June’s Bran Muffins

November 14, 2006 at 6:36 pm (B plus (3 stars, like a lot), breakfast, Dessert, From a friend, Muffins and quick breads, Quick weeknight recipe)

This bran muffin recipe is rich, dense, and filling. It’s from my friend June, and all the notes below are hers.

The basic bran mix is a “refrigerator” muffin mix, given to my mom by a dear friend years ago. You can bake off what you want. It’ll keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks, and lends itself easily to different added ingredients, which keeps it interesting. Also the muffins freeze beautifully once baked. I use all organic ingredients, except the buttermilk, as I haven’t been able to find that organic yet.

Make 26-27 muffins

Dry Ingredients:
3 cups bran (I usually do 1.5 raw wheat bran and 1.5 oat bran)
.25 cup wheat germ
1 t. salt
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 c. soy flour
2.5 t. baking soda

Wet Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup honey
.5 cup blackstrap molasses
.5 cup oil

Optional (barely): 1 cup raisins (I always put these in unless I know I am going to want to make the banana variety, in which I don’t like the raisins. If I am going to make the banana muffins, I take that batter out, set it aside and add the appropriate amount of raisins to the remainder)

Directions:
Mix the dry together with a whisk. Mix the wet ingredients together. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until combined.

Portion size = 2.5 oz batter per muffin

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Variations

Zucchini Muffins
22oz bran muffin mixture (with raisins…mmm)
8 oz shredded zucchini
1.5 t. dried lemon peel

This zucchini version yields a much lighter, moister, and less sweet muffin, but still pretty satisfying.

Carrot Cake Muffins
22oz bran muffin mixture (again raisins…mmmmmmm)
8oz shredded carrot
1 t. cinnamon
Pearl sugar or any coarse sugar to sprinkle on top before baking. Cinnamon sugar works too.

Banana Walnut Muffins
22 oz bran muffin mixture
8oz banana
1/2 to 1 cup walnuts (I really like walnuts…)

Notes: Don’t be afraid to experiement. If you want more banana go for it, just remove another ounce or two of muffin mix and add in some more banana. This batter is pretty darn forgiving.

My Notes:

These muffins turned out larger than the AMA recipe I’ve used before. They’re slightly less salty (a good thing) and slightly sweeter tasting. They’re also much more substantial seeming and more filling, which is great, but I don’t understand it because the stats are pretty similiar (see below). I will make these again, and I might consider adding some ginger or other spice as well. A tip: measure the oil first in a 1/2 cup measure, then use that cup to dole out the molasses and honey.

Rating: B+

These muffins:

junemuffin1.gif

The AMA muffins I posted before:

amamuffin1.gif

The major difference is that this recipe has slightly more bran, plus has wheat germ and soy flour, and double the honey. Finally, it uses all baking soda (no powder).

I improvised a version of these muffins, but they came out way too wet, and the flavor is a bit muddy.  I think I had too much liquid, and I didn’t cook them long enough.  They dried out a bit after sitting overnight, and despite their weaknesses they still called to me.  Derek couldn’t stand them though.

  • 1.25 cups bran (should have stuck with 1.5 cups)
  • 1/8 cup wheat germ (I’d omit this next time)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup white flour (should have used 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour (should have used 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda (I’d increase this to 2 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder (I’d decrease this to 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 ounces grated carrot
  • 4 ounces chopped apple (with peel)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ginger

Here are three recipes from Cook’s Illustrated (I have no idea why they thought they needed 3 different recipes–isn’t their philosophy that there exists one perfect recipe for every dish?).  They say too much bran produces a dry, crumbly muffin, too little and you don’t really have a bran muffin anymore.  The right proportion of bran to flour turned out to be 1 to 1. Because these muffins can easily overcook, baking time is also crucial. If a few moist crumbs cling to a toothpick withdrawn from the center of a muffin, they’re done.

Makes about 20 muffins

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons, (see illustrations below)
4 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup light brown sugar plus 2 tablespoons, packed firm
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon maple extract
1 1/2 teaspoons butter extract (or flavoring)
3 large eggs , lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup toasted wheat germ
1 cup wheat bran (not the cereal)
1/2 cup whole dates ,plumped with scalding water, drained, and coarsely chopped
1 cup dark raisins , plumped with scalding water and drained

And a second one, makes 12 muffins:

1 1/4 cups  bleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup  whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda
3/4 teaspoon  table salt
1 1/4 teaspoons  ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon  ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon  fresh grated nutmeg
7 tablespoons  unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup  dark brown sugar plus 2 additional tablespoons
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons  vanilla extract
3 tablespoons  unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup  sour cream
1 cup  buttermilk plus 3 additional tablespoons
1 1/2 cups  wheat bran
1 cup  raisins

And the most recent recipe, makes 12 muffins:

1 cup raisins
1 tsp. water for plumping the raisins
5 ounces All-Bran Original cereal
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (2 1/2 ounces),
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (4 2/3 ounces)
3 tablespoons mild molasses (or light)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted and cooled
1 3/4 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

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