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September 16, 2010

All-purpose flour (Recipe: granola muffins)

Granola muffins

One interesting thing to know about all-purpose flour:

Did you know that it's bred especially to be all things to all recipes, equally amenable to breads and cookies and coatings and dumplings? All-purpose flour has a medium protein content of 9-12 percent, compared to whole-wheat (14 percent), or cake flour (5-8 percent). I always use unbleached all-purpose flour, because I think it tastes better. Bleaching makes the flour whiter in color -- a strong preference of bakers in the southern United States -- but I'd rather have good taste than bright muffins.

Cooking or baking?
Baking, of course, but flour is also fundamental to the perfect roux, tempura, and the base coating for breaded chicken breasts (flour, egg, crumb).

Storage:
After you've opened the bag, store the remaining flour in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Moisture and moths are the enemies of healthy flour. You can also store flour in the freezer, an especially good idea if you live in a humid climate.

Pantry ingredients in this recipe:
All-purpose flour (more facts and ingredient photos)
Light brown sugar
Baking powder
Ground cinnamon
Butter
Vanilla powder


Granolamuffins

Granola muffins

When I get the urge to bake (not very often, as you know), I like to use what's in my pantry. This recipe, adapted from eHow.com, came together in minutes, and I had all of the ingredients on hand. Granola muffins are perfect for brunch, with yogurt and fruit, or with afternoon tea. Like many muffins, these are best eaten on the day they're made. Makes 8 large muffin tops, or 10-12 regular muffins.

Ingredients

2 cups granola
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup + 1 tsp skim milk
1/3 cup cooled, melted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare one or two muffin top pans (6 muffin tops per pan) or regular muffin tin (12 muffin cups) with paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together the granola, flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a large glass measuring cup, stir together the milk, butter and egg. Pour the mixture into the granola mixture, and stir just enough to combine (do not overmix).

Use an ice cream scoop with a release (called a disher), if you have one, or a large spoon to fill the muffin cups approximately 2/3 full. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the pan and allow to cool completely on a rack.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Sweet potato latkes
Apple spice cake
Shrimp etouffee
Lemon yogurt cake
Yogurt coffee cake with pecan filling
Broccoli and cauliflower sformatino

Other recipes that use all-purpose flour:
Apple crumb cake, from Just Hungry
Creamy pumpkin cheesecake with ginger-pecan crust, from Alpineberry
Chocolate-cherry bread, from Cook's Hideout
Chicken and dumplings, from Simply Recipes
Blueberry zucchini bread, from My Baking Addiction

Comments

There is a lot of really interesting information about flour in the book "52 Loaves" by William Alexander. He really dives into the details of flour and how certain practices and additives came about.

Can vanilla extract be used instead of vanilla powder?

TW, thanks for the reminder that this is a book I want in my library.

Pauline, absolutely yes. Instead of vanilla powder, add 1 tsp vanilla extract to the wet ingredients.

I love the idea of muffins using granola as an ingredient. (And I must get one of those "muffin top" pans, I know I'd love the muffin tops.

Will substituting whole wheat pastry flour for the all purpose flour work?

ohhh i do love the sounds of these. must try. thank you for posting.

Kalyn, I always eat the tops off regular muffins and don't care much for the bottoms, so these muffin top pans are perfect for me. All top, no bottom -- what could be better than that?

Subha, no, it won't work (the lower protein content will give you a very tough muffin), but if you want a whole grain muffin, you can substitute white whole wheat flour for the all purpose flour.

Vanillasgar, you would like these. Sweet, no gooey, and really good for breakfast (ask me how I know!).

WOW, they look delicious! Thank you for the recipe! your facts are really interesting too. I'll be following your blog & delicious recipes :)

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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