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Have Sourdough Discard? Make Lemon Muffin Puffs

In my effort to use up sourdough discard/starter in ways that are reasonably easy and, just as important, taste good, I decided to try making lemon muffins. Admittedly, muffins generally are made with baking powder or baking soda, not yeast, but why? You should be able to get muffins to rise using a sourdough starter, shouldn't you? Well, yes, wild yeast starters were the leaveners for most baked goods for centuries. Nonetheless, most bakers were thrilled with the advent of chemical leaveners, particularly baking powder in the late 1840s. The idea behind most muffins, which are part of the "quick bread" family, is that they are quick to make. Baking powder causes an acid-base reaction in a batter or dough, leading to the release of carbon dioxide gas that acts as the leavening force. Sourdough muffins, like the sourdough process, aren't quick. You'll need substantial time, as the muffins don't include baking powder. Nonetheless, most of that time is rising time, not "hands on" effort. In addition to producing "quick" breads, baking powder enables bakers to avoid the traditional fermented flavors of yeast-risen dough. Sometimes that's good but not always. Sourdough lemon muffins are a case in point. The sourdough fermentation process adds additional tang to the muffins, amplifying the tartness of the lemons. The little lemon muffin puffs don't rise very high, but they are moist, full of bright lemon flavor, and they keep well. The muffins also benefit from a tangy lemon glaze. Try them!

Sourdough Lemon Muffin Puffs -- No Baking Powder

Sourdough Lemon Muffin Puffs -- Makes 24 Small Muffin Puffs

1 cup of sourdough starter

1 cup of almond milk

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup of white whole-wheat flour

2/3 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1/2 cup of canola oil

1/4 cup of lemon juice

Zest of 2 lemons


1/4 cup of lemon juice

1/3 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of water

Coat two 12-well muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the starter with the almond milk. Add the flours, sugar, salt, nutmeg, canola oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat the mixture well until everything is fully incorporated. Divide the batter among the muffin wells (filling them about half full), spritz it with non-stick cooking spray, and cover the muffin pans loosely with plastic wrap. Set the muffin batter aside to let it rise. This may take 24 hours, so don't be alarmed. When the muffins look a little bubbly and have risen by about half, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the muffins for 20-30 minutes or until just beginning to brown on the edges. Stir together the glaze ingredients in a microwave-safe measuring container and microwave them in 30-second increments until the sugar dissolves and the mixture becomes syrupy (careful it will be hot!). Drizzle each of the muffins with a teaspoon of two of the glaze, and loosen the muffins in the muffin tins or remove the muffins to a rack to cool.

Sourdough Lemon Muffin Puffs

#lemon #sourdoug

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