Note: this recipe needs revision – the last couple of times I've made it, they haven't risen as nicely and came out a little gummy. Maybe just slightly less liquid, or let them bake longer.
Sometimes all you really need in this world is homemade bran muffins. Especially when you and the kiddo make them together first thing in the morning. We like to put the mixing bowls out on the floor, and Mini-Me stirs them and fills the muffin tins. There's nothing much better than watching how excited she gets when we put them in the oven. From the second they go in, she can barely wait for them to come out and have breakfast!
This recipe is heavily based on the one in Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's Home Baking book, which I owe you a full review of, but we can preview by saying "it rocks". I changed it by using yogurt instead of sour cream, quadrupling the molasses, and not waiting the 30 minutes for the bran to soften, though I'm sure it is a good idea. Good luck getting your kid to wait a half an hour!
I'm a firm believer in a strong molasses flavor in a bran muffin. In Providence, where I went to college, there was a great old store with a lunch counter that would split a big molassesy bran muffin in half, grill it til it started to burn, and slather it with butter. Oh yeah. These muffins come out small, so you might want to double the recipe and make maybe 15 bigger ones, adjusting the baking time of course.
Here are a couple notes on variations:
- For a muffin that is just 2 Weight Watchers points, use nonfat yogurt and nonfat milk.
- For a different texture, use 3/4 c. Nature's Path Smart Bran cereal, 3/4 c. wheat bran, and raise the flour to 1.5 c. The resulting muffin is pleasantly smooth and tender. This will make 12 muffins instead of 10.
By the way, you know who else rocks the party? Bronze Fawn.
Makes 10 small muffins
Vegetarian; not vegan or gluten-free
0.5 c. thick Greek-style yogurt (or use thinner yogurt and reduce milk by 1/4 c. or more)
1.5 c. milk (preferably whole milk)
4 T. blackstrap molasses
1.5 c. wheat bran
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all the wet ingredients with the bran. Whisk together the remaining ingredients in another bowl and then mix them into the wet. It will be a very thick batter, almost cookie dough. Scoop into 10 buttered or lined muffin tins. Bake about 18 minutes, until golden brown, pullling away from the tins, and dry when checked with a toothpick. If you convection bake it will be more like 13 minutes. Be sure they are really done, it isn't any fun if they are pudding inside.