Thursday, April 13, 2017

Molasses and Raisin Bran Muffins

My mission was to make bran a pleasure to eat and I found the trick in an article in the Seattle Times. The headline read – Chef Greg Atkinson finds the key to a tasty bran muffin. I don’t know Chef Greg, but I can assure you that the headline speaks the truth.

These are the best bran muffins I have ever had. They are light and sweet on the inside with a surprisingly crispy top. The raisin puree is the magic trick that makes these muffins moist.

There are countless reasons to have an amazing bran muffin recipe in your repertoire. However, it’s usually not because we crave bran, as much as, we need more fiber in our diet. You could be a puritan and eat the sawdust (bran) straight up, but I’m not that hardcore.

Everyone seems to be sharing their version of the Kellogg’s Bran Muffin recipe. Yes, it’s tried and true, but it needs 3 – 6 cups of cereal (which has gotten really expensive) and makes enough batter to feed a small country.

What made Chef Greg’s recipe the answer to my wishes is that he used wheat bran (which cost pennies) and the recipe only made a dozen amazing muffins.

My Notes to you:
I used craisins, because that’s what I had and they worked perfectly.  Though I own a food processor (which is what the recipe called for), I often don’t take it out unless it’s for a big job. In this situation I used an immersion blender, simply for easy clean up. You could also use a blender, but let the raisins cool down or the hot liquid will make your blender top burst and that won’t be easy clean up.

The batter will fill the paper liners almost to the top.

Molasses and Raisin Bran Muffins
adapted from Chef Greg Atkinson

WET
1          cup      raisins or craisins
1          cup      water
½         cup      canola or corn oil
½         cup      molasses
add egg to puree after it has slightly cooled.
1          lg.        egg, lightly beaten

DRY
1          cup      flour
½         cup      sugar
2          tsp.      baking powder
½         tsp.      baking soda
1          tsp.      kosher salt
2          cups     wheat bran

1. Put paper muffin liners in the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin. Lightly spray the papers with nonstick cooking spray or brush them with a light coat of canola oil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the raisins and water. When the water begins to boil, reduce heat to low and let the raisins simmer until they are plumped and soft, about 5 minutes. Add oil and molasses to raisins and puree with an immersion blender or food processor. Cool slightly, then stir in lightly beaten egg.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then stir in the wheat bran. Add the raisin mixture all at once to the dry mixture and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.

4. Distribute the batter evenly in the prepared muffin cups and bake until the muffins are browned on top and springy to the touch, about 20 minutes.

5. Cool the muffins on a rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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