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The Best Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

sourdough cinnamon swirl muffins

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Baking with a sourdough starter is becoming a popular topic online. I mean, who wouldn’t want fresh home-baked goods made with your own wild yeast?

Imagine making homemade muffins but they have an additional sourdough tang along with added health benefits—yum! 

With its distinctive flavor and texture, sourdough adds depth and complexity to a wide range of baked goods. I love to make muffins in general because they are an easy and simple breakfast, plus you can freeze them and enjoy later when you need a snack in a pinch.

Today, we'll explore the delightful combination of sourdough and cinnamon in a recipe for sourdough cinnamon swirl muffins that's sure to become popular in your homestead kitchen. Kids love them.

Benefits of Baking with Sourdough

Baking with sourdough offers a plethora of benefits beyond its delicious taste. Sourdough starters are created by utilizing wild yeast and bacteria in your surrounding area. What is used to make your own sourdough starter is local to you, and, in my opinion, better for your gut microbiome than a store-bought yeast.
The natural fermentation process breaks down complex carbohydrates, making them easier to digest and increasing the bioavailability of essential nutrients. I think it is neat that some people with gluten sensitives are able to tolerate sourdough baked goods and breads because of the fermentation process.

Additionally, sourdough bread and pastries tend to have a longer shelf life compared to those made with commercial yeast, thanks to the natural preservatives produced during fermentation.

Understanding the Ingredients

Before we dive into the recipe, let's take a closer look at the key ingredients involved in baking these homemade sourdough muffins:

Flour Selection: The type of flour you use will greatly influence the texture and flavor of your muffins. All-purpose flour is a versatile choice that yields light and fluffy muffins, but you can experiment with whole wheat or spelt flour for added nuttiness and fiber. I generally use all-purpose flour as that is what I have on hand most of the time, but figure out what works for you.

Sourdough Starter: At the heart of sourdough baking is the sourdough starter, a mixture of flour and water that has been fermented by wild yeast and lactic acid bacteria. A healthy and active sourdough starter not only leavens the muffins but also imparts a unique tanginess and depth of flavor. You can tell your sourdough is active by its bubbliness, ability to rise, and if you drop a spoonful of it into water and it floats.

Cinnamon and Other Spices: Cinnamon is the star of these muffins, adding warm, aromatic notes that complement the tanginess of the sourdough. Feel free to customize the spice blend with additions like nutmeg, cloves, or ginger for a more complex flavor profile. I love to add in pinches of allspice and cloves, especially during the fall for a spicier punch.

Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Imagine making homemade muffins but they have an additional sourdough tang along with added health benefits—yum! 
Course Dessert

Ingredients
  

For our sourdough cinnamon swirl muffins, you'll need:

    Muffin Batter:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup active sourdough starter
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup melted butter (1/2 stick)
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Cinnamon Swirl Topping:

    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
    • Optional: pinch of other spices (nutmeg, clove, allspice)

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a muffin tin or line it with paper liners. I like to grease the muffin liner with butter.
    • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt until ingredients are thoroughly dispersed.
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the active sourdough starter, milk, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth.
    • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in tough muffins. The batter should be thick and slightly lumpy.
    • In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and ground cinnamon to create the cinnamon swirl filling.
    • Spoon half of the muffin batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about halfway full.
    • Sprinkle a layer of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the batter in each muffin cup.
    • Spoon the remaining muffin batter on top of the cinnamon sugar mixture, filling each cup almost to the top.
    • Use a toothpick or knife to swirl the layers together, creating a marbled effect.
    • Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    • Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
    • Serve the cinnamon swirl sourdough muffins warm or at room temperature. You can also freeze to enjoy in the future. Enjoy!
    Keyword sourdough

    These muffins are best enjoyed fresh, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. To prolong freshness, you can also freeze the muffins in a resealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Simply thaw them at room temperature or reheat them before enjoying again.

    Tips for Success

    Ensure your sourdough starter is active and bubbly before using it in the recipe. You can do the float test where you drop a spoonful of starter into room temperature water. If the starter floats, it is active and ready to be used.
    Be careful not to overmix the batter, as this can result in tough muffins. Our goal is light, fluffy, and crumbly muffins. This is achieved by not over-mixing.

    Don't skip the cinnamon swirl – it adds a delicious burst of flavor to every bite. Adding cinnamon swirl to the middle of the muffin between the layers adds an additional sweet flavor profile.

    Experiment with different spice blends and mix-ins to customize the recipe to your liking.

    Sourdough cinnamon swirl muffins are an easy treat to whip up. You have the ability to serve them as an easy breakfast or mid-day snack for your kids, or to freeze them and enjoy later when you don’t have time to bake. 

    Because of the fermentation process offered by baking with sourdough, sourdough baked goods are generally easier to digest and can be more tolerable for people with gluten sensitivities. Sourdough muffins are easy to make, taste great, and are fun to bake!

    FAQs

    1. Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?

    Yes, you can substitute whole wheat flour for a portion of the all-purpose flour in this recipe for added nutrition and flavor. I would suggest doing half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour. Using all whole-wheat flour could make the muffins more dense.

    2. Can I use a different type of sweetener instead of granulated sugar?

    Yes, you can experiment with alternative sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar, adjusting the quantity to taste.

    3. Can I make these muffins without eggs for a vegan option?

    Yes, you can replace the egg with a flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water) for a vegan-friendly version of the recipe. You can also replace the egg with applesauce or a mashed banana in a 1:1 ratio.

    4. How can I ensure that my muffins have a light and fluffy texture?

    Be sure not to overmix the batter, as this can result in dense muffins. Mix the batter until just combined to ensure a fluffy crumb.

    5. Can I freeze these muffins for later use?

    Yes, these muffins freeze well. Allow them to cool completely then reheat or enjoy at room temperature!

    The Best Sourdough Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

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