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Whole Wheat Dinner Muffins

Known for its nutty, sweet flavor and aroma and its extra nutrition, whole-wheat flour is ground from the entire kernel of wheat. By contrast, in all-purpose (plain) flour the bran and germ have been removed. Commercial whole- wheat flours vary from fine to more coarsely ground; the grinds may be used interchangeably in recipes. To produce fine grinds, all parts of the grain are equally ground. Medium and coarse grinds have varying amounts of bran dispersed throughout.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour or graham flour
  • 2 Tbs. yellow cornmeal
  • 3 Tbs. firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted, or sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs. sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. sesame seeds for sprinkling
  • Unsalted butter for serving

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Grease 9 standard muffin cups; fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, butter, buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy.

In a clean bowl, using a mixer with spotlessly clean beaters on medium speed, or a balloon whisk, beat the egg whites just until they form soft peaks. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one level with the rim of the cup. Sprinkle the muffins with the sesame seeds.

Bake the muffins until they are golden, dry and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Unmold the muffins and serve warm or at room temperature, with butter. Makes 9 muffins.

Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, Edited by Chuck Williams (Free Press, 2008).