a 1 cup glass measure. Add egg, ginger, and sourdough to oil and milk and mix until starter is completely liquefied. Add oil mixture to dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon, being careful not to overmix. Depending on the thickness of your starter, you may need to add 1-2 tbsp more milk to the batter - go slowly, batter should still be quite thick.
Let the batter rest for 5-10 minutes while you line a muffin tin with papers, or grease the wells. The oats and cranberries will absorb some of the liquid in the batter. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, sprinkle tops with a light layer of coarse sugar if desired, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Approximate nutrition for one muffin: