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There is a French bakery called Petit Pierre a few blocks from work. The proprietor speaks with a thick accent, his wife helps fill the case with shiny croissants, perfect fruit tarts and buttery cookies, and the barista makes a mean latte. It’s a beautiful space and I enjoy checking in Friday mornings for a treat to power me through to the weekend. The pastry case is updated seasonally: apple cake in the fall, strawberries and raspberries showing up now. Somewhere toward the end of winter or in early spring, morning glory muffins appeared. Suddenly, despite the macarons, cinnamon rolls and homemade pop tarts positioned to steal my attention, my eyes went straight to those muffins every time, and they became my Friday standard. Wrapped in craft paper, full of coconut, raisins, and apple, and topped with a basic icing and some toasted coconut shreds, Petit Pierre’s morning glory muffins are sweet, hearty, and so flavorful. Though not the kind of baked good I typically associate with a French bakery, the muffins are a welcome option, a good balance to all the lacquered fruit and buttery doughs. I was inspired to try my making my own at home.

I discovered morning glory muffins in college and had a brief but passionate love affair. You know that I love food with interesting textures and diverse flavors. Morning glory muffins seem so wholesome and healthful, but the combination of fruit and coconut flakes also makes them sweet and a little exotic. I always felt like I was eating unfrosted carrot cake for breakfast. What a feat! My favorite aspect of the ones I remember from college was pineapple: every few bites, you would encounter a big chunk of pineapple, and I thought that was the best thing ever. My morning glory breakfast bread recipe replaces the more common grated apple with pieces of pineapple for that reason.

For this particular recipe I thought a quickbread loaf was in order. I have some einkorn flour from Bluebird Grain Farms and really wanted to use that here; I knew I could use it in a quickbread with no other recipe modifications. Einkorn flour is the world’s most ancient wheat. The grain has never been hybridized and lacks some of the proteins that bother folks with gluten sensitivity. I like that it tastes of vanilla and produces a comparably light crumb, while giving me health benefits like I would get from sturdy, “regular” whole wheat flour. (If you don’t have einkorn flour, substitute the same amount of whole wheat or even white flour.) My instinct was that a larger loaf made with einkorn flour would be less inclined to have a dry texture than muffins. I also like quick breads because I can slice off just a sliver, just a taste. Muffins seem like a predetermined portion– who wraps up half a muffin to save for later? I’m kidding, but not entirely. I enjoy a toasted slice of morning glory bread with my coffee in the morning. It’s so pretty to see all the fruit and coconut pieces in cross section.

I’ve seen morning glory muffins snidely called “hippie food”, “health store breakfast” and similar. Sure, they are full of fruit, healthful coconut and whole wheat flour… but I think that is a limited view of this combination of ingredients I enjoy so much. The flavors of pineapple, vanilla, raisins, coconut, cinnamon and ginger, all together in one perfect bite– I can’t think of many better options for a morning treat. Give my morning glory breakfast bread a try and see if you agree.

morning glory breakfast bread

Morning Glory Breakfast Bread (inspired by King Arthur Flour)

  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. orange juice, or reserved pineapple juice if available
  • 2 c. einkorn or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2/3 c. canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. grated carrot
  • 1 c. finely diced or crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8 x 5″ loaf pans by spraying or oiling them lightly. Set aside.

In a small bowl, soak the raisins in orange juice. If the pineapple you are using is juicy enough to gather 1/4 c., substitute pineapple juice for orange, if you like.

Sift together the einkorn flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

In a large bowl, mix the oil and brown sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Stir in the vanilla, grated carrot, pineapple, coconut and raisins, with all of the soaking liquid as well. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Don’t overmix, as it will toughen your final product.

Divide the batter between two loaf pans. Bake for 35-45 mins., until a skewer comes out clean from the center of each loaf. I rotate my loaves in the oven about 20 mins. into baking to ensure even cooking.

Cool slightly before serving. Morning glory breakfast bread will keep tightly wrapped or covered at room temperature for about 5 days. You can also wrap it securely in wax paper, parchment paper, tin foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

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