A Notable Bran Muffin

Published Categorised as Personal

What notable things happened today?

I had a hankering for a bran muffin, blueberry bran. I’d tried baking from a popular recipe last month, but wasn’t really happy with it. For one thing, I had to use raspberries as I had no blueberries. This time, I had the frozen blueberries but didn’t realize until I opened the bag, they’re the ginormous kind. I’d tried to reduce the sugar, subbing in maple syrup for some of it, but it was a little off on the sweet scale. So I wasn’t sure how much sugar worked. I also didn’t have much buttermilk left for this try. The recipe had called for Greek yoghurt, and I’d subbed in buttermilk as I had had no yoghurt. I needed a non-yoghurt/sour cream/buttermilk recipe. One thing I miss from my pre-brain injury days was making up recipes. I’ve gotten better with tinkering, though.

I searched and found a recipe with much less sugar and no buttermilk. But this recipe called for more eggs than I could spare. What to do? I measured out what buttermilk I had left; decided 1/3 cup was equal to one egg. I normally weigh my ingredients because I use whole wheat flour, but didn’t have the energy to convert with all the changes I was making plus this was a rare recipe that called for whole wheat flour!

I compared the previous recipe with this one, ingredient by ingredient, mashed them together, made my own subs, added several flavour ingredients (like who makes baked goods with no vanilla or even a spice‽!!!), compared the baking temperature to an America’s Test Kitchen recipe (which doesn’t use real wheat bran but cereal — no good), and baked them a little longer than called for as they were smelling heavenly like toasted pecans but were quite wet on the toothpick.

I thought I’d estimated the extra time correctly, but then…

Convinced I’d somehow gone from too wet to overbaked, I didn’t take photos like normal.

But wow, once I pried one out of the muffin tin and tried it, I wanted to keep eating more and more.

Today, I ate one for lunch. Still moist and tender. Still a delight to the tongue. This recipe is a keeper!

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Blueberry Bran Muffins with Honey and Pecans

With a whisk, beat 2 eggs with:

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • and 50ml honey (~2 T scoops)

Then mix together:

  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • rest skim milk up to 1 & 1/2 cups milk total
  • 1t vanilla (approximately, might have been 1.5 tsp as I emptied the dregs of the bottle into the milk)

Beat milk mixture into egg mixture.

Mix together with a whisk (this should really be done first so you only have to use one whisk):

  • 1 & 2/3 cups whole wheat cake & pastry flour
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • Pinch each nutmeg and cloves
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t sea salt

Coat 1/2 cup frozen blueberries (which I’d let thaw on a plate as I got the rest of the ingredients together) with some of the flour mixture just before adding to the batter.

Add to the wet mixture:

  • the flour mixture
  • the 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups natural wheat bran.

Stir carefully together with a wooden spoon NOT the whisk. Do NOT overmix. Some visible flour is better than beaten. Some liquid may remain unmixed. I found it a bit stubborn and so left it.

Scoop into oiled muffin cups up to the top. If you have baking cups, put those in the muffin tins, oil the top of the muffin tins, and scoop to top. Sprinkle on raw, unsalted chopped pecans (60g total).

Bake at 400F* for 20 to 25 minutes. Be careful, goes from wet to baked in no time. Let cool in tins on a rack for at least 5 minutes.

*Yes, I still use that ridiculous Fahrenheit scale for baking. I have it baked into my brain since the age of 8 when I first started coming up with my own cake recipes. And almost all of my cookbooks use that scale. Trying to convert them is beyond me…although now that I can ask Google with my voice, and with so many UK and European YouTube baking videos, I may give it a whirl…some day when I’m brave enough to figure out how to change it on my oven.

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