Do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man?
Well... apparently, you do. Except that she's not a man and she certainly doesn't deliver muffins to others because she is too busy eating them herself.
I admit it. I eat a lot of muffins. More, in fact, that I ever realized. Almost a year ago, I was in Tampa for spring break and - since they have a GFS store there and I don't here - I stocked up on muffin papers. I purchased a box of 500 muffin wrappers. They are almost gone. Hmmm... so, let's see. That's over 40 dozen muffins.
So sue me! They're my go-to breakfast. I usually eat two (regular sized muffins) each morning. My favorite muffins are chocolate chip and banana nut, but occasionally I like to branch out and get crazy. I have been searching for a bran muffin recipe that matches the perfect bran muffin taste memory that I have in my brain. I've tried a number of recipes, and finally I have found it!
These are good tasting bran muffins, not to be confused with "health" muffins. These suckers have plenty of fiber in them, but they also have a decent bit of sugar and oil. That's what makes them so tasty! Oh, and as far as I'm concerned, the dates are mandatory... even if you don't like dates (which I don't).
Yield: approx. 12 regular sized or 6 large muffins
Adapted from Advanced Bread and Pastry
1/3 cup oil
1 TBS honey
3 TBS molasses (unsulphured)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/4 cup plus 1 TBS flour (preferably bread flour)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp table salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 cup chopped dates (rolled in sugar to prevent sticking if you cut them yourself)
Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside. Stir the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet along with the chopped dates and stir thoroughly. At this point, the batter will be much thinner than a typical muffin batter. Set the mixture aside to for 20 minutes. This step in important because the bran needs to hydrate a bit before the batter has a decent consistency.
While the batter sits, preheat the oven to 375° F and line your muffin pan with papers. When the 20 minutes are up, fill the muffin cups almost full, maybe four-fifths full. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar and rolled oats, if desired. Bake for 18-25 minutes, or until done. Test with a cake tester as the muffins can look done before they are fully baked in the center. Remove from the pans to cool fully on a rack.