Brown Bread Muffins
Brown bread may not strike you as a summer treat, but I’d argue that, along with cornbread, it’s the perfect accompaniment to barbecue. And we’ve made it simpler by taking the bread out of the steaming pot and into muffin tins. By adjusting the formula a bit, adding more cornmeal and baking powder, we produced delicious cornbread-style muffins with authentic old New England flavor.
I got the original recipe from chef Jason Bond, who is best known for his Bondir restaurants in Cambridge and Concord, Massachusetts. Jason loved the idea of turning the bread into muffins, so this recipe is an adaptation of his original formula.
Brown Bread Muffins
Total time: 45 minutes; hands-on time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 muffins
- Butter for muffin tin
- 2/3 cup cornmeal
- ½ cup whole wheat flour, plus more for the muffin tin
- ½ cup rye flour
- 2 to 4 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, depending on your preferred level of sweetness
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 large egg
Preheat the oven to 325° and set a rack to the middle position. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin tin (as you would a cake pan) and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, wheat flour, rye flour, brown sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, and molasses (Quick tip: Measure the oil out in a liquid measuring cup, add it to the buttermilk, and then measure the molasses into the same measuring cup. The oil residue will make the molasses pour out without sticking). Whisk the egg into the liquid ingredients. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir until evenly blended. Divide the batter equally among the muffin cups (a 1/4-cup measure works well here).
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the tops are rounded and firm, 22 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, with butter if you like.