Even armed with the knowledge that a bran muffin could get better, I never ventured out to find wheat bran. In fact, until yesterday, I had no idea what wheat bran even looked like. Just FYI, it's white and light brown light-as-a-feather flakes.
Bird Seed Bran Muffins - adapted from this book. For convenience, I let these cool and then wrapped them individually in plastic wrap and put them in a freezer bag in the freezer. If you're not going to eat them on the day they're baked, I recommend you do the same. That way, when your inevitable bran muffin craving strikes, you just pluck one of these out of the freezer, jam it into your bag and eat it on the go an hour or so later. I do not recommend thawing/warming them in the oven straight from the freezer. It dries out the outside, while leaving the inside cold. They're great cut in half, smeared with almond butter or salted butter, or both. Make 16 muffins.
2 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 1/4 cups milk (I used almond milk)
1 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (not low or non fat)
1 cup golden raisins
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used part pastry flour and part spelt flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar2 tablespoons unsulfered molasses (dark or light both work)
a spoonful of millet
a spoonful of flaxseeds
a spoonful of sunflower seeds
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and line 16 spots in two muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, stir together the first four ingredients and set aside to let the wheat bran absorb the moisture for about 30 minutes.
Using a small bowl, cover the raisins in nearly boiling water to plump them up.*
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
After 30 minutes, add the brown sugar and molasses to the bran mixture. Stir to incorporate. Drain the raisins and add them to the mixture as well.
Scrape the bran mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold them together. The batter is thick, but gloopy.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling them nearly to the top. In a small bowl mix up the millet, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. Sprinkle over the top of the unbaked muffins and gently press the "bird seed" into the batter with the back of a spoon.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, switching rack position halfway through. Let cool in the pan, on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Then, eat them, yo!
*This step gives the raisins an almost berry like texture. If you prefer your raisins dense and chewy (like Beckett does), skip this step.
Want more breakfast ideas? Check here.