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!
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.
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!
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.
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.