Bran Muffins With Dried Apricots . Can I really be a whole grain food blogger without a recipe for bran muffins? I guess not. It seems like when anyone is looking for whole grain muffins, bran muffins are the ones the look for. I figured I needed to add one to my library, so let's go!
What Is Bran?
It is the hard layer surrounding the wheat kernel, it is packed with nutrients and so good for you. In the milling process, the bran is stripped away, which is where bran comes from. You can use wheat or oat bran, oat is my preference, but use whichever you prefer. I used a mix of wheat bran and oat bran. You can use one or both, I just like the combo.
Mixing Up The Bran Muffins
The first thing to note is, these muffins are baked hot. Like 400 degrees hot. I love the "oven spring" on my muffins, so this hotter temp is what I use on about 99% of my muffin recipes. Prepare your muffin pans by spraying or lining with muffin wrappers. Set aside.
Mix your flour, bran, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
In another, medium-sized bowl, mix your eggs, oil, molasses, orange zest, and sugar together. Combine the 2, then add in your dried apricots and walnuts ( both of which are optional, but so good!
Baking The Bran Muffins With Dried Apricots
Scoop into prepared muffin tins. I prefer to use a Cookie Scoop as it keeps the amounts even, ensuring more even baking. This is a wet batter when you put it in the pans. Don't stress! The bran and whole wheat absorb so much liquid!
Here is the key to baking the perfect whole wheat baked good- under bake slightly! I know, it sounds counter intuitive, but I promise the results will be perfect. There is a process called carry over cooking that happens with every cooked dish, it is that the dish will hold residual heat even after it is removed from the heat source and continue to cook. So, if you bake these to perfection, when you remove them and the carry over cooking happens, they will over bake- leaving them dry and disgusting.
The Baked Bran Muffins With Dried Apricots
Here are the finished bran muffins. They bake up really quick, in about 12 minutes. These are so good right out of the oven with a decent-sized pat of butter.
They are also really good for meal prep. Throw these in the freezer, they are good for about a month. Just make sure to seal well. Then, microwave for a healthy breakfast or snack.
I used freshly ground flour, it is always superior to store-bought as it is so fresh and more nutritious. My Nutrimill is my right-hand man in the kitchen. If you are in the market, the Nutrimill is a great option! The soft winter wheat I use came from Farm Fresh Wheat. A great generational farming family.
Bran Muffins With Dried Apricots
- 2- muffin pans
- 2 cups wheat or oat bran I used a combo of both
- 1 cup whole wheat flour I used a whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup molasses
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½-3/4 cup chopped dried apriicots
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.Spray or line 18 muffin inserts, this is 1 ½ pans. Set pans aside. In a small bowl, combine bran, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. mix well and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix well. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and fold them together. Remember to only mix to combine, do not over mix .Add in your apricots, walnuts, and orange zest. Again, fold to combine. Scoop into your prepared pan. You will want to scoop these about ¾ of the way full. Place in oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes. I like to check with a toothpick, but make sure it doesn't come out completely clean. You want them to be underbaked just a touch. These muffins are delicious right out of the oven. Or you can allow them to cool, place them in a ziplock bag or freezer-safe container. Place them in the freezer, they will hold well for up to 1 month. When you are ready to use them, pull them from the freezer and heat in the microwave, or bring to room temp. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!