Italian muffins • 03.31.09
I use the word muffin a great deal in my every day life. It is one of my favourite terms of endearment. For example, when a friend calls to share exciting news, like the purchase of a new handbag, I say, “Oh muffin! That’s great!” Or if a co-worker has a bad day and breaks the copy machine I say, “Ouch, muffin. That sucks.”
At one point, while I was living in South Dakota and working on a Senate campaign, I even started trying to determine what type of muffin everyone in my office would be. Some people were apple cinnamon muffins. Some people were corn muffins. Some people were those yucky bran muffins. It’s my theory that everyone has a type of muffin that fits their personality. I like to think I would be a blueberry muffin with a lemon glaze… a classic with a tart and tangy twist.
Wow. I am kind of a huge dork.
I recently made these Italian muffins and loved them. And not just because I am a fan of muffins. These are really good. Savoury and cheesy and full of flavour. These make your house smell amazing while they are baking and make your tummy happy while you’re eating them. They would be ideal for a brunch or to bring along on a picnic. I also really like them with soup, particularly tomato soup. Yum!
I wonder what kind of person would be an Italian muffin? It would have to be someone slightly unconventional, but still really popular. Someone who gets along with everyone. Someone who smells good and makes you happy. Someone who wears a little sun-dried tomato on their head. If you can think of anyone, let me know.
Adapted from Delicious magazine
3 cups self-rising flour
40 grams butter, chilled
(This is a hard measurement to convert for those of you playing along in the US. 30 grams of butter is 1/8 cup. 55 grams of butter is 1/4 cup. So aim for somewhere in the middle and “she’ll be right” as we say in Australia.)
2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbs sun-dried tomato pesto
(I didn’t have sun-dried tomato pesto and I wasn’t going to buy it for 2 tbs. Instead, I used a marinade that I had in the fridge with tomato, basil and chilli and it turned out really well. You could use anything you want here. Regular pesto would be great.)
2 cups buttermilk
12 quarters sun-dried tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and rub in the butter with your fingers until combine. Alternatively, combine the flour, salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until combined. Stir through the oregano and the cheese.
Whisk the tomato pesto (or whatever pesto you decide to use) into the buttermilk. Add 3/4 of the liquid to the flour mixture and stir. Slowly stir in the rest of the liquid until you have a soft dough.
Fill the muffin cases with the mixture and place a sun-dried tomato quarter on top of each muffin.
Bake for 25 mins or until golden and cooked through. Serve warm.