Of Science and Sourdough (Sourdough Blueberry Muffins)

March 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm 6 comments

Sometimes it’s really interesting being married to a scientist. Just when I forget he does experiments in a lab coat all day, he’ll throw something sciencey at me, and I’ll remember that, yes, I’m married to a scientist.

As a disclaimer, let me just say that I’m not really much of a science person. Sure, I took biology, chemistry, and physics in high school, but as soon as I got to college, I b-lined for the arts and social sciences. I had one required science course with a lab I had to take. I took botany. I made a C. That was the end of my higher education science journey.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate science and all it has to offer society. I’m very grateful to the people who are constantly researching the various fields of science in order to make our world a better place (insert heart-warming music here). And I do find science interesting to a degree (like the tv programs on Nova for example). But when it starts involving chemical formulas and complex equations and other similar things that make my eye twitch, I will soon be gone (running) back to my happy little world of language, sociology, and history.

The fact that my husband actually endured all his undergraduate and graduate years studying all that stuff that makes me twitchy (and actually got a PhD studying it!) makes me think he’s absolutely amazing, and superman, and gorgeous, and will cause me stare at him all gooey-eyed…

But I digress…

My point is, that my husband thinks about things scientifically, and so every once in awhile, he’ll throw something scientific at me that leave me thinking, “Wait…what?”.

For example, I’ve been wanting to try making a sourdough starter so I can make sourdough bread since last year. We were back home in the States visiting my family for the holidays and much of January, however, so I wasn’t able to do anything until we got back. Of course, once we did get back, I had to go through my usual period of withdrawal from my mom’s cooking, central heating, sleeping on a bed, carpet, and all things I usually miss about living in the U.S.

Once I got back in the swing of things though, I decided I finally wanted to make my sourdough starter, so I bought a big mason jar, sterilized it, mixed up some flour and water in it, and….I was done (they’re not very complex things, sourdough starters). While we were having dinner, my husband asked what the large jar with the goopy looking stuff in it was, I proudly stated that I was making my own sourdough starter. When he asked what that was, I promptly began my spiel about how sourdough is the oldest method for leavening bread, and has been used for thousands of years, and how numerous the health benefits are. I also tried throwing out several scientific sounding words like latic-acid fermintation and phytic acid, but my husband zoomed in on only one thing.


After my long spiel, he said something along the lines of, what if it attracts some dangerous bacteria in the jar, and it grows, and then turns into a dangerous mutating virus that will kill us all?

I just sat there for a few seconds, and then said something like, “Wait…what?”

I was so shocked that he didn’t appreciate all the health benefits making homemade sourdough bread could offer, and that instead, he thought my starter was going to kill us all.

I have to admit, I was a little hurt. I quickly got over it though, and informed him that, fine, he didn’t have to mess with it, and that he didn’t have to eat anything I made with it if he was worried about contracting a lethal virus.

He seemed to quickly forget about it (or at least decided against saying anything more about it), however, so about a week later, I decided to make some blueberry muffins for breakfast using my sourdough starter. I didn’t tell my husband I was using my starter to make the muffins, but instead, I waited until we were eating, then I asked him how he liked the muffins. He told me he really liked them , and he thought they were actually better than my other blueberry muffins I usually make.


I then told him, matter-of-factly, that these were sourdough blueberry muffins, and that I’d used my sourdough starter to make them.

“You mean the goopy stuff in the jar?”

“Yes, the goopy stuff in the jar”

“Huh… That’s nice.” *continues eating*

And that is how my husband came to accept my sourdough starter.

The end.

Sourdough Blueberry Muffins (makes about 12):

(note: I found several very similar recipes for sourdough muffins, so I’m not really sure where this recipe originates from)


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar or rapidura (depending on how sweet you like your muffins)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 melted butter
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F/218 degrees C.
  2. Grease a muffin pan or use muffin liners.
  3. Mix flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add in blueberries.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix sourdough starter, vanilla, egg, and melted butter until well combined. Add mixture the the bowl with the flour mixutre and mix.
  5. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan, and bake for about 20 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

For info on making your own sourdough starter, I recommend checking out these sites:

How to Make a Sourdough Starter at Kitchen Stewardship

The Definitive Guide to Sourdough at Heartland Renaissance


Entry filed under: Baking, Bread, Breakfast & Brunch, Recipes, Vegetarian. Tags: , , , , , .

Japanese Gyoza (a.k.a. pot stickers) Update on life since the March 11 earthquake

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. My Grandparent's Kitchen  |  March 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.
    ~Linda Henley

  • 2. Ben L.  |  March 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I love this blog^^ I wish I had more tools so I could do cool stuff too ;_;

    Tell His. that the bacteria all die in the oven maybe? XD

  • 3. The Joyful Kitchen  |  March 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Thanks Ben!
    There’s still so much kitchen stuff I wish I had that I have to do without as we simply don’t have the space (tiny Japanese kitchens *sigh*).
    I’ll relay you’re message. 🙂

  • 4. Brenda  |  January 20, 2012 at 4:24 am

    I’m going to try these this afternoon I usally don’t like to bake with wheat flour but I will give it a try.. I find things comes out heavy.. But these look very yummy!

    • 5. rueki86  |  January 21, 2012 at 3:20 am

      Good luck! Whole wheat flour can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but I’ve found that the type of whole wheat flour you use can make a world of difference. Usually hard wheat flours (hard white, hard red winter, and hard red spring wheat flour) have a higher protein content that soft wheat flours, so they can form gluten better, and are therefore better for baking yeast breads.
      I hope the blueberry muffins work out for you!

  • 6. TJ @ Any Given Moment  |  April 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

    yay! This is just the kind of recipe I was looking for to use with my month old sourdough. They smell scrumptious in the oven already. Thank you!!


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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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