Monday, February 15, 2016

Oat-applesauce muffins and a walnut sourdough

This weekend I made muffins and, for the first time in a while, sourdough.


These "healthy oats and applesauce muffins" feature applesauce, whole wheat flour, and lots of oats. They're similar to a bunch of recipes, but they use whole eggs instead of egg white, and butter or coconut oil instead of a boring oil or margarine. The recipe also doesn't come with a topping.

I used butter and substituted brown sugar for the white sugar. I also added about 1/2 cup cinnamon chips, just because I could, and a pinch of salt.

I thought about adding a topping, but decided against it. I also considered adding raisins, but abandoned them in favor of the cinnamon chips.

Before going into the oven

I cooked the muffins (11, not the claimed dozen) on 375 on the convection setting for 12-15 minutes. (Someone ignored the alarm!) Although the toothpick came out clean, the muffins didn't look done. Still, the timing (whatever it was) was perfect. The texture was nice and moist, but definitely cooked through. The muffins didn't rise much, if at all; I'm not sure if that's because of my faux baking soda & powder, or just how the recipe works.

The muffins tasted pretty good, but not amazing—they were much what you'd expect from a cinnamony, completely whole grain muffin recipe. If I make it again, and I might, I'll try whole wheat pastry flour instead of regular whole wheat flour. I'll probably use raisins or cranberries instead of cinnamon chips.

About the cinnamon chips: I haven't yet found anything I love them in. If they were bigger, I might like them better, but they just kind of get lost in everything I've tried, so far. I wonder if they'd be good added on top of an iced muffin—say, a carrot cake muffin.

Walnut sourdough

I hadn't made bread outside the bread machine in a while, so this loaf was way overdue. Unfortunately, I forgot to put the dough in the fridge before I went out for the evening, so the dough rose way too high!

It should be half this high!

When I got home and saw my mistake, I decided to go ahead and shape the bread. The bread was so gloopy it was rather hard to work. I ended up flattening it out, adding a bunch of walnuts on top, and then folding/rolling it a bunch of times to try to add a little surface tension.

Plopped into a banetton

The next morning, I took it out of the fridge and let it rise at room temperature (around 68 degrees, just like the night before) for a couple of hours . Then I put the dough back in the fridge while I went out for a couple of hours.

Before baking

When I got back, I preheated the oven to 500 degrees for 45 minutes, to get the baking stone nice and hot. I then turned the bread out onto a parchment-covered peel, which took some doing since the dough was sticky. I sliced the top, then slid the bread onto the stone in the oven, placed a big pot on top of it, and reduced the heat to 475.

The resulting bread was very flat—not surprising, given how overworked the yeast had been. Poor yeast.

However, the texture was fine, and it was deliciously sour! The crust, a couple of hours after baking, still had a great, chewy yet crunchy texture.

Flat, yet delicious

This bread tasted great by itself or with fresh mozzarella on top. It'd be great with olive oil or butter, as well.

I used the usual Josey Baker recipe, with added walnuts (maybe 3/4 cup, toasted).

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