Friday, January 3, 2014
Buttermilk Bran Muffins
Happy New Year! Let's get 2014 started.
After a solid month of annual extravagance, if you find yourself in the mood for something for breakfast, brunch or a snack that isn't completely decadent and more in the back-to-basics lane, a Buttermilk Bran Muffin just might come in handy.
But don't be alarmed. I promise I am not delivering a Torture Muffin. Baking has come a long way since the days of whole wheat pastries that instilled fear. No longer do breads and pastries made with whole wheat flour and bran have to taste like a mouthful of sawdust.
I do not think of these muffins as punishment. They are soft and full of flavor, thanks to a good dose of molasses, vanilla and orange zest. Pecans and raisins add more flavor and texture. There is just enough wheat bran to enrich but not dry out the finished product. Buttermilk helps to leaven and tenderize the gluten. This is a good muffin of choice for a simple and humble beginning of a new year.
- Wheat bran can be found at bulk food grocery stores. Bob's Red Mill also offers it.
- If your raisins are dry, plump them for about 5 minutes in just enough hot water to cover. Drain thoroughly.
- The buttermilk and bran mixture will look like mush.
- Whisk in the flour mixture just until moistened. Do your best not to over mix!
- Keep a close eye on the muffins as they bake. They don't take much time at all and will be dry if over baked by a minute or two.
- If you despise raisins, try a couple of tablespoons of finely chopped crystallized ginger. Or maybe make a resolution to give raisins another chance!
Buttermilk Bran Muffins
Makes 16 muffins
1 cup (8 oz) buttermilk @ room temperature
1 cup (2 oz) wheat bran
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (89 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (89 grams) whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (3 oz) canola oil
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (2 1/4 oz) molasses
2 tablespoons (1 oz) honey
2 eggs @ room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
zest of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) raisins, chopped
1/2 cup (1 3/4 oz) pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 16 wells in standard size muffin tins or use paper liners.
Place the buttermilk and bran in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
Sift both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In another bowl big enough to hold all the ingredients, whisk the oil, brown sugar, molasses and honey. Add the eggs and combine thoroughly. Mix in the vanilla and orange zest. Add the bran and buttermilk mixture. Whisk in the flour mixture just until there are no streaks. Do not over mix. Fold in the raisins and pecans.
Divide the batter equally in the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the muffins spring back when pressed gently in the center or a tester inserted comes out clean, about 13 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Use a small thin knife or small metal spatula to remove from the pan. Cool completely.