While it may not be the most exciting of pictures, this little bran muffin packs a powerful flavor punch. Moist and tasty, and in no way related to those cardboard-y type bran muffins.
The extra step of pureeing the raisins may seem a bit tedious but you will be rewarded with amazing bran muffins. I used organic raisins as I heard the average raisin has a ton of pesticides on it.
Adapted from Pastries from La Brea Bakery by Nancy Silverton
2 cup wheat bran
1 cup dark raisins
1 cup, plus 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk or plain low- or non-fat yogurt
a few swipes of fresh orange zest (unsprayed)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
Spread the wheat bran on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for six to eight minutes, stirring a few times so it cooks evenly. Let cool.
While the bran is toasting, heat 1 cup of the raisins with 1cup of the water. Simmer for ten minutes, or until the water is all absorbed. Puree the raisins in a food processor or blender until smooth.
In a large bowl, mix together the toasted bran, buttermilk or yogurt, and 1 cup water. Mix in the raisin puree, orange zest, and brown sugar. Stir in the oil, egg and egg white. In a seperate bowl mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and sift directly into the wet ingredients. Stir until the ingredients are just combined.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, making sure the batter is mounded slightly in each one. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins feel set in the center.