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244 Flavors: A Swiss Muesli Tradition Turns Modern

Everyone has heard of muesli, but do you know much about its history? Muesli is a rolled oat and fruit cereal created around the turn of last century by Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner. The Swiss doctor wanted his patients to eat diets rich in fiber and fruit, so he came up with the original recipe of equal parts rolled oats, lemon juice, and cream plus one shredded apple. Muesli can be enjoyed with yogurt and additional fruit, then topped by extra chopped nuts.

Chef Nigella Lawson came up with an intriguing use for muesli – she bakes it into what she calls “Lazy Loaf.” Since I like time-savers, I wanted to try out this recipe.

I took Nigella’s bread a step further and turned this into a dense, flavorful cocktail crisp, perfect for an herbed goat cheese. Inspired by twice-baked biscotti, I sliced the loaf thin then baked them until crispy. For a great summer lunch, try these with a bit of smoked salmon, sliced tomato and fresh dill springs.

Cocktail Crisps

2 3/4 cups wholewheat bread flour
2 cups muesli
2 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup warm water

Method of Preparation:
1. Grease a 2 pound loaf pan.
2. Mix flour, muesli, yeast, and salt in large bowl. Fold in milk and warm water. Blend well. This mixture will be very thick. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Put pan into cold oven and turn heat to 225 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes.
4. After 45 minutes, raise oven temp to 350 degrees. Bake for one hour.
5. Cool bread on wire rack. When it is cool, use a serrated edge knife and slice in 1/3″ thick slices.
6. Arrange slices on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes in 350 degree oven until desired crispness is reached. Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container.