There are many paths to the same destination. As much as this is may be true in life, it is certainly true in baking.
You may think that the standard method of baking where the fat is creamed with the sugar, then the eggs are added and finally the flour mixture, which is often alternated with whatever liquid is used in the recipe, is a must. To do otherwise may cause a baking catastrophe. Well, I am here to tell you that ingredients can easily be altered and re-arranged.
And it is a good thing, too or I would not be able to show you all a new way to ferment the flour before baking. Below is a technique you can do with any cake or muffin recipe. This method will start the fermentation process, improve digestibility, make the nutrients more bioavailable and make the texture lighter and fluffier.
All it takes is for you to do the first stage 12 hours before you do the rest and bake. You could do it for 24 hours if you like – it’s very flexible. It involves taking the wet ingredients in the recipe (except for the eggs) and mixing it with the flour and letting them all sit in a bowl, covered and put in a warm place for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Then the rest of the ingredients are added and mixed to bake as normal. It may sound weird but it works. Watch the video to see how.
Fermented Banana Muffins
Makes 12-16 muffins
1/2 cup butter
1 cup organic yellow sugar or sucanat
1/2 tsp vanilla
2-3 overly ripe bananas*, pureed in a food processor or mashed
2 cups spelt flour or 2 ¼ cups brown rice flour)
1 1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup milk kefir, yogurt or coconut yogurt
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
Melt the butter (do not let it boil) and put it in a medium size bowl. Add the sugar and stir to let it dissolve. Add the kefir or yogurt and the flour and mix until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and let it ferment in a warm place (75 degrees F.) for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. The process can be sped up by using a proofer and setting it 85-95 degrees F.
Once it has fermented, remove the cover and add the vanilla and bananas. Mix well. Scrape the bowl and add eggs. Mix. Add the baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt and mix. Finally add the vinegar and pecans. Mix again. Grease a large 12-cavity muffin tin with coconut oil and dust with flour. Fill each muffin tin cavity to almost full with the batter. Use another muffin tin for the rest of the batter if needed, or re-use this first one when first batch is baked. Bake at 325 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.
* Bananas should be black or almost black for the best taste and texture.