My favourite muffin by far is Raisin Bran. It's not often that I eat them, a few times a year perhaps, but I have loved them since I was a kid and other then those couple of years when I was tempted by the more cake inspired blueberry muffins, my love has never wavered.
Strangely enough, and much like chocolate chip cookies, I have never actually made a Bran Muffin. I usually make banana or blueberry or some variation. My mother used to make box mix Bran Muffins all the time and I remember how great it was to eat them warm out of the oven. Maybe I didn't want to make something from scratch that wouldn't hold up to the boxed mix my Mother used. (That would hurt a bit :)).
But this recipe (and my alterations) did not disappoint. Since I have never made them and I wanted to REALLY enjoy them I decided that these muffins needed to be JUMBO (really the only thing better then a good Raisin Bran Muffin, is a huge Raisin Bran Muffin :)), something else I have never done. This also gave me the perfect opportunity to use my newly purchased Jumbo Muffin tins, and I am very glad that I did.
As mentioned, I did play with the recipe a bit. I decided to decrease the sugar, I used dark brown sugar (which wasn't specified in the recipe), added some honey, increased the vanilla and bumped up the amount of raisins. When the muffins came out of the oven they were perfect. They were moist and fluffy and the taste was exactly what I wanted. Just sweet enough to compliment the sweetness of the raisins but not sweet enough to make you think “store bought”. One of the problems with eating certain baked goods warm is that not all of the flavours come through right away, so I'm not entirely sure how much flavour the honey added but I definitely know it didn't make things worse :).
The ½ cup of raisins in the original recipe was really not enough, but I suppose that has a lot to do with how much you like raisins. I decided to add 50% more raisins (I'm like a President's Choice add) and to me (and my family) this was just the right amount to remind you that these were Raisin Bran muffins. However, I will also say that these muffins would be great without the raisins, something my brother requested for next time, which I am not opposed to in the least. (My brother's request was accompanied with a direct reference to that store bought mix I mentioned. I told you it was good :)).
Unfortunately, I didn't get to have a muffin the next day since my parents decided to polish off the remaining two :) (I'm trying to be polite, I believe the correct term would be “scarf”). I was going out to eat pancakes anyways so it was probably best not to have a muffin the size of my face :) (especially because I was going to eat pancakes roughly that size :)).
Yields 6 jumbo or 12 standard muffins
Jumbo Raisin Bran Muffins
Adapted from All Recipes
1 cup all purpose flour (130g)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups wheat bran (68g)
1 cup buttermilk (or substitute for 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp vinegar and let stand for 10 minutes)
1/3 cup canola oil (any neutral vegetable oil would be okay)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 + 2 tbsp + 1 tsp cup packed dark brown sugar (114g)**
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375F and position rack at top 1/3 of oven. Grease or line 6 jumbo muffin cups with paper liners.
In a cup or a small bowl soak raisins in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, add wheat bran and milk and let sit for 10 minutes
In another bowl whisk together oil, egg, sugar and vanilla.
Add wet ingredients to wheat bran/buttermilk mixture and stir to thoroughly combine. (Don't worry if the bran mixture seems dry, once you add the other wet ingredients a lot of the milk is released)
Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined.
Remove raisins from water and Fold into batter.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean, rotating pan when half done (mine took 22 minutes).
Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack in pan for 5 minutes.
Take a seat, a warm muffin, a nice coffee, and melt away.
**Originally listed as 1/2 cup ~ Adam (28-10-10)