Friday, December 27, 2013

Spelt Pumpkin Muffins for a crowd

It's been a while! An international move with a toddler right before holiday/ preschool-applying season does not make for ample time to blog. But what better way to mark my re-entry into my blogbakeworld than an amazingly good, amazingly easy, and moderately good for you pumpkin muffin? Make these on a snowy weekend morning and your family will love you. Make these on a random weekday with your toddler and freeze most of them and you have an instant healthy snack any afternoon of the week!

I used spelt flour because, as I think I may have explained earlier, I am anti-wheat whenever possible. The best part of spelt is that it bakes completely like wheat and is 100% interchangeable with it, so feel free to use whatever flour you like. Half white and half whole wheat would work nicely here too. Substituting in a 1/2 cup of rye might also be nice.

I made this recipe so that it would use exactly 1 29-oz can of pumpkin purée (because I hate having extra) - but I'm sure using homecooked purée would be even more scrumptious. (And environmentally friendly.)

Spelt Pumpkin Muffins
Makes 24 muffins

These muffins are not too sweet. If your family is accustomed to the cloying taste of commercial muffins I might consider adding a 1/2 cup of sugar and/or topping each muffin before baking with a teaspoon or two of white sugar.

These would also be delicious with some chopped walnuts or whole pumpkin seeds, or even chocolate chips. Fold in gently when the flour mixture is almost all folded in but not quite.

3 1/2 cups spelt flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 29-ounce can pumpkin (3 1/2 cups)
5 large eggs
3/4 cup olive oil
2 cups unrefined sugar (looks like brown sugar but is granulated, not soft - although traditional soft brown sugar would work well too)

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease 24 muffin tins with butter or oil, or line with paper muffin liners.

In a very large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients (except the sugar) and whisk until well incorporated.

In a large bowl whisk together all the wet ingredients (including the sugar) until well combined.

Make a well in the flour mixture and dump in the pumpkin mixture. Fold together until no pockets of flour remain. Do not over mix; stir just until combined. (Over-stirring causes the gluten in the flour to develop which makes the muffins texturally tough.)

Fill the muffin tins with a 1/3 cup of batter each. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops of the muffins spring back lightly when you touch them gently with your finger. As always, do not overbake! (Although if you do, a smothering of cream cheese mixed with lots of powdered sugar will make all well with the world.)

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