Coriander Rye Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
There’s a traditional Russian sourdough rye bread with an intriguing name, borodinsky, that haunted my dreams when I used to live in south Brooklyn. I’d stand in line in front of the tiny Russian bakery with the other in-the-know customers for a chance a loaf, and what a surprise it was: dark and sturdy, but with subtle sweetness and the unexpected element of toasted coriander seeds.
Sometimes I want that borodinsky, but without the planning and hassle of preparing a yeasted bread or getting on the Q line subway to Brooklyn. These muffins are my faster tribute to the borodinsky: a quick bread that’s not too sweet, moist with rye flour and can be made while a hearty soup is simmering on the stove. These are not dessert muffins (though wholesome enough for a breakfast on the go), and should be enjoyed with a cabbage or beet or other appropriately northern European soup or stew. The molasses and cocoa enrich and deepen the rye. I like them plain, but I could see where someone might be tempted to throw in a handful of raisins or diced prunes. These muffins don’t rise very high, but are deep, dense and close enough to my beloved borodinsky in under 40 minutes I can hope to achieve.
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 cup plain soy milk
- 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2/3 cup molasses
- 1 1/4 cups rye flour
- 3/4 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
- 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 12 cup muffin pan. In a small skillet over low heat toast the coriander seeds until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the seeds and crush in a mortar and pestle, or use a spice grinder: don’t grind into a fine powder, instead leave the seeds somewhat chunky. Set aside 1 teaspoon of crushed coriander.
2. In a mixing bowl whisk together soy milk, vinegar, and ground flax seeds and set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in another bowl stir together rye flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and crushed coriander seeds (except for the set aside 1 teaspoon) and form a well in the center. Return to the soy milk mixture and whisk in the oil and the molasses, then pour into the center of the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to stir together only just enough to moisten the dry ingredients, the divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups (an ice cream scooper works great for this). Sprinkle tops of muffins with reserved crushed coriander. Bake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are okay). Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from the pan and move to cooling rack to complete cooling.
Stir in 1/2 cup dark raisins or finely chopped prunes into the batter.