How many bran muffin recipes does one woman need? I say you can never have "too" many. I bet there are at least fifty in my collection. When Sunday afternoon rolls around (usually too soon)--I begin thinking about the upcoming week's provision needs. I don't like to begin Monday without something special to look forward to. It's the little things in life--like knowing there are ONLY fifty-two Mondays every year. Surely I can create fifty-two mornings of special. And bran muffins to me are the be-all end-all of easy-peesy baking. No frosting, no lining with parchment paper, no hand blender and messy blades to clean afterward: one bowl, a spoon.
I keep us stocked with flour at all times. I think I've mentioned this before. Ten pounds of each: unbleached all-purpose and bread flour. I keep yeast, salt and sugar on hand as well (not ten pounds worth). I buy extra bottles of water and store them in the garage. I know there are "preparedness" folks who may smile at my efforts, but ask, Why only ten pounds? Why not fifty? Well for starters: weevils. Ew.
When I bake, I am instantly made happy. It's my little pill of choice: baking. I wasn't feeling so great on Sunday. Throughout the week, in between my working on seed starting (tedious)--I was baking bread. I baked four loaves of ciabatta. I love ciabatta. About the third loaf, I said to husband, Why is it I love bread things so much? He said: Carl Sagan said it's wired into us. . . bread is wired into us. . . it's primitive--it was one of the "first" foods.
This made me feel a ton better. At least there was an explanation.
These muffins were dang fine food. I had one in the morning yesterday, then one at four in the afternoon (or as I like to refer to it: the longest hour). Dr. Thyme took two to work for breakfast and he loved them. You will typically find a lot of oil in a bran muffin recipe. I didn't want that much extra fat in mine. So in place, I used a mashed up banana. (I have like 24 old bananas in the freezer. Why?) I also have this bag of organic, unsweetened coconut in the freezer. I love coconut--and because it's the small shredded kind and unsweetened--I thought it'd serve as a nice addition--and it does. I'd like to thank Nancy Silverton, Jane Brody, Dorie Greenspan and Sarabeth Levine for helping me on these. Four cookbooks later, here's my very own version of Bran Muffins with everything but the kitchen sink!
*Sorry but there will be no TWD/BWJ baking today: rugelach. Um. No.
Vegan Bran Muffins with Coconut, Banana, Raisins And The Kitchen Sink
*makes 12 regular-sized muffins
1 cup wheat bran (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup raisins
1 banana (mashed)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1/2 cup coconut milk mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of half an orange
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a regular-sized muffin pan with non-stick baking spray. Prepare your buttermilk and set aside. In a large mixing bowl add the bran, coconut, raisins, orange zest and vanilla extract plus water. Mix well. Set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl add the dry ingredients and sift together. Mix up your egg replacer and add this to the bran mixture. Next, add the buttermilk to this. Pour the dry/flour mixture into the wet bran mixture and stir with a large spoon. (No need to get the hand blender out.) The batter will be a bit runny and lumpy--that is okay. Just make sure all the dry parts are wet--a few good turns should do it. Then, with a large ice cream scoop or large spoon, fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full. Place in oven and bake at 400 for TEN minutes. Then, turn down the heat to 350 and finish baking the muffins for another 10-12 minutes--or until the tops of the muffins are golden. Remove from oven and place muffins on a cooling rack for ten minutes. After ten
minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and allow to cool completely on cooling rack. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Serve cold, warm or at room temperature. Yum!