02 July 2012

Wheat Germ Corn Muffins

I was staring at a bag of Bob's Red Mill raw wheat germ in the cabinet the other day and wondering if there was anything I could do with it. I certainly wasn't going to eat it as is, because, well, I'm just not that die hard when it comes to brans and wheats and germs and other in the raw grain stuffs.

Rumor has it that if you stare at something long enough, you may eventually figure out what to do with it. I smirk to admit that figuring out what to do with raw wheat germ was as simple as turning the bag over. There was a recipe for Bob's Wheat Germ Corn Muffins.

Hmm, corn muffins aren't my usual choice to bake but I was suddenly seduced, especially since these are enhanced by the graininess of wheat germ, a vitamin and mineral powerhouse. And then I had a sense memory. This past Christmastime, I'd had corn muffins made by the hostesses of a bed and breakfast in downtown Brooklyn of all places. Whether it was the company I kept, the treat of having someone prepare breakfast or the fact that their corn muffins with honey were pretty good, I don't remember, but I remember the sweet grainy corn muffin taste, and the occasion, and the baskets the muffins were in and the little signs signaling the ones with and without honey, and sitting at a wooden table on the windy, cold, late December morning with Ed before we trekked off for the day. 

One of the nice things about cornmeal is it doesn't exactly have a season. It can produce lighter yellow spring fare or serve as the base for hearty winter grain breads. Bob's recipe is somewhere in between. It called for a base of wheat germ, cornmeal and regular flour moistened by milk, eggs and melted butter, and sweetened with sugar. I adapted it a little, subbing 1/4 of the regular flour with rye flour, all the sugar for honey as per above mentioned taste remembrance of honey and corn, and replaced 1/3 of the milk with Greek yogurt. Additionally, I draped some honey over the top of each muffin before they baked. The yield here is up to you to a degree. I made about 9-10 small/medium muffins, but if you prefer all around smaller, go ahead and spoon the batter out into all 12.

Grainy without being bland, and honey-kissed, they are just moist enough to create a delicate crumb, and not to mention, they lend an appropriate amount of sweet corniness to an otherwise straight-edge morning muffin. They are also great alongside a lunch avocado salad.

Wheat Germ Corn Muffins

1/2 c raw wheat germ
1/2 c organic cornmeal
1/4 c rye flour
1/2 c unbleached all purpose flour 
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder

1/4 c butter, melted, cooled a bit
1 egg, beaten
2 heaping Tablespoons honey + scant 1 T more for topping
2/3 c milk
Scant 1/3 c Greek plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, grease and/or line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners. Sift all the dry ingredients together in one bowl, and mix the egg, honey, milk, yogurt and melted butter together in another. Stir together until just combined, fill muffin tins about 2/3 full, drape a little honey over each, and bake about 25-30 minutes or until just a little browned on the top and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack and serve a little warm.

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