Irish Soda Bread Muffins

Based on a recipe from King Arthur Flour: Irish Soda Bread Muffins. We prefer the Irish-style wholemeal flour, but white whole wheat flour can also be used. We don’t like caraway seeds but we like the flavor, so I use a spice grinder to make a powder from the seeds (caraway powder can also be purchased online). I add just enough to accentuate the flavor of the whole wheat. As a buttermilk substitute, I prefer a mixture of half sour cream and half whole milk. These muffins also work well without the currants; or make some of each by leaving the currants out initially, mixing up the batter, scooping out a few muffins, then stirring in the currants and scooping out the rest of the muffins. Makes 12 muffins.

INGREDIENTS

  • 192 grams (1½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams (¾ cup) Irish-style wholemeal flour, or white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ - 1 cup currants optional
  • ½ teaspoon caraway powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or substitute
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a standard muffin pan with papers, or grease lightly.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, currants if using, and caraway powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk or substitute, and melted butter.
  4. Quickly and gently combine the dry and wet ingredients; stop once everything is evenly moistened.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Cups will be nearly full and the stiff batter will look mounded in the cups.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and tip the muffins in their pan so the bottoms don’t get soggy. After 5 minutes, remove muffins to cooling rack. Serve plain or with butter and/or jam.
These muffins are good with currants, or without. We've even tried them with blueberries. Warmed, with butter, they're irresistible!