|Bakery-Style Blueberry Crumble Muffins|
I know, I know. This isn't my first...or even second...blueberry muffin recipe. But here's the deal: when I create something that I think is exceptionally delicious, I simply cannot help but share with y'all.
(Plus, if you're bored with blueberry, this recipe is EXCELLENT with chocolate chips instead. Just decrease the bake time by 2-3 minutes.)
Anyhoo, such was the case with these muffins. I have the immense pleasure of living right by Dozen Bakery, a small but incomparably wonderful bakery with life-changing loaves and pastries. Claire, the owner and head baker, brought her yeast starter back from PARIS. YUP. My favorite goodies are the Vollkornbrot bread (seasonal fyi), the classic baguettes, the ginger cookies (soft and chewy), the ham & cheese croissants and...drumroll...the blueberry muffins.
You've never had a blueberry muffin until you've tried Claire's (and maybe mine will be a distant second :)). These bad boys have thick, crumbly exterior with a hint of sugar-crystal-crunch on top, and they are the perfect amount of m-o-i-s-t. Plus, Claire is respectfully restrained in her use of sweetness, which allows the bloobs to shine.
Recently, I found myself so enamored with Claire's blueberry muffins that I couldn't help but try and somewhat replicate them at home. I've also found myself playing around with einkorn flour, and I thought it would be a good fit for this experiment. "What is einkorn?!", you're likely asking. Kinda sounds related to Vollkenbrot, come to think of it...I'll have to look into that.
But for now, we'll stick to the www.einkorn.com description, which is as follows:
"Einkorn is the oldest wheat known to scientists, and is considered man’s first wheat...The crop can be found in mountainous regions of Morocco, France, Turkey, and parts of the former Soviet Union. It survives and thrives on soils where most other forms of wheat do not flourish. Einkorn was among the first cereals that were cultivated..."
Perhaps most importantly, research has shown einkorn to offer more health benefits than modern strains of wheat. One study concluded that einkorn contains higher and more bioavailable sources of the antioxidant class carotenoids (source). In addition, einkorn contains less gluten than modern strains of wheat, potentially making it a better option for those are non-celiac gluten-sensitive (source).
My attraction to experimenting with einkorn is thus: einkorn offers similar baking properties to refined all-purpose flour, but in a much healthier form. So I thought it would be the perfect option to create a more traditional bakery-style muffin than my past recipes.
Happily, this turned out to be a correct hypothesis!
With einkorn leading the charge and blanched almond flour providing 'heft' and moisture, my Blueberry Crumble Muffins are everything I dreamt of and more! Hearty but not dense, light but substantial, sweet but not cloyingly so, they truly make you feel like you're indulging at a local cafe or bakery. I love how a tiny splash of blueberry extract amps up the flavor, but you certainly don't need to buy it just for this recipe (tho my Blueberry Cake Donuts also call for it). Plus, I use half monkfruit sweetener, half coconut sugar in these babies: monkfruit is zero-calorie, zero-glycemic, and coconut sugar is low-glycemic and also contains some micronutrients. Woo!
Because I don't have sugar crystals like the ones Claire uses for a crunchy topping, I decided to make a buttery crumble. Oh, how it just takes these over the lovely golden-brown-domed muffin top! I think that's actually my favorite part of the entire baking process: peeking into the oven around minute 20 to see that they've risen like a true classic baked good!
If you're a blueberry muffin lover and want something healthier that mimics your favorite, I really do think you will love my recipe. if you give it a try, please tag me @lauraleabalanced #llbalanced, so I can see your creation!
NEED ANY INGREDIENTS OR EQUIPMENT?