Thursday, February 10, 2011

Best Bran Muffin

My sister called the other day asking for my mom's honey bran muffin recipe. I didn't have mom's recipe but I wanted to tell her that my bran muffin recipe was way better, but my mom was visiting and she would have been offended. I kept my mouth shut.

Hopefully this is the day mom doesn't read the blog...Kim, this recipe is for you!

I found this recipe on a package of wheat bran some time ago and it never ceases to impress me- these muffins always turn out wonderfully. You can adapt them to suit what you have on hand- our favourites have been with frozen wild blueberries or dried cranberries. You could also use raisins or crushed pineapple.

Wheat bran is the hard outer layer of the wheat grain and it contains many nutrients- we all know it is very high in fiber, but it is also surprisingly high in protein and iron! It is also a fairly cheap ingredient. If you buy in bulk, make sure you refridgerate it as it can go rancid quickly.

Best Bran Muffin
Makes 24.
Substitute any fruit that you'd like, I'm sure almost any berry or dried fruit would work. Even grated apple would be nice. If you add frozen berries, toss them with 1 tbsp flour and add them right at the end so it doesn't colour the entire muffin. Also, for an extra little treat, I sometimes add a small dab of honey (1/4-1/2 tsp) to the bottom of the muffin tin or cupcake liner before adding the batter. These freeze great!

3 cups wheat bran
2 cups buttermilk (or substitute 2 tbsp vinegar and enough milk to make 2 cups)
3/4 cup-1 cup dried cranberries or raisins (or frozen berries, to be added at end)

1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 eggs

1 1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare 24 muffin tins with butter or liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine wheat bran, buttermilk and dried fruit. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, molasses and eggs. Add to bran mixture.
4. In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt and soda together. Combine flour and liquid ingredients and mix until there are no more large clumps of flour. (At this point, add berries with flour if desired)
5. Spoon batter into muffin tins until 3/4 full, then bake for 15-17 minutes. If you use muffin liners, you can let them cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing. If you used honey on the bottom of a butter-lined tin, let cool for a minute or two and then invert onto a cooling rack before the honey gets too sticky.