I’ve been on a muffin kick lately. I love that I can make a batch, throw them in the freezer, and then pull them out individually each morning to throw in lunches. The muffins are completely defrosted and ready to eat by the time noon comes around. At lunch I treat my muffin like a dessert, a nice sweet note to end the meal on.
After my recent experiments with spent grain bread I asked myself, “What would happen if I put some spent grain into some muffins?” I had lots of spent grain from Kyle’s recent brewing endeavors, so I found a simple recipe from King Arthur Flour and decided to experiment.
First, I mixed the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together.
Then I combined the milk and the oil. I used powdered milk here- since we always use powdered milk. Seems to work fine.
I cracked the eggs into the milk and oil mixture.
I stirred the wet mixture and then added it into the dry mixture.
I stirred the mixture until it was combined and then added the spent grains. This time I used grains that Kyle had used to make a nut brown.
Then I gave Kyle a quizzical look as he talked to the muffin mixture while taking the photos.
Kyle, “Oh, work it baby!” “Yah, look at that stirring action.” “Superstar!”
I didn’t want the muffins to be too simple, so I added in some chocolate chips to the bottom of the silicone muffin holders.
I filled the muffin holders. Then I put the muffin pan in a 500 degree oven and immediately dropped the temperature to 400 degrees since King Arthur said this makes the muffin tops nice and pointy.
After 20 minutes I had Chocolate Chip Spent Grain Muffins!
So, how did this experiment turn out? Well, I’ve actually tried it twice with varying results. This time the grains that I used from the Nut Brown had been previously frozen. The muffins from this batch turned out a bit dry. My hypothesis is that the grains were a bit more dry after the freezing and thawing process. The other time I used the exact same recipe but I used grains that had not been frozen. These muffins were perfectly moist and absolutely amazing. So my advice would be to use grains very soon after the brewing process.
My recipe is modified from King Arthur Flour’s Basic Muffins
Spent Grain Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil or softened butter (optional)*
2 large eggs
1/2 cup spent grains
Preheat your oven to 500°F.
Blend together the dry ingredients as long and as vigorously as you want. If you use a little whole wheat flour in your mixture, it’s easy to tell when everything is thoroughly mixed.
Beat the liquid ingredients together — milk, oil or butter, and eggs — until they are light. If you have a 2-cup liquid measure (one with a lip above the 2-cup mark) it makes mixing the liquid ingredients very easy. Most eggbeaters will fit right in the cup, so you can use it both as a measure, and as a small mixing bowl.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add spent grains in. Take a fork or wire whisk and blend the two for 20 seconds — no more! The secret to light and tender muffins lies in this final blending. It’s OK if you’ve left some lumps that look as if they want more stirring; they really don’t. So, no matter how hard it is, resist the impulse.
Fill cups of a lightly greased muffin tin two-thirds to three-quarters full. Place muffins in the oven and immediately drop temperature to 400°F*. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until muffins test done. Yield: 12 muffins, 24 mini-muffins, or six “crown” muffins.
Note: All pictures taken by the amazing and talented Kyle.