Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sourdough Rye Scandinavian Muffins

If you follow my blog, you know that I am in a 'muffin phase'. As an Italian, I fell in love with these mini cakes I discovered when I first came to the U.S. Sure enough, the ones you get at your favorite coffee shop are delicious because of the amount of butter they contain. However, you don't need a ton of animal fat to obtain soft, delicious muffins, so I am in a constant search for healthy muffins recipe.

One day, I ran into these rye savory muffins on Epicurious. I made them once, using yeast just to see how they came out and they were delicious! Soft, savory and spicy. However, if you use sourdough you also know that it is difficult to go back to yeast. For me, it is mostly about the fermentation process, not the flavor. I love the natural process behind wild yeast, the long rising time makes me feel like the world is going to a sustainable pace again. It's a very mindful process you can peacefully observe.

For the World Bread Day I decided that I wanted to give my contribution to the sourdough community, and convert this wonderful recipe from dry yeast to natural yeast. I used the method suggested by Clotilde @ Chocolate and Zucchini to convert the proportions and translated the measurements in grams, because with sourdough you know you'd better be precise.

  • 100 g rye flour
  • 220 g white flour
  • 30 g of light brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp anise seeds (or fennel seeds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds (or fennel seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange zest (optional)
    25 g butter
    50 g molasses
    150 g warm water (75°F)
    100g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
    4 g salt 

  • 1 egg (lightly beaten for egg wash)
    1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (to garnish)
  • Vegetable oil for greasing

  • Mix the rye and white flour in a small bowl. Mix warm water and sourdough in a medium bowl, add all the other ingredients except for salt and egg (you'll need that only when you are ready to bake) and start incorporating the flour, 1/4 cup at a time and make sure not to leave dry spots. Let rest the dough for about 30 minutes, then incorporate the salt and mix well with your hands. If the dough is not too sticky, try to knead it a couple of times on a lightly floured surface. Make a ball and let it rise in a bowl for 2 1/2 hours. During the rising process, stretch and fold the dough two or three times (this will make the dough more elastic). If you don't know how to stretch and fold, follow this link.
  • Transfer the dough on a lightly floured surface and evenly divide the dough in 12 pieces. Place the each small balls in a muffin pan lightly greased. Cover with plastic or wrap in a tightly closed plastic bag and let proof the balls until doubled in size, which should take between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 hours, depending on many factors, including the temperature of your kitchen and the activity of your sourdough. To retard the second rise, place the pan in the fridge after 1 hour, for up to 24 hours. Can be baked straight out of the fridge.
  • When you are ready to bake, brush a small amount of egg on each muffin, top with some more seeds and salt flakes and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F, in the middle rack for 20-35 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 190-200°F or a toothpick come out clean from the muffin. Serve the muffins when still warm. 
World Bread Day 2010 (submission date October 16)


zorra said...

Oh yes, they are very cute indeed. I also like all kind of mini. ;-) Thank you for participating in World Bread Day.

wacki04 said...

Stopping by to say hello! Looks great too!

Hope you can stop by What's Cooking Wednesday again to link up one of your recipes :)


Sophia said...

I would totally bake these muffins. They look simply delightful!! Found you on Tastespotting! Glad I did! Hope you like my blog, too!

Melodie said...

I couldn't find the cookie recipe you linked up at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays (the url didn't work - it said there was an error), but I found these instead. Super yum! Thanks for stopping by!

thespicegarden said...

Now, HERE is a roll worthy of leftover Thanksgiving turkey! There will be little turkey 'sliders' on the lunch table on Black Friday! Thank-you for the terrific recipe! I'll be back to visit again!

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