Spelt is a surprisingly sweet and nutty grain, but a spelt batter needs all-purpose flour to keep from becoming too heavy. These moist muffins are light in texture. The streusel topping adds a crunch.
Here's a good baking tip: Fill alternate wells in a muffin pan, so each muffin has room to spread out and bake evenly. For this recipe, use two 12-well muffin pans or one large 24-well muffin pan (with 1/3-cup wells). When greasing the pans, make sure you grease outside the rim of each muffin well so the muffin top does not stick.
Make Ahead: The muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 day, but they are best eaten the day they are made.
Yield: Makes muffins with large tops
- For the topping
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons spelt flour
- 2 tablespoons oat bran
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 tablespoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- For the muffins
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup oat bran
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
For the topping: Combine the flour, oat bran, sugars and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter, and use your fingers to work the mixture to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. The faster you work, the more solid the butter will remain.
For the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a little butter to grease alternating muffin wells in a 12-muffin pan (see headnote).
Sift together the flours, oat bran, sugars, allspice, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon into a mixing bowl, pouring into the bowl any grain or other ingredients that remain in the sifter. Add the carrots and stir to coat.
Whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk and egg in a separate bowl until thoroughly combined. Use a spatula to incorporate the butter mixture into the flour mixture.
Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to portion the batter evenly among the 8 prepared muffin wells. The batter should be slightly mounded. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the mounds of batter and press it into the batter slightly. Bake on the middle rack for 32 to 35 minutes; the muffins should smell nutty and the bottoms should be golden brown (twist one out to check).
Place the muffin pan on top of the stove and gently twist out the muffins, letting them cool on their sides halfway out of their individual wells; that will help keep them from becoming soggy.
Adapted from "Good to the Grain," by Kim Boyce with Amy Scattergood (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2010).
Tested by Samuel Fromartz.
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