I had a dream about these muffins last night: spicy, smoky linguiça, sharp cheddar cheese, tangy buttermilk, nutty whole wheat flour. I woke up with my stomach growling, a woman on a mission to recreate my dream. (On a side note, when I’m actually dreaming about processed pork products, I think it’s safe to say I might have overdosed, just a wee bit, on citrus. Perhaps my arteries are looking for some balance after all the antioxidants I’ve been consuming the last few weeks.)
I made the muffins mini just for fun (or it could be that all the Super Bowl food posts winging around the Interwebs have snuck into my dreams) and kept the flavor profile simple, with just cheddar and a bit of oregano. But this recipe, adapted from the freeform rye muffins of a couple of months ago, is nicely flexible. You can use all-purpose flour, or a mix of pastry and whole wheat flours, or rye, spelt, red or white wheat: nearly anything will work. I even tossed in a bit of cornmeal just for shizzle. You can use melted butter in place of olive oil; replace buttermilk with any fairly liquid dairy you like. And? You can add linguiça. Or chorizo. Or crumbled, leftover breakfast sausage. Or ham from last night’s dinner. Anything really: dream it, and muffins will come.
Adapted from Freeform Rye Muffins with Red Onion & Farmstead Cheese (which were originally adapted from Rye, Onion, and Swiss Cheese Muffins in Your Organic Kitchen by Jesse Ziff Cool)
- 4 and 1/2 oz (1 cup) whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 and 3/4 oz (3/4 cup) whole wheat white flour (Wild Hive AP flour)
- 1 oz (1/4 cup) cornmeal
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- few grinds black pepper
- 6 oz linguiça, halved lengthwise, browned on each side, then thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 cup buttermilk (or milk, cream, yogurt)
- 1 large egg
- 2 - 3 tbsp olive oil (see Options)
- 3 oz (about 1 and 1/4 cups) cheddar cheese, grated (I used a raw goat’s milk cheddar)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil two parchment- or Silpat-covered baking sheets.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except linguiça. Add linguiça to dry ingredients and toss to coat in flour mixture.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients, reserving about 1/4 cup of the grated cheese for garnish. Add wet ingredients to dry, folding together just until mixed. Spoon scant tablepoonfuls onto the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart; top each muffin with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned on top and a cake tester inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean, about 12 – 15 minutes. Transfer to cooling racks and serve warm.
Yields about 30 mini muffins.
- This recipe will make about one dozen standard, freeform muffins, or you can bake them in standard or mini-muffin pans with well-oiled tins. For standard-sized muffins, increase baking time to 20 minutes.
- I added 2 tbsp olive oil and the muffins came out just the tiniest touch dry. I think one more tablespoon of olive oil would make them perfect.
- The batter could have used just a touch of cayenne: maybe 1/8 teaspoon whisked in with the dry ingredients.
At room temperature, covered with a clean kitchen towel, for up to 3 days. As with most muffins, these should freeze well for up to 6 months. Reheat in a 350 degree F oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
Year round, but mostly winter.