Freshly baked yoghurt and honey muffins for Sunday breakfast in the midst of self-imposed quarantine brought a quiet but much-needed joy to my family’s table. Not fancy, or pretty with a plump swirl of buttercream, but they were satisfying and comforting. Their subtle, honeyed sweetness and yoghurt-enriched, pillowy crumb tasted of delicious, home-baked reassurance.
These yoghurt and honey muffins are eggless. Eggs are used in muffins to aerate the batter, provide fat and flavour and also work as binding agents, giving the puffed towers their structure. My recipe replaces the eggs with Greek or thick, hung yoghurt, which performs all of the above-mentioned tasks equally efficiently. The hint of tang from the yoghurt complements the whisper of sweetness that honey brings. And what you get is a soft, delicately-flavoured moist crumb with a whiff of nutmeg.
I couldn’t get my hands on Greek yoghurt since supplies aren’t fully normal where I live, so I made yoghurt at home(an everyday practice for me, but store-bought works fine), and then hung it overnight in my refrigerator, in a clean piece of muslin placed in a sieve over a bowl (you don’t have to keep it overnight, 4-5 hours are enough). A lot of the yoghurt drains as whey so if you plan to hang your yoghurt, buy more than what you need. Drain 1litre to get about 500ml of hung yoghurt. The whey can be used in curries or like me, just chill it and drink it – it’s packed with protein, calcium and B vitamins.
The yoghurt in the recipe, also serves as a catalyst to activate soda bicarbonate, the leavening agent that helps the muffin aerate and build height. Since baking soda acts almost the second it comes in contact with acid(yoghurt in this case), take care not to overmix the batter. Gently fold in the dry ingredients till just combined; further mixing will beat the air out of the batter making it dense and stodgy. This is the only thing you need to keep in mind while baking these wonderful yoghurt and honey muffins.
While nutmeg wafts through the muffins, honey has a larger presence in terms of flavour. So use a good honey or even maple syrup which will be more toffee in taste. Both are delicious options, with light yet well rounded sweetness.
Simple and straightforward, these muffins can be put together quickly, in time for breakfast. Enjoy them freshly baked with the aroma of nutmeg infusing your morning. I tossed dried cranberries into my batch, you can add pretty much anything you feel like- blueberries, walnuts, raisins, seeds or a mix of your favorite dry fruit. I made a dozen and they were wiped out in less than 48 hours. In these warm and humid summer days, these subtly flavoured muffins are perfect; stronger flavours like chocolate would seem too rich for this weather.
Eggless Yoghurt And Honey Muffins
- 55 g butter
- 6 tbsp honey
- 500 ml Greek yoghurt or hung natural yoghurt
- 60 ml lemon juice
- 140 g all-purpose flour
- 170 g whole wheat flour
- 70 g dried cranberries
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
- 1/8 tsp nutmegg, grated
- Preheat the oven to 190°C, and lightly grease a 12-muffin tin.
- Melt butter and honey in a saucepan over low heat and set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice and yoghurt. Mix in the butter and honey.
- Sift together the flours, baking soda and nutmeg powder in a clean bowl.
- Sprinkle a tsp or two of the flour over the dried berries and mix so that they are coated with flour. This will stop them from sinking to the bottom.
- Gently fold in the flours into the wet mixture followed by the cranberries. Mix until just combined.
- Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared tin till 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes till golden. If the puffed tops spring back when touched, the muffins are done. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning them out. Serve warm.