It’s a grey, blustery day in Maryland (hence the sky replacement for the poorly lit pictures I’m not too happy with). I woke up indecisive about what to bake. With Thanksgiving fast approaching something suited to that holiday seemed appropriate but I’m just not in the holiday mood quite yet. Maybe it’s because this will be the first Thanksgiving I spend away from family. It’s time for Lee and I to start our own traditions!
I guess I’m working my way up to Thanksgiving because today’s muffins are dinner table appropriate, or a great start to a long day in the kitchen. As an added bonus (or a requirement at some tables), these muffins are vegan. Laurel’s Kitchen included vegan recipes back when even vegetarians were still considered wackos. Everyone’s Muffins were so named for their acceptability to all diets, even those that exclude milk and eggs. Hey, they’re also great when you’re in Maryland and you haven’t been to the grocery store since New York! Actually, I went to the store yesterday but I still really wanted to make these muffins!
This is the second time I’ve made Everyone’s Muffins. I followed the recipe exactly the first time but tweaked one ingredient for this batch. The leftover brown rice in the ice box caught my eye and was much more accessible than the master supply of oats I’d need to raid since I just emptied the container in the galley. Cooked brown rice seems like a nice addition to bread. It adds that chewy rice texture, fiber, and protein. In retrospect, though, I should have adjusted the amount of liquid in the original recipe because my muffins turned out very. very moist. They will probably be better after sitting overnight but the rice obviously didn’t absorb as much liquid as uncooked oats would have.
Oh well. They taste good and they’re good for us. I love “un-sweet” muffins like these. You can butter them up and slather them with jam (or cranberry conserve, perhaps). Eat one for breakfast, serve them with dinner, make muffin sandwiches – these are as versatile as muffins get.
Everyone’s Muffins (Oatmeal Variety)
From Laurel’s Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Bronwen Godfrey
1 1/2 cups warm water*
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups rolled oats*
2 pinches nutmeg
*I replaced the oats with the same amount of cooked brown rice. If you do the same, try decreasing the amount of water by 1/4 cup or so.
Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl.
Add the salt, oil, sugar, and whole wheat flour and beat well.
Add the oats and nutmeg and beat vigorously (you’ll have a batter not a dough).
Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it to rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
Stir down the batter and spoon it into lightly greased muffin tins (or use silicone cups in a muffin tin. I think paper would stick).
Let the muffins rise for about another hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and bake muffins for about 20 minutes. The tops will be brown and crusty.
If I make these with rice again I’ll decrease the liquid and maybe increase the baking time. Maybe I’ll just try the other variety of Everyone’s Muffins – Buckwheat! Now I need to focus on more pressing matters…
Any suggestions for a vegetarian Thanksgiving for two?