Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Millet Muffins

Millet muffins are delicious to have for breakfast with a cup of coffee or in the afternoon with a pot of tea.  This ancient grain which has been around for thousands of years brings a nutty flavor & a pleasant crunch to a muffin batter made with brown sugar, a small amount of butter, good quality flour and the freshest of eggs.  A muffin with a light crumb, delicate texture and a perfectly domed top is what this recipe is all about.  Using the easy muffin method to mix the batter allows one to whip up a batch of these treats in a matter of minutes.  This technique requires nothing more than adding dry ingredients to one bowl and mixing in the wet ingredients until incorporated.  There is no need for creaming butter & sugar in a mixer and having a dozen bowls for this recipe. 

I do find that toasting the millet in a dry pan brings out the essence of the grain, so it's a step I highly recommend you not omit.  Adding a bit of low fat sour cream not only enhances the flavor of the muffin, it makes for a moist breakfast treat that is light and delicate, not at all the heavy, sugary things that try to pass for muffins these days at the supermarket.

Let's start baking!

A split millet muffin is perfect for breakfast.

The Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup millet
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yield: 12 standard muffins

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or butter and flour the wells completely and set the pan aside.

Preheat the oven to 400° F

Heat a dry skillet over medium heat until very hot before adding the millet.  Toast the grain for about 4 minutes, tossing the entire time, or until it begins to turn a golden color and takes on a nutty aroma.  Don't let the millet burn.  When done, let the millet cool completely in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.


In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt (I always sift my leavening agents because they tend to clump).  Whisk to combine evenly.

Add the toasted millet and whisk to combine.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients by pushing them to the outer edges of the bowl.


Add the eggs, sour cream, melted butter, oil, brown sugar & vanilla into the well.  Using a rubber spatula, break up the brown sugar and begin incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet.  Use as few strokes as possible when doing this and try to mix everything quickly.  You don't want to see any dry flour in the mix.

Note: Overmixing the batter will activate too much gluten and will result in a tough, heavy muffin.

The batter will be quite thick when done.  This is what you want to see.

Quickly divide the batter between the prepared muffin pan and promptly pop it into the preheated oven.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes
The tops should be golden brown and feel springy when lightly touched.  Don't overbake them or they will be dry. 

Straight out of the oven, the muffins will be beautifully domed.  Let them sit in the tins for about one minute before removing them from the pan.

As soon as they're cool enough to handle, enjoy one with your favorite coffee or tea.  Delicious!


To enjoy a good muffin within the hour doesn't mean one has to step out of the house and visit a nearby bakery or supermarket.  With only a handful of ingredients and a single bowl, anyone can whip up a batch of millet muffins on the weekend and fill the kitchen with a most enticing aroma.  Although I highly recommend eating the treats the day they're baked, these tasty muffins will keep an extra day if stored in an airtight container.  If you wish, the baked muffins can easily be frozen and stored in zip top freezer bags; simply thaw the muffins on the countertop (they thaw within an hour) or in a toaster oven for 5-10 minutes if you can't wait that long.  I do hope you treat yourself to my millet muffins because they're tasty any time of day with or without coffee.  Enjoy!

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