If you’ve got a jar of sourdough starter on your counter or in your fridge chances are you’re looking for ways applications that put that levain to good use. This is how Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Muffins made it into my kitchen. Necessity.
After all, your starter just sits there consuming flour week after week, then you have to clean its jar and feed it some more. I don’t know about you but if I’m feeding something I expect it to give a little something back. Up at 5am to feed this sucker on baking days, so a little breakfast might be nice!
Boulanger is a culinary art in and unto itself. It has its own language. Even within the category of boulangerie, there are subsets of specialties. Just because you can cook a chicken, does not mean that you’ll be baking a great baguette right off the bat. It takes time, a depth of understanding of the process, and most of all, it takes practice.
If you’re a beginner sourdough baker, know that this is a process. Just like anything else. Mistakes will be made, remember this is how we learn. Relax. You don’t have to be perfect.
Sourdough Cast-off Recipes
Where I do feel comfortable in the sourdough arena is sharing recipes that have been successful for me using sourdough starter cast-off. This recipe for Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Muffins is a good start. It’s consistent and versatile. Instead of lemon & blueberry try peach, or raspberry, or mango. The principle is the same and the possibilities are plentiful!
A delicious way to start the day and a great use of your sourdough starter cast-off. Not too sweet with a delicious, deeply flavorful crumb Lemon Blueberry Sourdough Muffins are a new favorite at our house.
1 cup unbleached Flour
1 cup cornmeal / corn flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 lemon, zest only
1 cup sourdough starter, ripe (fed) or discard
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1/4 melted butter or vegetable oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
1– 2 cups blueberries, fresh or *frozen (see note for frozen)
2 tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling on top
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400° F (200°C). Prep 12- cup muffin tin, greased or lined with paper.
In bowl add your dry ingredients; flour, cornmeal / corn flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest then whisk to combine.
In a second bowl lightly beat your starter, milk, egg, sugar, melted butter/oil. Dump dry ingredients into wet mixture and fold lightly with a spatula. Gently fold in blueberries until *just* blended.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling to around the ¾ mark. Dust with extra sugar mixed with nutmeg.
Bake in pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes. Remove from pan when cool enough to handle to allow to cool and dry on a rack otherwise they will continue to steam in the muffin pan and become tough.
If using frozen blueberries, don’t thaw, use them frozen. If your blueberries (or any frozen, brightly colored, juicy berry) are even just a little bit thawed; take two tablespoons of the dry ingredients and dredge your berries to cover before adding to your batter. This will avoid the juice running into your batter and turning the entire batch purple. Some people like a purple muffin, and hey if that’s you, please proceed. To me, that just says “I don’t know how to keep the berries from staining my batter” but, I promise not to judge. (Unless you’re a professional in which case I shall “tut-tut” under my breath.) However, your blueberry bits will be a little drier. Bake on my friend, bake on!
Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, recipe blogger and Food Business Consultant. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn, ten years in catering, and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.