Yesterday morning, I finished off the batch of cranberry-orange pecan muffins I had made last week. It seems I am already quite accustomed to my morning muffin routine, because I couldn’t let another day pass without making a new batch. I entered “bran muffin” into the Food Blog Search engine you see here on the left and found a number of tempting recipes.
Of all the bran recipes I browsed, however, I chose to make the “Best Bran Muffins” featured on the blog Farmgirl Fare. I chose FarmGirl’s for a number of reasons. For one, these muffins are made entirely with whole grains: wheat bran, oat bran and whole wheat flour. Second, FarmGirl admitted she disapproves of recipes for bran muffins that call for some type of bran cereal, which she believes are overpriced and over processed — I think she makes a good point. And finally, FarmGirl’s mother declared these muffins the “best she had ever taste.” I was sold.
As FarmGirl promised, these muffins are moist, delicious and very adaptable. I added a couple of diced apples, which add a nice flavor, but as FarmGirl notes, this recipe can be altered in countless ways.
Now, I have to admit, as I was whisking the dried ingredients together, all I could think of, pardon the bathroom humor, was two words: Colon Blow. I googled and found a link to both the video of the SNL skit and the written transcript. If you need a good laugh, this video is only one and a half minutes long and will certainly do the trick. Oh man was Phil Hartman funny.
2 cups (3oz/86g) wheat bran
1 cup (5oz/141g) oat bran
1 cup (6oz/170g) whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (12g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (6g) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (4g) salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (5oz by weight/156g) milk
2/3 cup (5-1/2oz/156g) yogurt
1/3 cup (2-1/4oz/65g) canola oil
1/3 cup (3-3/4oz/108g) molasses, cane syrup or brown rice syrup*
1/3 cup (3-3/4oz/108g) honey
2 fuji apples, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon (6g) vanilla extract (optional)
rolled oats for sprinkling
* Note: You can use all honey or all molasses instead if desired.
1. Place oven rack in middle of oven and heat oven to 375ºF. Grease or spray a standard size muffin pan, or line cups with paper liners.
2. Combine wheat bran, oat bran, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Combine eggs, milk, yogurt, canola oil, molasses, and honey in a small bowl and mix well. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until combined. Fold in diced apples.
3. Fill muffin cups till just below the rim with the batter. Sprinkle with rolled oats if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes for small muffins and 25 minutes for larger. Cool muffins in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then carefully remove from pan and serve warm, or let cool on a wire rack.
Makes about 10 large muffins. Follow Basic Bran Muffin recipe, but gently fold 1½ cups of fresh or frozen blueberries into the batter. There is no need to defrost frozen berries, but do quickly rinse off any ice with cold water.
Makes 12-14 large and very moist muffins. Follow Basic Bran Muffin recipe, but stir mashed very ripe banana (2 small bananas) into wet ingredients. Then gently fold 1½ cups of fresh or frozen blueberries into the finished batter. Baking time may need to be increased to 25 to 28 minutes.
Makes about 10 large muffins. Follow Basic Bran Muffin recipe, but replace the 2/3 cup milk with 2/3 cup orange juice and omit the vanilla extract. Stir 1 cup orange flavored dried cranberries or regular dried cranberries to finished batter. For muffins with more orange flavor, stir 1 teaspoon finely chopped or grated orange zest into the wet ingredients.