Several years ago, Cook’s Illustrated had a oat muffin recipe. While it was a tasty oat cupcake, it was not a “muffin”—too sweet! They did, however, have some good techniques for enhancing the oat flavor by toasting the raw oats and then grinding them into flour.
Jan asked for oat muffin for breakfast, so I thought I would try something different. I had some fresh raspberries. Instead of mixing them into the batter, I buried one in each mini muffin.
Karl’s Banana Oat Mini Muffins with Fresh Raspberries
1¾ cups raw rolled oats
½ cup all purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking power
½ tsp. Kosher salt
3 large bananas
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 whole eggs
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
24 fresh raspberries
1. Place the oat meal in a large skillet and toast it over high heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until golden brown (about 10 minutes).
Tip: This is actually a critical step. You want to toast the oats, but not scorch them. One important trick is to sift out the oat dust from the raw oats before putting them in the pan. This is because the dust will burn before the rolled oats are even starting to be toasted. By removing the dust you avoid having a burned oat taste to your muffins. Underdone is better than over done in this case. You want most of the oats well browned, but with no oats very browned.
Note: This sifting process produced about two tablespoons of oat dust. I added it to the pan during the last minute of toasting.
2. Take ¾ of a cup of the toasted oats and put them in a blender and process them to a fine meal.
3. Put the whole oats, the oat meal, the flour, the baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and mix well.
4. Use a fork (or potato masher) to mash the bananas in a large bowl.
5. Stir in the sugar and zest.
6. Add the whole eggs and oil to the bananas and mix well.
7. Fold half of the flour at a time into the wet ingredients and mix just until there is no white showing.
Tip: For a quick bread, you do not want to overwork the dough, because it will make the muffins tough. This is the opposite of yeasted bread, where you are trying to develop the gluten to give it its structure.
8. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
9. Half fill each cup of a Pam-ed mini muffin tin and press one fresh berry into the center of the batter.
Tip: You do not want the berry to touch the side of the muffin tin.
10. Finish filling the muffin cups.
11. Bake for 25 minutes, until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
12. When you mini muffins are done, remove them from the baking pans and cool on a wire rack.
Note: During baking, the raspberries will dissolve into a flavorful damp spot in the center of the muffin.