Concord Brown-Bread MuffinsPhoto Credit : Heath Robbins
At his restaurant, Bondir, in Concord, Massachusetts, chef Jason Bond makes this moist and versatile brown bread in the fall and winter with flours grown and milled here in New England. Rather than steam the bread, as is traditional, Bond gets great results by baking his loaves in a water bath. We thought it would be fun to try making brown-bread muffins using his recipe and found that not only were they great, but they didn’t even need the water bath. Serve the muffins either for breakfast or tea, or as an accompaniment to a holiday dinner.
“We take liberties with this basic recipe and add other ingredients to complement specific dishes,” Jason says. “We add freshly grated ginger, dried apples or pears, even white chocolate for a dessert cake.” We love the way candied ginger plays off the spices in the batter, so that’s the liberty we’ve taken here.
Butter (for muffin tin)
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1 large egg
1/3 cup chopped candied ginger, plus more for garnish
Preheat your oven to 325° and set a rack to the middle position. Generously grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, wheat flour, rye flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, and molasses. Whisk the egg into the liquid ingredients. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir. Add 1/3 cup chopped ginger and stir. Divide the batter equally among the muffin cups.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake 8 minutes. Open the oven, garnish the half-baked muffins with the additional chopped ginger, and bake until a tester comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes more. Serve warm or at room temperature.