I'm working on some bagels right now, using the recipe on this site and a few ideas from the fooddownunder.com website. My sponge is rising at the moment. At 7pm I can move on to step 2. I love the idea of beginning bread at night and then making something fresh in the morning. One of my favorite recipes is for buttermilk bran muffins. They keep for 3 weeks in the fridge and you can scoop just what you need to make a few fresh muffins every morning. The recipe comes from Linda Larson at Busycooks.About.Com. So yummy! The buttermilk really gives these muffins a great flavor.
Make Ahead Bran Muffin Batter
5 cups flour
15 oz. box bran flakes cereal with raisins
3 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups buttermilk
Combine flour, cereal, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well to combine. Add beaten eggs, oil and buttermilk and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Cover bowl tightly.
You should chill this batter in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before using. The batter will keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
When you're ready to bake the muffins, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line muffin pans with paper liners. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and the tops spring back when touched lightly with fingertip. Makes 48 muffins.
Note: I've made this batter 3 times now, and each time it comes out amazing. But, be forewarned that the buttermilk will give the batter a rather funky smell in the fridge. It freaked me out at first, and I thought that after only 2 days my batter had gone bad in the fridge. Not so...it's just the buttermilk reacting with the other ingredients. I went on to use the batter and found out that it was perfectly fine, not spoiled at all. It really does last three weeks...well, it might even last longer, but I don't know because we always end up using all the batter well before the 3 weeks are up!
Well, I'm off to finish step 1 of the bagel-making process! Hopefully these will turn out well...I haven't had a good bagel in months. I had to do the instant yeast/active dry yeast conversion, because all I had on hand was active dry. With any luck I got the measurements right, and tomorrow morning I can bake up some toasty goodness for breakfast.