muffin of the month, august 2016: gluten-free blueberry buttermilk muffins

previous monthly muffins

11/15, whole-wheat pumpkin streusel muffins || 1/16, muffin history || 3/16, muffins versus cupcakes || 7/16, english muffins

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Many people claim that North Carolina summers last until October, but the mornings and evenings are already feeling less like that place where my upper arm meets my ribcage and more like autumn. And the sun is sleeping much longer. Gone are the days of bright, sunny six o’clock in the morning, and here has come the season of seven o’clock sunsets.

Soon I’ll be able to step outside without my glasses fogging up. Huzzay.

We don’t normally think of blueberries as autumn fruits, but it is yet early autumn/late summer, and as long as the farmers are selling them, I’m sure as hell buying them. I’ve had blueberries in my freezer all season and am only just beginning to finish them up (I just really like blueberries muffins and pancakes, okay?)

Blueberry muffins, with lemon zest and/or buttermilk, are a classic, but I was curious to see if I could make them gluten-free. It took a lot of flour combinations and binder substitutions (I don’t buy xanthan gum; I’ve heard some people say they don’t like it when doing gluten-free baking), but now at the end of the hot and stormy season, I have found a few combinations that work for me, and I’m hoping they’ll work for you, too.

 

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There’s no xanthan gum or anything super crazy in these muffins (though the agar-agar batch did turn out pretty well), and the flours are pretty common: white rice is always my base for gluten-free pastries, plus brown rice, chickpea, or soy flour (choose one or any combination thereof), or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, buckwheat, and bound together with any starch (corn, tapioca, potato), baking soda, and baking powder. The first few batches tasted metallic, and most of the middle batches were gummy or crumbly, but the last few held together like their glutinous brethren and actually tasted like they were meant to taste.

These muffins will be more tender than glutinous muffins, naturally, and they pack an intense lemon flavor. I use about 2 cups or 200 grams of blueberries for a dozen muffins, but by all means, add more.

Muffins aren’t meant to last more than a day, and certainly no more than 48 hours. If you want to keep them overnight, wait until they’ve cooled off and wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap. They can be left out at room temperature once they’re wrapped up. I usually microwave the muffins the next day, to bring back a little vitality and make them soft again.

 

gf_blueberrymuffins-5 gf_blueberrymuffins-4

 

gluten-free blueberry buttermilk muffins

adapted from blueberry buttermilk muffins, from Mom’s Big Book of Baking

makes 1 dozen

 

100 g white rice flour

100 g other gluten-free flour (bean flours recommended, but you can also use brown rice or buckwheat)

100 g starch (corn, tapioca, potato, etc.)

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

dash of salt

2 large eggs (2-ounce/52-gram eggs), at room temperature

150 g granulated sugar

200 g buttermilk, at room temperature

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/2 c unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 c fresh or frozen blueberries (~200 g)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C, and line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, combine flours, starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a larger bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, buttermilk, and lemon zest. Whisk in melted and cooled butter until combined.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, then stir in the blueberries. It doesn’t have to be perfectly mixed, as ingredients will continue to combine when they bake, and you want to work as quickly as possible.

Divide the batter out among the muffin cups (I use a large cookie scoop), and bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until muffins are springy to the touch. If they seem to be browning quickly, turn the oven down to 325 F/160 C.

 

Leggo my PSL, yo,

Nick P.

Categories: alternative diet, Breads, muffins, seasonal produce