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I cook things, photograph them, and put them on this blog so you can make them too, if you want. I have a master's in food studies, hate the word "authentic," and love pierogis. I also run Chicago Food Bloggers.

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Saturday
Apr272013

blueberry muffins

I was going to make an introduction about some nonsense that has nothing to do with the recipe and then tie it to the recipe with the thinnest of transitions, like I usually do, but the note about using a scale became so long that I have decided this whole post is going to be about using one.

Look, I know every Tom, Dick, and Mary Baker says to invest in a scale. Every baking book starts off with an introduction about the importance of weighing your ingredients. Bloggers are adding the metric weights to the ingredient list with the hope that you'll make the switch.

Honestly though, I swear, just do it already. (If you have done it already, you don't have to read any of this. You get a "Meets Expectations" for today). If you aren't going to do it, just go buy Entenmann's.

In fact, it will be really annoying to even try to make this recipe without a scale, because I only list the gram measurements in most cases. I only added the English system measurements where it made sense (you can just add a tablespoon of vanilla extract, for instance).

This recipe is adapted from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook and the English system measurements get so unwieldy (1/2 teaspoon plus an 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder) that it's just silly to try and use them. Besides, the chances that you use cup measures for every type of flour and get the same amounts as Thomas Keller are slim to none. And these are the best blueberry muffins in the universe, so why wouldn't you want to make them exactly as Keller's team does so you get exactly the same best blueberry muffins in the universe? (Of course, I say that, and then changed the recipe to fit my own needs and haves and wants, but nevermind.)

I swear to you weighing your ingredients will change your baking life. It's so much easier. For starters, you can just measure everything into one bowl! Put the bowl on the scale, TARE (set the scale back to 0), add the 60 grams of all-purpose flour, TARE, 60 grams of almond flour, etc. All in one bowl! Less cleaning! And it's much easier to scale recipes for larger or smaller quantities as well (which I did with the streusel topping in this recipe, because the original recipe makes an insane amount).

It's fun! And your baked goods will come out so much better. If you want to improve your baking immediately I say 1) start weighing 2) calibrate your oven and 3) add more salt. 

They're not even expensive. I use this one, which I read somewhere was one of Amazon's highest-rated products of all time. Soon you will be disgusted by any cookbook that does not include metric weights. Pish posh.

Enjoy!

Notes: You have to make this recipe a day ahead in order to let the batter rest and absorb all of the liquid. This is actually nice, because you simply bake them off in the morning and you have fresh muffins for breakfast. Keller says you can let the batter rest anywhere from overnight to 36 hours.

Also, I used powdered buttermilk when I made the muffins because I always have it on hand (add the powder with the dry ingredients and then use water in the final "add buttermilk" mixing step), but I have kept the original recipe's use of fresh buttermilk in the instructions below, so you can use either.

Finally, the original recipe makes 6 large muffins. I made 12 regular-sized muffins, so that's what the following instructions reflect.

Finally, I used Bob's Red Mill Finely Ground Almond Flour/Meal. It's great and works very well in macarons, as well.

blueberry muffins

adapted from bouchon bakery 
makes 12 muffins

ingredients
+ 180 grams frozen wild blueberries
+ 96 grams all-purpose flour (divided)
+ 109 grams cake flour
+ 2.8 grams (1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon) baking powder
+ 2.8 grams (2.8 grams) baking soda
+ 2.8 grams (1 teaspoon) kosher salt (the weight may vary depending on the brand you use)
+ 96 grams unsalted butter (a bit less than a stick)
+ 96 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
+ 40 grams (2 tablespoons) unsulphured molasses
+ 50 grams (2 1/2 tablespoons) maple syrup (I used Grade B)
+ 72 grams eggs (about a tablespoon less than two large eggs - whisk before you weigh)
+ 24 grams (1 tablespoon) vanilla extract
+ 57 grams (1/4 cup) buttermilk

+ almond streusel (recipe below)
+ powdered sugar for dusting 

recipe 

To Make the Batter:

Toss the 180 grams of frozen blueberries with 10 grams (1 tablespoon) of the all-purpose flour. Store in the freezer.

Place the remaining 86 grams of all-purpose flour into a bowl. Add the 109 grams of cake flour, 2.8 grams of baking powder, 2.8 grams of baking soda, and 2.8 grams of kosher salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. 

Place the 96 grams of butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter on medium-low speed. In this recipe, you want the butter to resemble thick, glossy mayonnaise. In order to achieve this, you can periodically hold the bowl over an oven burner to warm it (don't completely melt the butter) before mixing again.

Add the 96 grams of sugar to the butter. Mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute. The mixture should be coarse and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl.

Add the 40 grams of molasses and 50 grams of maple syrup and mix on medium-low speed for 1 minute. 

Add the 72 grams of eggs and 24 grams of vanilla extract. Mix for 30 seconds.

Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined, about 15 to 30 seconds. Add half of the buttermilk and mix again to combine, about 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining flour, then buttermilk.

Remove the bowl from the stand and scrape the bowl. The batter should be thick, smooth, and very beautiful. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate 8 to 36 hours.

Prepare the streusel (see below).

To Bake:

Remove the batter from the refrigerator and set aside to soften a bit (about 5 minutes). Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place 12 muffin papers in a muffin pan. 

Stir the reserved frozen wild blueberry/flour mixture into the batter until the blueberries are fairly evenly distributed. Spoon an equal amount of batter into each cup and even out the top of each. The batter will come fairly close to the top of the muffin cup. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the almond streuesel topping over each muffin.

Place the pan in the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the edges of the streusel are just starting to brown and a tester comes out clean. Let them cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

almond streusel

ingredients
+ 60 grams all-purpose flour
+ 60 grams almond flour
+ 60 grams granulated sugar
+ .6 grams (1/4 teaspoon) kosher salt
+ 60 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces 

recipe
In a bowl, combine the 60 grams of all-purpose flour, 60 grams of almond flour, 60 grams of sugar, and .6 grams of kosher salt and whisk to combine thoroughly.

Add the butter and toss to coat. Use your fingers to work the mixture, breaking the butter into pieces no larger than small peas. Work quickly so the butter does not become too soft.

Transfer the bowl to a covered container and refrigerate for 2 to 48 hours. You can freeze any leftover streusel for up to 1 month. (You may want to sprinkle it over pancake batter just after you pour the batter into the pan. You just may.) 

Reader Comments (4)

Great recipe, yummy.

May 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterplasterers bristol

Thanks!

May 15, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

Thanks for trying out the recipe and showing it off! Although I have an excellent muffin recipe and I have tried many, I had to try one more muffin recipe you claim to be "the best in the entire universe!" I have to concur with you! I loved this recipe--the batter, the texture, and of course the incredible flavors; this is the ultimate muffin! Although, I wasn't impressed about the stiff batter out of the fridge and the batter turning somewhat green (yellow batter=blue berries); however, the perfect topping was able to conceal i and all was right with the universe. Every bite was a splendor... Thanks again!

June 6, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarljong

Hi Marljong! The batter is definitely the stiffest muffin batter I have used, and you have to work quickly and carefully so there is minimal berry bursting, but it's so worth it. Don't thank me, thank Thomas Keller and his team!

June 9, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Kostyo

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