I do love a bran muffin, but had never made one before. Well, I should say I have never made a ‘real, homemade bran muffin’. Growing up Mom and I always made the Quaker, just add water, muffins. We would stir in a pile of raisins and they were delicious! One of my favourite after school snacks was bran muffins, sliced in half with a thick slice of extra old cheddar cheese on each side. I don’t know what it was but the bite from the old cheese and the sweet of the raisin bran muffin went together amazingly (I’m salivating as I am thinking about it!). Back to the muffins. A lot of times when you get a homemade bran muffin they are similar to hockey pucks, hard, dense and flavorless, yuck! Usually, when you get them out, say at Tim Horton’s or a grocery store, they are ok, but they leave an awful artificial taste, that stays with you for hours. The best one I have found is at Country Style.
I was on a mission to make a moist, flavourful raisin bran muffin. As when you search any recipe there are millions of results, the trick is to pick a good one. Many are dubbed as “The Best” but everyone is bias. After reading many, many recipes I came across this one from The Moveable Feast, simply titled Mom’s Bran Muffins. I am not entirely sure if it was the look of the muffins, the raving reviews or the story she told in her blog post, all I know is I wanted to make them!
Adapted from The Moveable Feast
Makes 12 good size muffins
Amy’s Notes: These are not overly sweet, so if you want a sweeter more “treat” of muffin you might want to increase the honey a bit. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled and muffins freeze and reheat well.
1 cup bran
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour (any kind will do)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional: golden raisins, walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tins with muffin cups
2. In a large bowl, combine the bran, buttermilk (I didn’t have buttermilk and can’t handle the curdling of making your own so I just used milk) and baking soda. The baking soda should activate and begin to create bubbles through the mixture. Set aside
3. Mix the egg, vegetable oil, molasses, honey and vanilla in another smaller bowl until smooth.
4. Add the this mixture to the bran mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt (and raisins and walnuts, if using).
6. Pour flour mixture over the bran mixture and stir until combined, but make sure not to over mix.
7. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
8. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean
My search is over! These muffins are amazing! They taste exactly how I envision the best bran muffin to taste. They were sort of sweet, maybe due to all the raisins, but not too much, you still feel you are having a healthy muffin.
They are moist, light and have an airy texture, no hockey pucks here. The crumb was excellent.
Now, I may lose some of you here, but don’t knock it until you try it! Cut the muffin in half, top and bottom, (because we all know the muffin top is the best part!) and top with a thick slice of extra old cheddar cheese….
Excellent! Instantly brought back to my childhood.
Thanks to The Moveable Feast for this wonderful Bran Muffin recipe! I also go rave reviews and will be making these for years to come. Next time I will use smaller cups, just to get a bigger ‘muffin top’. I will also try to make them with the buttermilk and see if if makes any difference, but I think they were fantastic just the way they were.