Reprinted with permission from The Cheese Board Collective Works: Bread, Pastry, Cheese, Pizza by the Cheese Board Collective. Copyright 2003, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley.
(This recipe produces bran muffins with a crusty top and a moist interior. The molasses, whole- wheat flour, and bran all make the batter a very dark color. Because of this, it is easy to be fooled into thinking that the muffins are through baking before they actually are. Before removing them from the oven, touch the tops gently; if they spring back, they are done.)
Makes 12 muffins
Preparation time including baking: 1 hour
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil (safflower or canola)
3/4 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flower
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/2 cup All-Bran cereal
1/2 cup raw wheat germ
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2/3 cup raisins
Preparation for making by hand (book has mixer instructions, as well).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter or spray the top and cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil, molasses and water: Whisk until blended.
Sift the flours and baking soda together into a large bowl.
Add the salt, wheat bran, bran cereal, wheat germ, walnuts and raisins to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients. With a few strokes of the spoon, gently combine, taking care not to overmix the batter. Let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the ingredients to soak and expand fully.
Using an ice cream scoop or large soup spoon, fill the prepared muffin cups until the batter just peeks over the top of the pan. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until the muffins are dark brown and springy. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Unmold the muffins onto a wire rack to cool.