I like Bran Muffins. Sometimes I make them using wheat bran, but for this recipe I’m using oat bran. Both types of bran are high in fiber and minerals so they are very satisfying and give you that wonderful “full” feeling. Besides the nutty flavor of oat bran, these muffins contain whole wheat flour, molasses, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest.
A few notes on ingredients. First, there are two types of bran, wheat and oat. Both come from the outer casing of a grain. Only wheat bran comes from the wheat berry, and oat bran is from the oat. When buying oat bran, make sure it is labeled “100% oat bran” with no other ingredients added. It is now readily available in most grocery stores, often located either on the cereal isle, along with the rolled oats, or in the organic food section. Another place you can find it is in health food stores.
Besides oat bran, these muffins contain all purpose and whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour is flour that is milled from the entire whole wheat berry, so it still contains its bran (fiber) and its germ (rich in oil, protein, iron and vitamins). This makes it rich in fiber and it also has a nutty toasted flavor. I also added some molasses, which is used in baked goods to add color, moistness and flavor. Molasses is usually labeled as “sulphured” or “unsulphured” depending on whether sulphur was used in the processing. I like to use unsulphured molasses which is lighter in color and I prefer its mild flavor. Lastly, we do add some buttermilk, along with some milk, which adds a wonderful tangy flavor and moist texture.You can make a good substitute for commerical buttermilk by stirring 3/4 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar, cider vinegar, or lemon juice into 3/4 cup (180 ml) of milk. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes at room temperature before using.
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Article and Demonstration by Stephanie Jaworski
Photo and Videography by Rick Jaworski
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