Honey Bran

Sunday has become ‘cook day’ around here – with extra-curricular activities starting for my older boys on Mondays AND Tuesdays by 6PM and us not off work until 5:30, pre-prep is key to family harmony (and not eating grilled cheese sandwiches for supper). Between Michael and I we made a batch of spaghetti sauce, a shepherd’s pie, and a crab quiche. I also did a squillion loads of laundry, policed the boys while they cleaned their room, and took the family to the local wave pool for an hour.

Needless to say, by the time the lunches were packed, all the pots & pans were washed, and the dishwasher had been loaded & unloaded for the third time, I just couldn’t imagine making yet another kitchen-related mess.

So! I’ve baked the muffins, and I’m getting the recipe up on time, but I won’t have a review of the results until this afternoon. That said, they smell really good, look quite nice, and had a let’s-have-some-more batter, so I’m thinking we’re good.

The recipe

1 cup buttermilk or soured milk

1 cup natural bran

Soak the bran in the milk.

Cream together

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup brown sugar

Beat into butter mixture

2 tbsp. honey

1 egg

Add bran mixture and stir to combine.

Sift into wet ingredients & stir until moist:

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

Bake at 375F for 15 – 20 minutes. Makes 12.

The process

Another straightforward recipe, resulting in a fluffy batter with lots of air pockets – I did let it rest for a couple of minutes after all the ingredients were combined, and noticed that the leavening agents were reacting to create that puffy texture. So that’s going to be standard practice from here on in. (Related: I don’t recall my junior high home ec teacher pointing that out, nor have I ever read it in a cookbook – this all comes from one remark I happened to catch on a Jamie Oliver Christmas special while he made waffles. Brilliant tip, so simple, and it brings better results.)

The muffins were still wet in the middle at 15 minutes, so I let them go the full 20.

The result

See above. They certainly made a very tasty batter, and honey bran is one of my favourites, so I’m very much looking forward to my afternoon tea break.

Besides, no raisins! I’m ecstatic.

UPDATE: These muffins are SO GOOD. The brown sugar gave the exterior a slight, sweet crunch, the inside texture was silky-smooth, and man oh man, fabulous. These are definitely going in the regular rotation.

Next week

Old-Fashioned Bran. You’ll need yet more bran (I actually have to buy more. I don’t think I’ve ever used up an entire box of bran before it lost quality before.) Also shortening.

I myself will also need to buy more muffin cup liners – I bought 200 (!!) during a buy-one-get-one sale, thinking they would last me a long time. I can almost not believe that I’ve baked 200 muffins in four months. Ye gods.

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5 comments on “Honey Bran

  1. MaryP says:

    I won’t be making these, as I used up the last of my bran last week.

    Re: muffin cup liners — I bought half a dozen of silicone ones a couple of weeks ago just to try them out, and they’re great. I find they work best if I give them a quick dash of cooking spray first, and then, when the muffins are cooked, to shake them out of the liner promptly. Only a few crumbs are left in the liner, and they clean up with a quick swish in hot, soapy water. Once in a while you may actually have to flip it inside out and give it a wipe, but not usually. My six bright red liners have been used several times now, and I’m pleased enough with them that I’ll be buying more.

    I understand that after they’ve been seasoned, I won’t even have to use the cooking spray any more. We’ll see.

  2. Nicole says:

    That looks great. I’m going to try these. Love a good bran muffin.

  3. MaryP says:

    I made these today! Tomorrow I will make this week’s recipe, for, as you note, a dozen muffins doesn’t go very far. But these were soooooo good! I think it’s the honey, giving it that creamy richness. I forgot to sour the milk, so mine were made with regular old 1% — and they were still really, really good.

  4. allison says:

    This is now bookmarked as my new favourite bran muffin recipe. I might even use up the whole carton of buttermilk before it goes bad. Which is weird – if buttermilk is sour milk, how does it go…. sourer?

  5. […] than the Old-Fashioned Bran, not nearly as good as the Honey Bran. In fact I started imagining the Honey Bran with added chocolate chips and that seemed like a […]

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