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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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