This marks the first time that I deviated a bit from the recipe as written, for expediency and practicality. I’ll reproduce the recipe as written, but indicate where I made changes.
Stir together, let stand for five minutes
1 cup All-Bran (I refuse to buy a box of All-Bran just to use for a recipe. Yerk. I bought a box of regular ‘Wheat Bran’ instead.)
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 1/4 cup smooth unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade applesauce, with cinnamon & a small amount of brown sugar)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup oil (as the type of oil was not specified, I used canola)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
Add wet to dry.
375F, 20 minutes. Makes 19 regular-sized muffins.
I was super-organized this weekend, thanks in large part to Michael, who has been helping me make-ahead three weekday meals on Sundays as an experiment in making our evenings less hectic (and it’s been working great). Because of this, I was able to start the muffins even before the kids went to bed, so I had a couple of enthusiastic helpers. Plus, I was listening to Randy’s Vinyl Tap on CBC Radio Two while I worked, and it turns out singing along to The Doors and Nirvana while baking makes everything run more smoothly. This is a scientific fact.
This is a nice simple recipe. It goes together quickly and leaves you with a very liquid batter that pours easily into muffin cups. It’s a good one to make with kids who want to help out.
As always, I rotated the pans halfway through the baking time to make sure they were done evenly. They took 20 minutes, as advertised. Simple. Brilliant.
They smelled really good – the molasses / apple / vanilla combination is a winner. Because these are leavened with sour milk and baking soda, they only rose slightly, and are almost flat across the top thanks to the very liquid batter. They are also quite a dark colour, partly because of the molasses and partly because of the homemade applesauce I used.
Michael tasted them first and was very enthusiastic, so I tried one as well. These are a nice muffin; sweet, dense, quite moist. A good breakfast or snack muffin, and with a more pleasing texture than I was expecting, what with all the bran.
The apple flavour is very subtle, so next time I would probably use commercial applesauce; the homemade stuff I used is delicious for eating just as it is, and my test kitchen has advised me not to ‘waste it’ as a baking ingredient. I do think that the cinnamon in the applesauce added something to this recipe, so you may want to consider adding a half-teaspoon of cinnamon to your dry ingredients if you are using plain, unsweetened applesauce.
All in all, an easy muffin that you can feel good about eating and serving to your kids with breakfast or as a snack.
Next week, applesauce oatmeal.