I think I’ve found my favorite bran muffin. The recipe was sent over by a friend who said it was bakeshop quality – just like you’d get at Little Miss Muffin. And she was right. The muffins were moist, the perfect sweetness, had just the right amount of oil to keep them from being too rich or too dry, and had an interesting blend of flavors from bran, wheat germ and trio of extracts.
The recipe is adapted from Marcy Goldman, an accomplished recipe developer and author who also happens to be known for her famous “Lawsuit Muffins”.
Since I halved the recipe, used white whole grain flour (Eagle Mills Ultra Grain) reduced the baking soda, increased the salt, omitted the dates, added pecans and changed the extract amounts, I just went ahead and typed it as I made it below. My muffins were done in exactly 20 minutes at 400, but if you know your oven runs hot, you might want to bake 15 minutes at 400 and 10 minutes at 350. But make sure to start your muffins at 400 because putting the batter in a hot oven is one way to help get a nice crown.
Another thing I’ll point out is that the batter needs at least a few hours in the refrigerator – preferably 8. This is actually a good thing because you can make the batter the night before and make the muffins fresh in the morning.
- 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
- 6 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon, packed firm
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon maple extract
- 1/2 teaspoons butter extract
- 1 1/2 large egg, lightly beaten (to halve an egg, use 2 T.)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1/2 cup wheat bran
- 1/2 cup raisins, plumped (optional)
- Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; Toss in the pecans and set aside.
- Mix the oil, honey, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, maple, and butter extract together in a mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs, then buttermilk, wheat germ, and bran. Let batter rest 10 minutes.
- Add flour mixture to egg mixture in three parts, stirring with a large rubber spatula and making sure all dry ingredients are thoroughly blended – do not over-beat. Add raisins if using. Cover batter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Batter will thicken up quite a bit.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease the top surface of a 12-cup muffin pan – you’ll only be using 8 of the cups. Using a measuring cup, place a portion of the batter into each cup, filling to the top – don’t pile it too high or rims will spread too much, just stop at the top. Put a little water in empty muffin cups to ensure even baking.
- Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until muffin tops brown. Test with a cake tester or toothpick. If tester doesn’t come out clean, reduce heat to 350 and bake another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Let cool in pan for about 8 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely. Makes 8 or 9 if you make them smaller