Lemon Sourdough Muffins

Makes 6 jumbo or 12 regular-sized muffins

I'm a big fan of anything lemony and I love baking with sourdough, so you can imagine these muffins rank high on my list of faves! Although I used whole wheat flour in these muffins, you could easily use whole grain spelt flour instead. While experimenting with this recipe, I developed an appreciation for small-sized organic lemons-the size typically found when buying a pre-packed couple pound bag of organic lemons. Not only do they cost less per pound than when buying larger sized lemons, they have a higher peel to juice ratio, making it a bonanza when a recipe calls for lemon zest. And, speaking of baking, cooking, or accenting foods with lemon zest or lemon peel in general, always remember to use organic lemons for this purpose to avoid the potential agricultural chemicals that may otherwise be found on conventionally grown fruit.

Note: The day before baking: Be sure to refresh your sourdough starter so it is ready to use when making these muffins. If you don't have your own sourdough culture, check out this website for my instructions "Making and Nurturing a Sourdough Starter". The whole process, which takes 7 days total, is easy to do. Once made, it just needs some attention every 7days to keep it active but hopefully you're using it anyway to make bread or these great muffins.

Liquid ingredients:

Dry ingredients:

1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour 1/3 cup wheat bran 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg ½ cup walnuts, lightly roasted

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Combine the milk and lemon juice and set aside and allow the mixture to curdle (you won't get much curdling action with almond milk and not much with soymilk either, but let the mixture sit nonetheless for about 10 minutes before adding it to the recipe.)

In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon zest, oil, honey, and apple butter. Add in egg or, egg replacer and them mix all ingredients thoroughly as if beating an egg. Then add the sourdough starter, the curdled milk, and the raisins to liquid mixture.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, sea salt, baking soda, and nutmeg. Then add in the bran and chopped walnuts.

Then combine liquid ingredients with dry ingredients, mixing briefly until a batter forms. Divide batter into the muffin cups and immediately transfer to the oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Allow baked muffins to cool about 5-10 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin.

* If using egg replacer, mix 1½ teaspoons Ener-G™ Egg Replacer with 2 tablespoons warm water.

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