I have been making these giant breakfast muffins for several years now, and every time I pull a batch from the oven I wonder why I'm not making these every week. These muffins (made with plenty of whole wheat flour, a smidgen of butter, and low-fat buttermilk) have the tender texture of biscuits, yet they are definitely much healthier--and more satisfying--than any biscuit I've had. They have been the focal point of many a leisurely breakfast at home and have also gone out into the local mountains, fueling many a hungry rock climbing friend during chilly morning sessions on the rocks.
With the rain pouring down today, I felt like some tea and hearty muffins hot from the oven would be the perfect thing for breakfast. I just love the golden crust on these guys, the way the buttermilk works together with the baking powder and soda to give a glorious lift to the dough, and the golden raisins that dot the muffins with little nuggets of sweetness. So I turned to this recipe (published in Bon Appetit, but originally from The Overlook Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia), and in the time it took for my oven to pre-heat, I had these muffins mixed up and scooped into the muffin tin. Really, I should be--could be--making these guys every week!
San Marcos Farms, a sweet favor from the wedding of my dear friends Mary and Andy, so I used that. Oh, so delicious.
Giant Soda Muffins
1½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. butter, room temperature
1 cup golden raisins (chopped dried apricots would be good too)
1¼ cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 400°F. While oven heats, whisk first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Blend butter into flour until incorporated, then stir in raisins and coat well with flour mixture. Whisk buttermilk and egg together, then add to dry ingredients and stir to blend.
Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter among 8 large muffin cups lined with muffin papers. Bake muffins until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 23 minutes. Remove muffins from pan. Cool slightly on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Store any leftover muffins in an airtight container. To get leftover muffins back to fresh-baked glory, remove the muffin paper and toast the entire muffin in a toaster oven. You'll end up with that delicious, crunchy crust again. Enjoy!