Thursday, November 5, 2009

Baking for folks who don't eat eggs

Mike's heard from folks at his office that they'd like to taste what he brings in, but because of their culturally based food restrictions, they can't have the baked goods - banana bread, zucchini bread, muffins, or so forth. Today I went ahead and made pumpkin muffins and apple walnut muffins considering those restrictions.

From checking some websites on vegan cooking for muffins and other baking, it's OK to just leave out the eggs if there's enough other moisture. Since the folks are from India and Pakistan, I felt it would be OK to use the milk and butter since my recipes for Indian food uses cheese and ghee. The apple muffins, though are vegan since I used cider for the liquid because I wanted to enhance the apple flavor. I thought it would be appropriate.

For general purposes if you're willing to try baking and need to substitute for eggs for vegans, pumpkin or applesauce can be used to add bulk and moisture; approximately 1/4 cup for one egg. Tofu, pureed, works to help bind and add protein. Finely ground flaxseed and water (1 Tablespoon to 1/4 cup water) is also useful for binding in baking. You also need to remember to have leavening since the leavening action of eggs is missing. But in muffins you already have baking powder, so I did not add extra.

Eggless Apple Walnut Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup oil
1 cup cider (or milk)
1 grated apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

for topping:
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Measure dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients, mix until just moistened. Add apple and walnuts and mix until evenly distributed.

Place batter in greased muffin tins (or line with paper muffin cups if preferred). Mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle tops of batter with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the tops are browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Take from muffin tin immediately after removing from oven and cool on rack.

Serve warm or room temperature. Great with tea or coffee. Also good with dinner - New Englanders would have muffins as the bread with the meal. These would be yummy with a sharp cheddar cheese!

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