Friday, March 5, 2010

Bluffin' with Bran Muffins

That is what Lady Gaga is really talking about right? She really likes bran muffins but she doesn't want to seem like an old lady so she pretends that she doesn't like them? Well if she had tried the bran muffins I made last week she wouldn't be so embarrassed. They transcend all stereotypes commonly associated with bran muffins: including age, bowl function efficiency and crazy levels. Which is exactly why Lady Gaga and I are crazy about these muffins! 

They are super moist, have great flavor and the jumbo raisins' texture adds exciting little pockets (that's an ironic statement) of juicy goodness. Plus they are topped with a delicious almond crumble topping and we all know that crumble topping makes every muffin that much more delicious. They are great fresh and you can even freeze them and save the leftovers for future breakfast or for times when your need for regularity becomes urgent. So take it from the Gaga and your grandma and try out these bran muffins for yourself. They are fantastic! And I'm saying that without a poker face.

Bran Muffins with Crumble Topping
adapted from Pastries from La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton
Muffin Ingredients
  • 2 c Wheat Bran
  • 1 c + 3/4 c Jumbo Raisins
  • 1c + 1/2 c Water
  • 1/2 c Buttermilk
  • Zest of 1 Med. Orange
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Large Egg White
  • 1/2 c Flour
  • 1/4 Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
Look how colorful these jumbo raisins are! I got them at Trader Joe's, you can find all the other ingredients there as well.

Crumble Topping Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 c Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 c + 2 tbsp Flour
  • 2/3 c Almond Meal (almond's processed to a fine meal)
  • 1/2  c + 1 tbsp Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 12 cup regular muffin pan or 6 cup jumbo muffin pan (which is what I used, I love big muffins!) with paper liners.

2. If the wheat bran is not toasted (it should say on the container if it is) toast it in the oven for 6-8 min stirring a couple times. 

3. Heat 1 c of the raisins with 1/2 c water. Simmer for 10 min or until the water has all been absorbed. Puree the raisins in a food processor until smooth.

4. In a large bowl mix the bran, buttermilk and 1 c water. Then mix in the raisin puree, orange zest and brown sugar. 

5. Stir in the oil, egg and egg white.

6. Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift the dry mixture right into the wet mixture. Stir until just combined and then mix in the remaining 3/4 c raisins.

7. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and make sure they are mounded a little higher than the top to ensure a good muffin top (kinda like Jenna Maroney's hit song).

8. For the topping place the butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or in a large bowl using a hand mixer and mix on med-hi until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix only till incorporated. It should be crumbly not smooth. 

9. Top the muffins generously with the topping and bake 25-30 min or until the muffin feels set and a toothpick comes out clean.

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