Bran muffins make Phil very very happy, so I tried a new recipe for his favorite morning treat.  On a whim, I went with the “back of the bag” recipe in the Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran product.  I reasoned that they probably tested and re-tested the recipe to make sure whoever baked a batch would love it and buy another bag. 😉  I also thought that using applesauce in the batter would make it moist and flavorful. I was right.
(from Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup milk
1/2 cup molasses (or honey)
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (toasted is best)
2 Tbsp. oil
2 eggs, beaten

Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine wheat bran, flour, baking soda and baking powder. Stir in nuts and raisins. In a separate bowl, blend applesauce, milk, molasses, oil and egg. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Spoon into a muffin pan lined with paper muffin cups) and bake for  20 minutes. Makes 12 regular-size muffins.


to print the recipe, click here


Comments:  Between these bran muffins and the first one I blogged about, I think I prefer this batch because of the prominent apple taste that mellows the “hippie factor” of the wheat bran.  Did I hit the jackpot with them?  And by jackpot I mean bran muffins that match the ones of Phil’s past. Not quite yet there.  However, after almost 13 years of marriage, I finally got a hint on one of the issues: size.  The muffins he loved so much were bigger.  Size does matter after all!  A shocking realization.   But, here is the tricky part, in those days they did not make them gigantic. They were just slightly bigger. So, now I am on a mission to find a pan that will make a muffin somewhere between “regular” and “jumbo”.   As to taste, I am on the right track.  Raisins and walnuts, yes.  But next time, less apple, and honey instead of molasses.

I do not go down without a fight, my friends! One day, I will bake the bran muffin of his dreams…

ONE  YEAR AGO: Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

TWO YEARS AGO: Breville Sourdough



I don’t cook Ina Garten‘s recipes that often because they tend to be way too rich (says she who recently baked a cake with a few hundred calories per bite..  ;-)).   But these muffins have just the right amount of indulgence, well balanced by all their healthy components: unprocessed bran, fruits, and nuts.   I am always happy when I find a good recipe for bran muffins, Phil’s favorite ways to start the day: one of these babies, warmed up slightly in the oven, next to a steaming cup of cappuccino.

(adapted from Ina Garten, FoodTV Network)

1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
1 cup buttermilk (shaken)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 + 1/2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup mixed dried raisins, blueberries, cranberries
1 cup large-diced bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place paper liners into a muffin tin.

Combine the bran and buttermilk and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape the bowl and then add the molasses, agave nectar, orange zest, and vanilla. (The mixture will look curdled.) Add the bran/buttermilk mixture and combine.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined.  Fold in the dried fruits, bananas and walnuts with a rubber spatula.

Fill the muffin cups to the top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  Most recipes of this type call for over-ripe bananas, all brown and mushy.  In this recipe, Ina used bananas that were good enough to eat as a fruit, ripe, but not falling apart at all.  I was a bit intrigued, but followed her lead.  Verdict:  not only it works, but it’s probably what makes these muffins quite special, the little morsels of concentrated banana flavor.

Phil gave his seal of approval to the recipe, so all you bran muffin lovers can go ahead and give it a shot.  😉

ONE YEAR AGOBeer Bread with Roasted Barley

TWO YEARS AGO:  Tomato Confit with Arugula and Zucchini

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