The Health Food Store’s Bran Muffins
a classic, moist and fragrant bran muffin
Several hours ahead or the night before:
(A large stainless steel bowl works well for this recipe)
2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/8 cups light brown sugar, packed firm (about 7-8 oz.)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
3/4 teaspoon pure maple extract
1 1/2 teaspoons pure butter extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup wheat germ *
1 cup natural bran (not the cereal)
1/2 cup dates, plumped and drained, coarsely chopped (2 oz.)
1 cup dark raisins, plumped and drained (4 oz.)
Sesame seeds or sunflower seeds for garnishing
- You can also substitute 1 cup oat bran for a wholesome, but slightly more dense muffin.
In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, blend flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside.
In a very large bowl, whisk together to blend the oil, brown sugar, honey, and molasses and extracts. Then thoroughly whisk in the beaten eggs. Stir in buttermilk, then the wheat germ and bran. Allow to rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare dates and raisins (plump by covering in scalding water, drain well, and chop).
Stir dry ingredients into wet mixture and whisk to partially blend. Using a rubber spatula, stir in dates and raisins. Blend batter well, making sure bottom of bowl does not have undistributed ingredients.
Cover batter with plastic wrap and allow to rest overnight in the fridge or at least for an hour before baking.
To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with muffin liners (if using a nonstick pan, paper muffin liners are optional).
Using an ice-cream scoop, dispense or scoop muffin batter into prepared muffin pans. Fill any empty muffin cups halfway with water (this allows muffins to bake evenly).
Sprinkle tops with additional wheat germ, oat bran, sesame seeds or sunflower seeds as garnish.
Place in oven on upper most rack and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees F. and bake until done, about another 10-12 minutes.
Makes about 16 muffins depending on size.