Oddly enough, it's surprisingly hard to find a recipe for basic, simple bran muffins, the assumption (perhaps) being either that everyone already knows how to make them, or that they're somehow boring if they haven't been doctored up in some way.
But is that really what the world has come to? That a muffin recipe is boring if it doesn't feature popcorn or M&Ms or cream cheese or carrots? Here's what I think: I think bran muffins are a classic, and someone ought to be the custodian of the basic recipe.
Might as well be me. So here's a basic, simple bran muffin recipe. Not gluten-free, not vegan, not lowfat, not with blueberries, not made with oat bran or bananas or in a crockpot. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those things. But sometimes you just want a straight-up bran muffin.
This recipe does have raisins. But that's kind of mandatory in a bran muffin, right?
OK, another thing. Rather than using bran cereal or something, I like to use actual wheat bran. You can get it at the store, possibly in the "healthy" aisle that most stores seem to have these days (but you can also get it online).
Also see: What is Bran?
- 180 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups, sifted)
- 80 grams wheat bran (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk (whole)
- 40 grams molasses (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (pure)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Combine the flour, bran, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins and stir to distribute everything evenly. Mixing the raisins in with the dry ingredients helps prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins while they bake.
- Heat the butter in the microwave, in a microwave-safe bowl, for about a minute, until it's liquefied but not sizzling. You just want to be able to pour it.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg, then add the milk, molasses, and vanilla.
- Thoroughly grease and flour a 12-cup muffin pan (or use paper muffin liners).
- Make sure the melted butter is warm but not hot. Pour it slowly into the bowl with the liquid ingredients, whisking with a fork to incorporate it thoroughly.
- Now add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix gently with a wooden spoon to combine. Scrape down toward the bottom of the bowl to make sure any pockets of dry ingredients get mixed in. But don't mix too long or too forcefully. Slow and gentle. Stop stirring once everything is moistened. The batter will still look lumpy.
- Let the batter rest for 10 minutes, to allow any dry pockets of flour to dissolve while the glutens in the flour have time to relax.
- Gently spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan and get them into the oven right away.
- Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5–10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.