“A savoury muffin?! Life is full of enough disappointments, Gary”. Miranda Hart, in the BBC’s ‘Miranda’
I don’t share Miranda’s views on savoury muffins. As an accompaniment to a steaming bowl of soup, or served with a cheeseboard / salad / pickled onions kind of lunch, they are exquisite – so much more interesting than a bread roll, and perfect as they are straight from the oven, or a few days later split in half, toasted lightly under the grill and slathered in butter.
Don’t be shocked by the proportion of garlic here, (1 clove per muffin!) – when roasted, garlic loses its pungency and turns very sweet, so no garlic death breath – just a lovely, sweet, garlicky background glow.
- 6 cloves garlic
- 120g plain flour
- 120g spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 100g gruyére cheese, grated (check it is vegetarian - some aren't)
- 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 250ml buttermilk
- 75ml sunflower oil
- Turn on your oven to 180ºC / 350ºF / Gas Mark 4. Place the garlic cloves (still in their skins) in foil, drizzle with a little sunflower oil, and place in the oven, (as it heats up), for 20 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together - flours, baking powder, most of the cheese (hold back a few tablespoons for sprinkling later), rosemary, thyme and salt.
- In a jug, beat together the wet ingredients - eggs, buttermilk, and sunflower oil. Remove the garlic cloves from their skins by chopping off the root end and squeezing the insides out. Add this garlic paste to the wet ingredients and beat. If any large lumps of garlic remain, squash them with a fork.
- Add half of the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together gently to combine. Gradually add the rest of the wet ingredients until just combined. Be very careful not to over-mix, (don't be tempted to use a food mixer, even on its lowest setting - your muffins will end up heavy and dense).
- Divide the mixture between six muffin cases, (an ice-cream scoop is very handy for this), and sprinkle with the remaining gruyére. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.