Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Bran New Day

I love a good bran muffin. I seriously would choose to eat a delicious bran muffin over a chocolate brownie any day (well, okay, how about on most days)? But the bran muffins I've tried from various bakeries over the years have let me down either in the way of taste or in ingredients. Many of them have been way too sweet or very high in fat which is why I much prefer making my own muffins whenever I can. This recipe is one I've had my eye on for a few weeks now, and comes from the cookbook, Nancy Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery. Nancy Silverton is, in my book, one of the queens of bread and pastry making, and I'm a huge fan of her two restaurants here in Los Angeles, La Brea Bakery and Campanile. I am also a huge fan of these bran muffins and I hope you will be too. They came out moist, slightly chewy, with just the right amount of natural sweetness from the pureed raisins and brown sugar. Enjoy them with a big cup of coffee and you're good to go!

Bran Muffins (adapted from Nancy Silverton)
2 cups unprocessed bran
1 and 1/2 cups golden raisins
1 and 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon orange extract (or use 1 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup canola oil
1 extra large egg
1 extra large egg white
1/2 cup unbleached AP flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Place oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees F.
2. Spread the bran on a baking sheet, toast for 6-8 minutes until toasted; stir half-way through so it doesn't burn.
3. In a small saucepan, stir together 1 cup of raisins and 1 cup of water, simmer on low heat until the water is absored, about 15 minutes. Place in a blender or food processor and process until pureed.
4. Pour the bran into a large bowl, add buttermilk and the remaining 1/2 cup of water and stir to combine. Stir in the raisin puree, orange extract, and brown sugar.
5. Add the oil, whole egg, and egg white and mix well to incorporate.
6. Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the raisin mixture; add the remaining whole raisins and stir to combine.
7. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins, filling the cups to just over the rim.
8. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the muffins are well browned and firm to the touch.
yield: about 10 muffins

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel