Bouchon Bakery Challenge: Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

Welcome to my first “results” post for my Bouchon Bakery Challenge!  Did anyone else make the Banana Muffins?

I have been thinking long and hard about whether or not to share the actual recipes each month, and I have decided against it.  I don’t feel comfortable sharing recipes from newly-published books.  Also, when I share recipes I like to paraphrase them a bit, and these recipes are so specific and verbose that I am sure I could not do them justice!  If I make significant changes to a recipe, then I will share my modified version.  I will always share any modifications for altitude, if I make any.  If I find a recipe published somewhere else on the Web I will include a link to it.

Banana Muffin Bite

Now that we have that business out of the way, how were the muffins?  I have to say, they were quite decadent and delicious.  I *loved* the streusel topping!  The crumb was very light and tender.  These muffins are more “cake-like” than “quick bread-like”.

I have a few minor quibbles with the recipe (actually the book in general).  All the ingredients in the book are given in both weight and volume measurements.  I actually love it when cookbooks do this because I have really grown to prefer weighing my ingredients when I bake.  But many of the weights are given in tenths of a gram, and my scale is only precise to whole grams.  My biggest quibble is when it comes to the eggs.  Here is what the recipe says for the egg:  “80 grams, or 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon”.  No indication of how many eggs that might be.  Turns out to be about 1 and a third eggs.  I get that the weight of the eggs is more precise, and that these recipes are scaled-down versions of the bakery recipes, but really!  The authors suggest breaking the eggs into a bowl, lightly beating them, straining them, and then weighing the mixed egg .  Then you end up with just a little bit of leftover egg.  It made me long for the more pedestrian call for “1 large egg”.

Bouchon Bakery Banana Muffins

Recipe Notes

  • The recipe instructions are for 6 large muffins.  I made 12 standard-sized muffins and baked them for roughly 28 minutes.
  • The Walnut Streusel Topping recipes makes enough for 2 batches of muffins.  Plan on having extra, or cut the recipe in half.
  • The recipe states the muffins are best the day they are baked.  While is it true they are *best* the day they are made, I still found them to be quite tasty after several days.  I just reheated them in the oven for 5-8 minutes.

Altitude Adjustments

When I adjust cake-like recipes for Reno’s altitude (~4500 feet) I usually add an extra egg or egg white.  I was unsure how to proceed given the way eggs are measured in this recipe (see my rant above).  I decided to see how much one egg + one egg white weighed.  It came out to about 100 grams, 20 more grams than the recipe calls for.  I went with it!

I also usually adjust the amounts of baking soda and baking powder, but I forgot to this time.  While my muffins were moist and delicious, they came out a little flat, as you can see in the picture below.

These muffins are a little flat...

These muffins are a little flat…

In an attempt to fix the “flat muffin syndrome” I made a second batch of muffins.  This time my egg and egg white weighed only 91 grams.  I reduced the baking powder and baking soda by 1/16 of a teaspoon each.  The muffins came out a little better, but still flatter than I’d like:

These are a little better but still flat.

These are a little better but still flat.

Next time I will see what happens if I use 2 whole eggs in addition to my baking powder/soda adjustments.

Next Month

February’s recipe is going to be Dutch Crunch Demi-Baguettes (page 318).  I will publish my results on February 26.

Did you make the Banana Muffins or anything else from Bouchon Bakery?  Let me know in the comments!

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Bouchon Bakery Challenge: Banana Muffins

  1. Todd & Justine Hara-Schwisow

    Do you ever try different sized eggs?

    Todd’s parents always give me 2 dozen farm eggs whenever we see them now, and the sizes always range from small to jumbo. I like sorting them by size, and then color. J Otherwise I just buy large.

    You might find your odd measurements with a combination of different sizes…?

    • I have thought about trying X-Large eggs in place of large eggs in my baking recipes… That range in size is the reason the cookbook gives as to why they weigh their eggs. BTW, my mother-in-law would be jealous of your farm eggs!

  2. The Bouchon bake a long sounds fun. Enjoy!

  3. Christy

    This is great! I just found your blog. I would love to do this with you. I think I am going to tackle the croissants this weekend. — Wish me luck. I don’t have a blog to post them on, but I will respond in the comments. Thanks!

  4. Your muffins are beautiful, Karen. I have not been able to get the cookbook yet, so didn’t get to make these. I really like your notes and your adjustments for altitude will help many who also live in high altitude.

  5. I am a charity baker. And I love Thomas Keller and what he has done with his take on nutter butter cookies “better nutters” and I actually just made some of these muffins yesterday. People LOVE them. The only thing that I tweak is the temp. I find they get too dark/done too quickly. I bake them at 300 and find it’s perfect. The nutter butters? very, very good. Weighing ingreds? Great idea. Nice website! If you want to see the charity work I do, google Martha May Fink-Rockstar and you’ll see what I do for hungry kids. Keep baking!!!

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