Toasted Bran Muffins
Nancy Silverton’s bran muffins from La Brea Bakery are hailed to be one of the best, and for good reason. The crumb is tender and rather light for a bran muffin, yet they have that familiar fibrous chew. The flavour has a subtle toasted note and a hint of orange. They have minimal refined sugar by using pureed raisins to add natural sweetness and moisture. They are my personal favourite in the bran muffin arena with just a small smear of butter.
I originally stumbled upon these muffins from Alexandra Cooks Nancy Silverton’s Bran Muffins, who slightly adapted the recipe by blending all the raisins, leaving the final texture without whole raisins. It’s also my desired way to eat them even though my recipe reflects the original method. Both ways are delicious and it comes down to personal preference.
I’ve gone on to adapt the recipe slightly further by replacing a small amount of the water with orange juice and I’ve opted for a different mixing method with wonderful results. It’s recommended to use paper liners as they tend to bake up with a nicer domed top if using them. Without the liners, the tops tend to spread just a little more. I also recommend that you weigh your dry ingredients for better results. I have done both, and have found that my weighted measures provide more than my standard scooping with a measuring cup. It does make a difference in this recipe.
If you love muffins, Nacy Silverton’s are a must to make, whether it be the original recipe or my slightly altered version, you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!
Recipe for Toasted Bran Muffins adapted from Alexandra Cooks Nancy Silverton’s Bran Muffins
- 2 cups (125g) wheat bran
- 1 1/2 cups dark raisins
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 cup (65g) all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (35g) whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (105g) packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- zest of one orange
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Spread wheat bran out on a large baking sheet and toast in oven for 6-8 minutes turning once.
- While wheat bran is toasting and cooling, cook 1 cup of raisins and 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat until soft and the water has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Puree raisins until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together wheat bran, flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together oil and brown sugar. Add egg and egg white and whisk to combine. Stir in pureed raisins, remaining 3/4 cup water, buttermilk, orange juice and orange zest.
- Add dry ingredients and stir just to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup of raisins. Scoop evenly into muffin cups, mounding the batter.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool for 5-7 minutes before removing muffins from tin to cooling rack.
-it is highly recommended to weigh dry ingredients.
-when scooping the batter, the muffin cups will be very full.
-if you don't want whole raisins in the final muffin, cook all the raisins with 3/4 cup of water and blend, continue with recipe adding only 1/2 cup additional water (for 1 1/4 cup total) and omit raisins at the end.