Muffins … bran muffins … oh how I want a perfect one.

Perhaps because I’m in my early forties and regularity has suddenly become very important to me. I thought this is a sexy topic I can explore, come along with me and we’ll make a tasty treat!

I have been trying to bake the perfect bran muffin since I had my mother-in-law’s at Christmas. My first attempt was tasty but very, very, very dense. Very dense. To be honest I neglected to add enough yogurt. Oh, and I forgot to include the raisins. Lesson learned. The second batch was much better because I actually measured the correct amount of yogurt and included the raisins but they were still very dense. Perhaps, that’s okay and that’s how they are supposed to turn out. We ate them all because they did taste good but I really wanted a lighter texture.

I’ve been using Kellogg’s All-Bran for the recipe which it seems is recommended by most recipes and makes a tasty muffin. This time I switched it up by used half All-Bran and half Hodgkin’s Mill wheat bran. I also add in two tablespoons of flax-meal to all of these which in the end turned out spectacular, see look . . .

MY Delicious bran muffins ... trust me they are a joy to eat!

No, they don’t look sexy but boy do they taste good! I got the base recipe from, you guessed it, Cook’s Illustrated but I modified it in several points. Yes, that is shocking! Here are the deets:

1 cup raisins
1 tsp water
2-1/4 cups (5 oz) All-Bran Original cereal
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (6.25 oz) all-purpose flour
1/2 c (2-3/4 oz) whole wheat flour
2 tbsp flax meal
2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg plus one large yolk
2/3 cup packed (4-2/3 oz) brown sugar (I used dark)
3 tbsp molasses or sorghum
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp unsalted butter melted & cooled
1-3/4 cups plain greek style yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2, 12-cup muffin tin with vegetable oil spray OR use what I use, a twelve -cup stoneware muffin pan (mine is from Pampered Chef) which I LOVE!

2. Combine raisins and water in small bowl, cover, and microwave for 30 seconds. Let stand, covered, until raisins are softened and plump, about 5 minutes. Transfer raisins to prepare plate to cool.

3. Whisk all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, flax meal, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until well combined and set aside. Whisk egg and egg yolk together in medium bowl until well combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add sugar, molasses, and vanilla to bowl with eggs and whisk until mixture is thick, about 30 seconds. Add melted butter and whisk to combine. Add yogurt and buttermilk, whisk to combine. Stir in wheat bran and All-Bran until well combined and let mixture sit until cereal is evenly moistened, about 5 minutes.

4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently with rubber spatula until batter is just combined and evenly moistened (do not over mix.) Gently fold raisins into batter. Spoon batter evenly into all muffin cups. Do not flatten or level.

5. Bake until muffins are dark golden and toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out with few crumbs attached, 16 to 20 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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