The Best Bran Muffin

The Best Bran Muffin

I’m going to close out 2018 by giving you a healthy and tasty gift to start your 2019. The Best Bran Muffin recipe. All credit goes to the Dahlia Bakery in Seattle and their great cookbook. My cookbook says it was published in 2012 and I don’t remember if that’s when I acquired it – The Best Bran Muffin page looks like it’s been around a LOT longer than that. It looks exactly like a cookbook page that has been well-loved….though at this point, more often that not, I’ve actually finished putting the batter together before I realize that I haven’t glanced at the recipe.

When we had the Inn I made a lot of muffins. (Weirdly, though I set up my little baking business this year to do all sorts of baking, I’m becoming a breakfast baking expert once again..hmm, maybe my niche has found me?) I liked for there to be a freshly baked item on the breakfast table and I like cookbooks and I like trying new recipes. I spent a lot of time thinking about recipes that struck the balance between a little-bit treat and a little-bit healthy, since this muffin was only one element of a delicious breakfast and I always wanted everyone to have room for everything. (Though, sidenote: when we used to put out individual Cabot yogurts for the guests and people would take one and have two bites and throw the rest of it away, that bugged me. We stopped putting out those individual yogurts.) For a long time the King Arthur Flour Morning Glory muffin was a Shoreham Inn regular recipe. But then the Best Bran showed up and solidly stole the thunder. (By the way, that morning glory recipe, it’s completely delicious too – basically carrot cake without the frosting.)

Anyway, I give you this recipe as my way of saying thank you for paying attention to me here on this blog and for buying my Banoffi & Such baked goods both directly from me or from the stores where they can be found and for generally being my small and mighty cheering section. You are appreciated! (But, please still go to Buxton’s Store and The Daily Grind and Shafer’s Market once in a while a buy a muffin from them too!)

Best Bran Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups bran I generally use wheat bran – you can find it in the bulk section of your local food co-op. I use oat bran when I’m making a gluten free version but, honestly, I like the wheat bran better. And it’s cheaper!
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil Or any neutral-tasting oil
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk No buttermilk in the house? Add a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice to regular milk, wait about a minute, and voila!
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • raw or granulated sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. NOTE: This mix is made the day before you want the muffins. You can bake them sooner, but the overnight time in the fridge gives the bran time to soften and thicken. So make the mix the day before and in the morning all you have to do is bake. (Another secret of the innkeeping game…!)

  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and bran.

  3. In another bowl, mash up the banana. Add the eggs, oil, brown sugar and molasses. Whisk the mixture until the ingredients are emulsified. (They all come together into a thick-ish liquid.) Then mix in the buttermilk and vanilla.

  4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix only until everything is combined. Add the currants and stir to distribute.

  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

  6. When you are ready to bake – preheat the oven to 375F. Grease or line about 16 muffins cups. (The original recipe says it makes 12 standard muffins – I always end up with 16.) Fill the muffin cups and sprinkle with the raw sugar.

  7. Bake for about 24 minutes.

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