Millet in Jars and Muffins

Millet Muffins

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that one person’s staple grain can be totally exotic, foreign or just plain unnecessary to the next person. For instance, my mom always has some Cream of Wheat in her pantry rotation. That’s one I skip, preferring steel cut oats or hull-less barley for breakfast (although lightly buttered and salted Cream of Wheat with a poached egg on top is one of my beloved childhood comfort foods).

In the last few years, millet has crept into my grain rotation and is now a very definite canning jar staple (along with short grain brown rice and quinoa) in my kitchen. The thing I love about millet is that it has a multitude of applications. When it’s steamed, it become light and fluffy, a cross between polenta and broken rice. When toasted, it becomes a nutty addition to pancakes, waffles, muffins and scones.

Millet in a jar

It was the Metropolitan Bakery (Fork You toured their factory last summer, here’s the video from that day) that opened my eyes to toasted millet and the ways in which can add the perfect gentle crunch to baked goods. They make an amazing millet muffins, and it was those muffins that inspired me to add toasted millet to anything that would stand still.

Toasting millet is really easy. Most of the time, I do it in small batches in the toaster oven, cooking it at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes on a dry baking sheet. The only thing to remember is that to get the best crunch from your millet, you need to make sure you toast at least half an hour prior to stirring the millet into the batter, so that it has time to cool and firm up. Also, don’t worry if it looks like it’s smoking, it’s actually steam that occurs as the moisture inside the millet dries and escapes (of course, if it’s starting to look blackened, then it is smoke. Use your judgment).

If millet is one of your staple grains, how do you like to use it? For those of you for whom it’s new, do you have any questions?

My adaptation of Metropolitan Bakery’s millet muffin recipe is after the jump…

These muffins are particularly good with a dab of Honey Lemon Marmalade.

Just sayin’.

Millet in Jars and Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup millet, lightly toasted (see instructions above)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or runny yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup of brown or maple sugar (honey or maple syrup are also good sweeteners for these muffins, just omit the milk in that case to account for the liquid).

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 12 cup muffin tin (with butter or cooking spray). You can use muffin liners if you prefer.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a two-cup measuring cup, combine milk/yogurt, eggs and vanilla (if you add the milk/yogurt first, the measuring cup does double-duty, allowing you to measure and mix in the same vessel. I'm always looking for ways to save on dishes and this is one of my favorite tactics). Set aside.
  4. Cream the sugar and butter together. You can do this in the bowl of a stand mixer, in a regular bowl with a hand-held mixer or a pastry blender.
  5. When the butter and sugar is well incorporated, add in the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix to incorporate. Add the dry ingredients in 3 stages, mixing well before adding more.
  6. Spoon evenly into the 12-cup muffin tin. When all the cups are filled (this batter doesn't rise a ton, so it's okay to fill them fairly full), bang it gently on the counter a couple of time to settle the batter. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the tops of the muffins are a burnished brown and a tester stick comes out mostly clean.

Notes

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12 Responses to Millet in Jars and Muffins

  1. 1
    RecipeGirl says:

    I love experimenting with different grains in muffins. Haven’t tried millet yet, but something tells me I’d like it!

    RecipeGirl, millet is one of those grains that, once you try it, you can’t believe you’ve lived so long without eating it. I love it. -Marisa

  2. 2
    Rebekah Denn says:

    Much to the shock of my husband, who thought millet only belonged in birdseed, we loved millet in these cookies by Jess Thomson of Hogwash: http://jessthomson.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/cinncoconutchocchunkcookies.pdf

    Rebekah, I adore Hogwash! Somehow I missed those cookies (occasionally I have to declare feed-reader bankruptcy, mark everything as read and start over). Thanks! -Marisa

  3. 3
    michelle says:

    ok, you have become my canning expert. I have asked around (including the hardware store, farmer’s market, mom, etc.) and everyone looks at me like I just dropped in from another century. I am almost brave enough to make the leap to pressure canning. I have searched online and in person and just don’t know what size pressure canner would be most useful. I think that 6 quart looks tiny and 25 like I could put up corn for the whole neighborhood, but intimidation may be clouding my vision. I will be putting up food for my family (me and 2 boys) and some food gifts. Do you think a 16 qt is a good size to start out or should I jump right in and go for the 21/25 qt? Any advice would be appreciated….thanks,michelle

    Michelle, thanks for the question. It’s one that deserves its own post, so look out for a more complete answer in the next couple of days. -Marisa

  4. 4
    Claire says:

    I like your website! Keep up the good work =)

    Thanks Claire! Your website is absolutely delightful as well! -Marisa

  5. 5
    Tina says:

    I love millet. Especially good in a breakfast porridge with maple syrup and nuts and I throw some in with my batches of homemade granola for extra crunch factor.

    Tina, for some reason, it has never occurred to me to put millet in granola. Next batch I make though, it’s going in. Great idea! -Marisa

  6. 6
    ann bridges says:

    what kind of muffin tin is that!!! its lovely!!

  7. 7

    […] To my mind, this jam is the perfect thing for stirring into oatmeal. The gentle flavor of the pears with the spice of cardamom and the sweetness of brown sugar would combine so nicely with the creaminess of oats. It’d also be great spread on an oat scone or millet muffin. […]

  8. 8

    […] that featured a number of their greatest hits from the bakery, including those millet muffins (I wrote about them back in the first year of this site). Amazon has a number of used copies, or you can get a shiny new one directly from […]

  9. 9
    Natasha says:

    Hi Marisa!

    I can’t believe I just found these muffins today, if they’ve been out since 2009! Your photo of millet muffins takes the crown on pinterest!

    Which brings me to why I’m posting; sorry to intrude when you have enough to do! Congrats on the book – looks fantastic!

    I love love love your muffin tin. Do you know where you bought it?
    (I hope it’s not vintage … ) I must have ….

    • 9.1
      Marisa says:

      Unfortunately, that muffin tin is vintage. I got it at a thrift store years ago. They are always some on eBay, though.

      • Natasha says:

        Thanks for that info! I never thought of eBay (although the current batch on there is pretty pricey!). I’ll search a few thrift stores first: the weather’s got to improve, right?

        I just wanted to mention again what absolute perfection you achieved with this batch of millet muffins pictured. They are so evenly cooked through that if it weren’t for the swirl design on the bottoms, there would be no telling which end was up!

        You are indeed a master baker.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Urban Preserving: Small Batch Seckel Pear Jam with Brown Sugar and Cardamom | Food in Jars - November 17, 2011

    […] To my mind, this jam is the perfect thing for stirring into oatmeal. The gentle flavor of the pears with the spice of cardamom and the sweetness of brown sugar would combine so nicely with the creaminess of oats. It’d also be great spread on an oat scone or millet muffin. […]

  2. Cookbooks: Metropolitan Bakery 20 For 20 | Food in Jars - March 10, 2014

    […] that featured a number of their greatest hits from the bakery, including those millet muffins (I wrote about them back in the first year of this site). Amazon has a number of used copies, or you can get a shiny new one directly from […]

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