I remember the first bran muffin I ever had. It tasted like dirty rag but had the texture of cardboard. I was told that this thing I was eating, this cardboard thing, was very good for me. As you might guess, it didn’t matter. It was many years before I ever tried a bran muffin again.
After trying a few more over the years though, I learned that it’s completely possible to make a bran muffin that has a softer texture, one with a moist interior. What I’m trying to say is… it’s completely possible to make a bran muffin that doesn’t suck.
To counteract the dryness of the bran, you just need to up the liquid a bit. Add in another egg and, in this case, some raisins. They lend a bit of moisture to the finished muffin also.
1) Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix wet ingredients separately.
2) Stir wet ingredients into dry mixture. Don't overmix the batter. It'll be pretty wet but the bran will absorb a lot of moisture.
3) Quickly stir in raisins. Again try not to overmix batter.
4) Pour into muffin tins that are either sprayed with non-stick spray, or rubbed with a light coating of butter. You could also use cupcake/muffin tins. You can fill these up almost to the top. They won't rise like cupcakes rise. Sprinkle extra bran on top as a garnish.
5) Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Try not to overcook them or they will dry out fast.
6) Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before eating.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything.
Making the Batter
You could definitely use normal all-purpose flour for these, but I figure since I’m making bran muffins, I might as well make them very bran-filled. So I used whole wheat flour. This gives the final muffin a very nutty flavor which I really liked.
One of the ways I added a bit more moisture into the muffins (besides the extra egg) is to just barely raise the amount of butter in the muffins. The original recipe had 3 Tablespoons. I added an extra tablespoon and I think it really helped with the final texture.
Pulling the batter together is really easy. Start by mixing all your dry ingredients in a medium bowl (flour, bran, baking powder, salt). Then mix all your wet ingredients separately (milk, eggs, melted butter). Then stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
It’ll be a pretty wet batter but trust me the bran will soak up a ton of liquid as it cooks. Try not to over-mix your batter, just stir it together until it’s barely combined.
Then quickly stir in your raisins if you’re using them. I highly recommend them but I guess you could leave them out.
Baking the Muffins
Pour the batter into prepared muffin tins. You can either line your tins with paper or spray them with non-stick spray. Or if you’re me, just wipe them down with a very thin coat of butter.
I also could’ve filled mine up all the way to the top. These didn’t rise like cupcakes rise.
I sprinkled on some extra bran also just for show.
Cook these at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you make them larger, they might need 30 minutes. Try not to over-cook them though or they’ll get pretty dry.
A toothpick should come out cleanly from the center.
Move these to a rack to cool for about five minutes and then they are ready to eat!
These will be best right away when they’re warm. They’re fine just like that but you could also spread on a bit of extra butter… if you’re feeling feisty.
These were definitely best right away, but I let them cool and stored them in a bag and ate them all week for breakfast. They were just fine all week long! I didn’t even heat them up actually.
They reminded me nothing of cardboard!